Pope Francis’ Speech to the United Nations
TOP 20 MOST POWERFUL IDEAS
Dear friends, here are the top 20 most powerful ideas in the address given by Pope Francis to the General Assembly of the United Nations. I have tried to summarize it but it is still quite long though nevertheless very important, substantial and interesting read. Titles are mine, all the rest are Pope Francis’ words.
Let’s pray that the international governing bodies. government and financial leaders do something about the Pope’s advices for the good of each and every human person and of the entire mankind.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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- GRATITUDE FOR THE SERVICE CARRIED OUT BY UNITED NATIONS TO MANKIND AND ITS ACHIEVEMENTS
- Through you, I also greet the citizens of all the nations represented in this hall. I thank you, each and all, for your efforts in the service of mankind….An essential response, inasmuch as technological power, in the hands of nationalistic or falsely universalist ideologies, is capable of perpetrating tremendous atrocities. I can only reiterate the appreciation expressed by my predecessors, in reaffirming the importance which the Catholic Church attaches to this Institution and the hope which she places in its activities.
- FOR THIS REASON I PAY HOMAGE TO ALL THOSE MEN AND WOMEN WHOSE LOYALTY AND SELF-SACRIFICE HAVE BENEFITTED HUMANITY AS A WHOLE IN THESE PAST SEVENTY YEARS. In particular, I would recall today those who gave their lives for peace and reconciliation among peoples, from Dag Hammarskjöld to the many United Nations officials at every level who have been killed in the course of humanitarian missions, and missions of peace and reconciliation.
- APPEALS TO FINANCIAL AGENCIES FOR A GREATER EQUITY TO AVOID OPPRESSIVE LENDING SYSTEMS WHICH GENERATE GREATER GENERATE GREATER POVERTY, EXCLUSION AND DEPENDENCE
- THE NEED FOR GREATER EQUITY IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN THE CASE OF THOSE BODIES WITH EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE CAPABILITY, SUCH AS THE SECURITY COUNCIL, THE FINANCIAL AGENCIES AND THE GROUPS OR MECHANISMS SPECIFICALLY CREATED TO DEAL WITH ECONOMIC CRISES. This will help limit every kind of abuse or usury, especially where developing countries are concerned. The International Financial Agencies are should care for the sustainable development of countries and should ensure that they are not subjected to oppressive lending systems which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence.
- THE UNITED NATIONS SHOULD PROMOTE THE RULE OF LAW BASED ON JUSTICE WHICH IS ESSENTIAL FOR UNIVERSAL FRATERNITY AND IMPLICIT TO THIS LAW IS THE LIMITATION OF POWER. NO HUMAN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP CAN CONSIDER ITSELF ABSOLUTE, PERMITTED TO BYPASS THE DIGNITY AND THE RIGHTS OF OTHER INDIVIDUALS OR THEIR SOCIAL GROUPINGS.
- The work of the United Nations… can be seen as the development and promotion of the rule of law, based on the realization that justice is an essential condition for achieving the ideal of universal fraternity. In this context, it is helpful to recall that the limitation of power is an idea implicit in the concept of law itself.
- To give to each his own, to cite the classic definition of justice, means that NO HUMAN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP CAN CONSIDER ITSELF ABSOLUTE, PERMITTED TO BYPASS THE DIGNITY AND THE RIGHTS OF OTHER INDIVIDUALS OR THEIR SOCIAL GROUPINGS. THE EFFECTIVE DISTRIBUTION OF POWER (POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, DEFENSE-RELATED, TECHNOLOGICAL, ETC.) AMONG A PLURALITY OF SUBJECTS, AND THE CREATION OF A JURIDICAL SYSTEM FOR REGULATING CLAIMS AND INTERESTS, ARE ONE CONCRETE WAY OF LIMITING POWER.
- Yet today’s world presents us with many false rights and – at the same time – broad sectors which are vulnerable, victims of power badly exercised: for example, the natural environment and the vast ranks of the excluded. These sectors are closely interconnected and made increasingly fragile by dominant political and economic relationships. THAT IS WHY THEIR RIGHTS MUST BE FORCEFULLY AFFIRMED, BY WORKING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND BY PUTTING AN END TO EXCLUSION.
- THERE IS A TRUE “RIGHT OF THE ENVIRONMENT” FOR MEN ARE PART OF IT AND ANY HARM DONE TO IT IS A HARM DONE TO HUMANITY; AND BECAUSE EVERY LIVING CREATURE HAS AN INTRINSIC VALUE.
- First, it must be stated That A True “Right Of The Environment” Does Exist, For Two Reasons.
