Threats to Humanity's Progress Are Outlined

Pope Addresses Ambassadors to UNESCO

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2004 ( John Paul II says the authentic progress of humanity is threatened by war, poverty and racism.

The Pope expressed this concern Saturday when he met with a group of ambassadors accredited to the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The ambassadors visited Rome to meet with the Holy Father.

«Unfortunately, in these difficult times, we often find our progress threatened by the evils of war, poverty, racism and the exploitation of others,» John Paul II said when welcoming the ambassadors.

«These harmful influences not only weigh on our human existence but they also hinder our capacity to build a better world,» he added.

The Pope appealed to «organizations such as UNESCO» to continue to be «an essential element in the construction of a true culture based on peace, justice and equity.»

The Holy Father reminded the ambassadors that the «advancement of human society is directly related to the progress of culture,» as mankind, «in fact, lives a truly human life because of culture, an important expression of which is found in the arts and sciences.»

Because of this, the «Church has constantly appealed to the fine arts to assist it in celebrating the gift of life and, very especially, its sacred rites in a worthy, just and beautiful manner.»

«Moreover, the Church has encouraged the development of the sciences, especially in her promotion of the dignity and value of human life,» he said.

The Pope added: «This commitment is expressed concretely through the creation of numerous institutions such as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which recently celebrated its fourth centenary, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and the Pontifical Academy for Life.»

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