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Pope Francis receives delegation from Dignitatis Humanae Institute, affirms human dignity, warns against “throwaway culture”

by | Dec 9, 2013

 

By Dave Andrusko

Pope Francis met with delegation from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute

Pope Francis met with delegation from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute

A thank you goes out to Vatican Radio and the Zenit news agency for alerting readers to the message Pope Francis delivered Saturday to a delegation from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI) which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Otherwise known as the Institute for Human Dignity, the DHI was founded in 2008 as a think tank with the aim of “protecting and promoting an authentic vision of human dignity.”

In his talk the Pope emphasized that there is a dignity to “every man and woman that cannot be suppressed, that cannot be touched by any power or ideology”– that “the human person must always be an end and never a means.”

But, unfortunately,

“in our epoch, so rich in many accomplishments and hopes, there is no lack of powers and forces that end up producing a throwaway culture (cultura di scarto); and this threatens to become the dominant mentality. The victims of such a culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings–the unborn, the poorest people, sick elderly people, gravely disabled people… who are in danger of being ‘thrown out,’ expelled from a machine that must be efficient at all costs. This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the Word of God that says: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness’ (cf. Genesis 1:26).”

Pope Francis concluded

“All initiatives such as your own are, therefore, welcome, initiatives that aim to help people, communities and institutions to rediscover the ethical and social importance of the principle of human dignity, which is the root of liberty and justice. In view of this purpose efforts at raising awareness and formation are necessary. These will assist the lay faithful of every walk of life, and especially those who work in politics, to think according to the Gospel and the Church’s social doctrine and to act consistently, dialoguing and collaborating with those who, with sincerity and intellectual honesty, at least share – if not the faith – a similar vision of man and society and its ethical consequences. There are not a few Christians and non-believers, who are convinced that the human person must always be an end and never a means.”

[The translation was provided for Zenit by Joseph Trabbic.]

Categories: Religious