- First, because WE HUMAN BEINGS ARE PART OF THE ENVIRONMENT. WE LIVE IN COMMUNION WITH IT, SINCE THE ENVIRONMENT ITSELF ENTAILS ETHICAL LIMITS WHICH HUMAN ACTIVITY MUST ACKNOWLEDGE AND RESPECT. Man, for all his remarkable gifts, which “are signs of a uniqueness which transcends the spheres of physics and biology” (Laudato Si’, 81), is at the same time a part of these spheres. He possesses a body shaped by physical, chemical and biological elements, and can only survive and develop if the ecological environment is favourable. ANY HARM DONE TO THE ENVIRONMENT, THEREFORE, IS HARM DONE TO HUMANITY.
- Second, because EVERY CREATURE, PARTICULARLY A LIVING CREATURE, HAS AN INTRINSIC VALUE, IN ITS EXISTENCE, ITS LIFE, ITS BEAUTY AND ITS INTERDEPENDENCE WITH OTHER CREATURES. We Christians, together with the other monotheistic religions, believe that the universe is the fruit of a loving decision by the Creator, who permits man respectfully to use creation for the good of his fellow men and for the glory of the Creator; he is not authorized to abuse it, much less to destroy it. IN ALL RELIGIONS, THE ENVIRONMENT IS A FUNDAMENTAL GOOD (CF. IBID.).
- MISUSE AND DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT LEADS TO EXCLUSION ESPECIALLY OF THE POOREST AND INEQUALITY
- THE MISUSE AND DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT ARE ALSO ACCOMPANIED BY A RELENTLESS PROCESS OF EXCLUSION. In effect, a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged, either because they are differently abled (handicapped), or because they lack adequate information and technical expertise, or are incapable of decisive political action. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION IS A COMPLETE DENIAL OF HUMAN FRATERNITY AND A GRAVE OFFENSE AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT. THE POOREST ARE THOSE WHO SUFFER MOST FROM SUCH OFFENSES, for three serious reasons: THEY ARE CAST OFF BY SOCIETY, FORCED TO LIVE OFF WHAT IS DISCARDED AND SUFFER UNJUSTLY FROM THE ABUSE OF THE ENVIRONMENT. THEY ARE PART OF TODAY’S WIDESPREAD AND QUIETLY GROWING “CULTURE OF WASTE”.
- TRUE JUSTICE SUPPOSES THE CONSTANT WILL OF GOVERNMENT LEADES TO PURSUE CONCRETE AND IMMEDIATE MEASURES TO PUT STOP TO THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EXCLUSION WHICH LEADS TO GRAVE CONSEQUENCES.
- SOLEMN COMMITMENTS, HOWEVER, ARE NOT ENOUGH, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE A NECESSARY STEP TOWARD SOLUTIONS.
- The classic definition of justice which I mentioned earlier contains as one of its essential elements a constant and perpetual will: Iustitia est constans et perpetua voluntas ius sum cuique tribuendi. OUR WORLD DEMANDS OF ALL GOVERNMENT LEADERS A WILL WHICH IS EFFECTIVE, PRACTICAL AND CONSTANT, CONCRETE STEPS AND IMMEDIATE MEASURES FOR PRESERVING AND IMPROVING THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND THUS PUTTING AN END AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE TO THE PHENOMENON OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EXCLUSIOn, with its BANEFUL CONSEQUENCES: human trafficking, the marketing of human organs and tissues, the sexual exploitation of boys and girls, slave labour, including prostitution, the drug and weapons trade, terrorism and international organized crime…. WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT OUR INSTITUTIONS ARE TRULY EFFECTIVE IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST ALL THESE SCOURGES.
- POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY MUST NOT FORGET THAT THEY ARE DEALING WITH REAL HUMAN PERSONS WHO SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF INJUSTICE.
- It must never be forgotten that POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IS ONLY EFFECTIVE WHEN IT IS UNDERSTOOD AS A PRUDENTIAL ACTIVITY, GUIDED BY A PERENNIAL CONCEPT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTANTLY CONSCIOUS OF THE FACT THAT, above and beyond our plans and programmes, WE ARE DEALING WITH REAL MEN AND WOMEN WHO LIVE, STRUGGLE AND SUFFER, AND ARE OFTEN FORCED TO LIVE IN GREAT POVERTY, DEPRIVED OF ALL RIGHTS.
- IN ORDER TO ESCAPE POVERTY, THESE REAL MEN AND WOMEN MUST BE DIGNIFIED AGENTS OF THEIR OWN DESTINY FOR INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND THE FULL EXERCISE OF HUMAN DIGNITY CANNOT BE IMPOSED.
- TO ENABLE THESE REAL MEN AND WOMEN TO ESCAPE FROM EXTREME POVERTY, WE MUST ALLOW THEM TO BE DIGNIFIED AGENTS OF THEIR OWN DESTINY. INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND THE FULL EXERCISE OF HUMAN DIGNITY CANNOT BE IMPOSED. They must be built up and allowed to unfold for each individual, for every family, in communion with others, and in a right relationship with all those areas in which human social life develops – friends, communities, towns and cities, schools, businesses and unions, provinces, nations, etc.
- INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REQUIRES THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION FOR ALL, AND RESPECTING THE PRIMARY RIGHT OF THE FAMILY TO EDUCATE ITS CHILDREN, AS WELL AS THE RIGHT OF THE CHURCH AND OTHER GROUPS TO ASSIST THE FAMILIES IN THEIR TASK OF EDUCATION.
- THIS PRESUPPOSES AND REQUIRES THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION – ALSO FOR GIRLS (EXCLUDED IN CERTAIN PLACES) – WHICH IS ENSURED FIRST AND FOREMOST BY RESPECTING AND REINFORCING THE PRIMARY RIGHT OF THE FAMILY TO EDUCATE ITS CHILDREN, AS WELL AS THE RIGHT OF CHURCHES AND SOCIAL GROUPS TO SUPPORT AND ASSIST FAMILIES IN THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN. Education conceived in this way is the basis for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and for reclaiming the environment.
- GOVERNMENT LEADERS MUST ENSURE THAT ALL HAVE THE MINIMUM SPIRITUAL AND MATERIAL MEANS NEEDED TO LIVE IN DIGNITY AND TO CREATE AND SUPPORT A FAMILY, WHICH IS THE PRIMARY CELL OF ANY SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT.
- At the same time, government leaders must do everything possible to ensure that all can have the minimum spiritual and material means needed to live in dignity and to create and support a family, which is the primary cell of any social development. In practical terms, this absolute minimum has three names: LODGING, LABOUR, AND LAND; and one spiritual name: SPIRITUAL FREEDOM, which includes RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION AND OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS.
- ALL THESE RIGHTS HAVE A COMMON FOUNDATION: THE RIGHT TO LIFE OR THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE OF HUMAN NATURE ITSELF.
- For all this, the simplest and best measure and indicator of the implementation of the new AGENDA FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE EFFECTIVE, PRACTICAL AND IMMEDIATE ACCESS, ON THE PART OF ALL, TO ESSENTIAL MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL GOODS: HOUSING, DIGNIFIED AND PROPERLY REMUNERATED EMPLOYMENT, ADEQUATE FOOD AND DRINKING WATER; RELIGIOUS FREEDOM and, more generally, SPIRITUAL FREEDOM AND EDUCATION. These pillars of integral human development have a common foundation, which is the RIGHT TO LIFE and, more generally, what we could call THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE OF HUMAN NATURE ITSELF.
- THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES IS THREATENED BY THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS, BY AN IRRESPONSIBLE GLOBAL ECONOMY MISMANAGEMENT GUIDED BY AMBITION FOR WEALTH AND POWER. IT’S HIGH TIME TO REFLECT ON MAN.
- THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS, AND THE LARGE-SCALE DESTRUCTION OF BIODIVERSITY, CAN THREATEN THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES. The baneful consequences of an IRRESPONSIBLE MISMANAGEMENT OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, GUIDED ONLY BY AMBITION FOR WEALTH AND POWER, MUST SERVE AS A SUMMONS TO A FORTHRIGHT REFLECTION ON MAN:
- “MAN IS NOT ONLY A FREEDOM WHICH HE CREATES FOR HIMSELF. MAN DOES NOT CREATE HIMSELF. HE IS SPIRIT AND WILL, BUT ALSO NATURE.” WE MUST RECOGNIZE A MORAL LAW WRITTEN IN NATURE ITSELF (NATURAL LAW). NO TO GENDER IDEOLOGY. RESPECT LIFE IN ALL ITS STAGES AND DIMENSIONS.
- “MAN IS NOT ONLY A FREEDOM WHICH HE CREATES FOR HIMSELF. MAN DOES NOT CREATE HIMSELF. HE IS SPIRIT AND WILL, BUT ALSO NATURE” (BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Bundestag, 22 September 2011, cited in Laudato Si’, 6). Creation is compromised “where we ourselves have the final word… The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any instance above ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves” (ID. Address to the Clergy of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone, 6 August 2008, cited ibid.). Consequently, THE DEFENCE OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE FIGHT AGAINST EXCLUSION DEMAND THAT WE RECOGNIZE A MORAL LAW WRITTEN INTO HUMAN NATURE ITSELF, ONE WHICH INCLUDES THE NATURAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN (CF. LAUDATO SI’, 155), AND ABSOLUTE RESPECT FOR LIFE IN ALL ITS STAGES AND DIMENSIONS (cf. ibid., 123, 136).
- THE NON-RECOGNITION OF NATURAL LAW, PAVES WAY TO ALL KINDS OF ABUSE, CORRUPTION, IDEOLOGICAL COLONIZATION IMPOSING ANOMALOUS MODELS AND LIFESTYLES ALIEN TO PEOPLE’S IDENTITY.
- WITHOUT THE RECOGNITION OF CERTAIN INCONTESTABLE NATURAL ETHICAL LIMITS AND WITHOUT THE IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION OF THOSE PILLARS OF INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, THE IDEAL OF “SAVING SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS FROM THE SCOURGE OF WAR” (CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS, PREAMBLE), AND “PROMOTING SOCIAL PROGRESS AND BETTER STANDARDS OF LIFE IN LARGER FREEDOM” (IBID.), RISKS BECOMING AN UNATTAINABLE ILLUSION, or, even worse, idle chatter which serves as a cover for all kinds of abuse and corruption, or for carrying out an ideological colonization by the imposition of anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people’s identity and, in the end, irresponsible.
- NO TO WAR WHICH IS THE NEGATION OF ALL RIGHTS AND A DRAMATIC ASSAULT ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE NEED TO ENSURE THE UNCONTESTED RULE OF LAW AND TIRELESS RECOURSE TO NEGOTIATION, MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION.
- War is the negation of all rights and a dramatic assault on the environment. If we want true integral human development for all, we must work tirelessly to avoid war between nations and between peoples.
- TO THIS END, THERE IS A NEED TO ENSURE THE UNCONTESTED RULE OF LAW AND TIRELESS RECOURSE TO NEGOTIATION, MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION, as proposed by the Charter of the United Nations, which constitutes truly a fundamental juridical norm…
- WHEN THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS IS RESPECTED AND APPLIED WITH TRANSPARENCY AND SINCERITY, AND WITHOUT ULTERIOR MOTIVES, AS AN OBLIGATORY REFERENCE POINT OF JUSTICE AND NOT AS A MEANS OF MASKING SPURIOUS INTENTIONS, PEACEFUL RESULTS WILL BE OBTAINED. When, on the other hand, the norm is considered simply as an instrument to be used whenever it proves favourable, and to be avoided when it is not, a true Pandora’s box is opened, releasing uncontrollable forces which gravely harm defenseless populations, the cultural milieu and even the biological environment.
- COMPLETE PROHIBITION TO PROLIFERATION OF ARMS, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, ESPECIALLY NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
- The Preamble and the first Article of the Charter of the United Nations set forth the foundations of the international juridical framework: peace, the pacific solution of disputes and the development of friendly relations between the nations.
- Strongly opposed to such statements, and in practice denying them, is the constant tendency to the proliferation of arms, especially weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons.
- An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations, which would end up as “nations united by fear and distrust”. There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the non-proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.
- NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF MILITARY AND POLITICAL INTERVENTIONS WHICH ARE NOT COORDINATED BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. APPEAL TO STOP THE PAINFUL SITUATION OF RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION, POVERTY, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, SUFFERING AND ENSLAVEMENT IN THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA AND OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES. DO ALL THAT IT CAN TO STOP AND TO PREVENT FURTHER SYSTEMATIC VIOLENCE AGAINST ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS MINORITIES” AND TO PROTECT INNOCENT PEOPLES.
- In this sense, hard evidence is not lacking of the negative effects of military and political interventions which are not coordinated between members of the international community.
- For this reason, while regretting to have to do so, I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, WHERE CHRISTIANS, TOGETHER WITH OTHER CULTURAL OR ETHNIC GROUPS, AND EVEN MEMBERS OF THE MAJORITY RELIGION WHO HAVE NO DESIRE TO BE CAUGHT UP IN HATRED AND FOLLY, HAVE BEEN FORCED TO WITNESS THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR PLACES OF WORSHIP, THEIR CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS HERITAGE, THEIR HOUSES AND PROPERTY, AND HAVE FACED THE ALTERNATIVE EITHER OF FLEEING OR OF PAYING FOR THEIR ADHESION TO GOOD AND TO PEACE BY THEIR OWN LIVES, OR BY ENSLAVEMENT.
- These realities should serve as a grave summons to an examination of conscience on the part of those charged with the conduct of international affairs. Not only in cases of religious or cultural persecution, but in every situation of conflict, as in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan and the Great Lakes region, real human beings take precedence over partisan interests, however legitimate the latter may be. IN WARS AND CONFLICTS THERE ARE INDIVIDUAL PERSONS, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, MEN AND WOMEN, YOUNG AND OLD, BOYS AND GIRLS WHO WEEP, SUFFER AND DIE. HUMAN BEINGS WHO ARE EASILY DISCARDED WHEN OUR ONLY RESPONSE IS TO DRAW UP LISTS OF PROBLEMS, STRATEGIES AND DISAGREEMENTS.
- As I wrote in my letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 9 August 2014, “the most basic understanding of human dignity compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, TO DO ALL THAT IT CAN TO STOP AND TO PREVENT FURTHER SYSTEMATIC VIOLENCE AGAINST ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS MINORITIES” AND TO PROTECT INNOCENT PEOPLES.
- NO TO NARCOTICS TRADE WHICH IS SILENTLY KILLING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND BRINGS WITH IT HUMAN TRAFFICKING, MONEY LAUNDERING, ARMS TRADE, CHILD EXPLOITATION ETC.
- Along the same lines I would mention another kind of conflict which is not always so open, yet is silently killing millions of people. ANOTHER KIND OF WAR EXPERIENCED BY MANY OF OUR SOCIETIES AS A RESULT OF THE NARCOTICS TRADE. A WAR WHICH IS TAKEN FOR GRANTED AND POORLY FOUGHT. DRUG TRAFFICKING IS BY ITS VERY NATURE ACCOMPANIED BY TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS, MONEY LAUNDERING, THE ARMS TRADE, CHILD EXPLOITATION AND OTHER FORMS OF CORRUPTION. A CORRUPTION WHICH HAS PENETRATED TO DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SOCIAL, POLITICAL, MILITARY, ARTISTIC AND RELIGIOUS LIFE, AND, IN MANY CASES, HAS GIVEN RISE TO A PARALLEL STRUCTURE WHICH THREATENS THE CREDIBILITY OF OUR INSTITUTIONS.
- THE DANGER COMES NEITHER FROM PROGRESS NOR FROM SCIENCE BUT FROM MAN HIMSELF
- Citing the address given by Paul VI, the Pope said: “The hour has come when a pause, a moment of recollection, reflection, even of prayer, is absolutely needed so that we may think back over our common origin, our history, our common destiny. The appeal to the moral conscience of man has never been as necessary as it is today… FOR THE DANGER COMES NEITHER FROM PROGRESS NOR FROM SCIENCE; IF THESE ARE USED WELL, THEY CAN HELP TO SOLVE A GREAT NUMBER OF THE SERIOUS PROBLEMS BESETTING MANKIND (Address to the United Nations Organization, 4 October 1965). Among other things, human genius, well applied, will surely help to meet the grave challenges of ecological deterioration and of exclusion. As Paul VI said: “THE REAL DANGER COMES FROM MAN, WHO HAS AT HIS DISPOSAL EVER MORE POWERFUL INSTRUMENTS THAT ARE AS WELL FITTED TO BRING ABOUT RUIN AS THEY ARE TO ACHIEVE LOFTY CONQUESTS” (ibid.).
- THE WORLD MUST CONTINUE TO RISE ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF A RIGHT UNDERSTANDING OF UNIVERSAL FRATERNITY AND RESPECT FOR THE SACREDNESS OF EVERY HUMAN LIFE AND ON THE SACREDNESS OF CREATED NATURE WHICH IS OPEN TO TRANSCENDENCE AND SELFLESS SERVICE TO OTHERS AND RESPECTFUL USE OF CREATION FOR THE COMMON GOOD.
- The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature.
- Such understanding and respect call for a higher degree of wisdom, ONE WHICH ACCEPTS TRANSCENDENCE, REJECTS THE CREATION OF AN ALL-POWERFUL ÉLITE, AND RECOGNIZES THAT THE FULL MEANING OF INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE LIFE IS FOUND IN SELFLESS SERVICE TO OTHERS AND IN THE SAGE AND RESPECTFUL USE OF CREATION FOR THE COMMON GOOD. To repeat the words of Paul VI, “the edifice of modern civilization has to be built on spiritual principles, for they are the only ones capable not only of supporting it, but of shedding light on it” (ibid.).
SPEECH SOURCE: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-the-united-nations-general-assembly (with own correction in one word -destruction instead of distraction-)