VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts of the scientific community can serve as an example for the world on the importance of working together for the common good, Pope Francis said.
In a message sent Oct. 7 to participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the pope said that the pandemic “brought to light not only our false securities, but also the inability of the world’s countries to work together.”
The academy’s assembly, on the other hand, “brings together a number of different scientific disciplines” and “offers an example of how the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis should be addressed through coordinated efforts in the service of the entire human family,” he said.
The Oct. 7-9 virtual event, titled “Science and Survival,” focused on the coronavirus, as well as the “connections between large-scale risks for life on this planet and opportunities of science to address them,” the pontifical academy’s website stated.
Members of the academy also planned to address the “root causes and prevention of ‘zoonotic diseases,'” that is, “infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites that spread from animals to humans.”
“Food-related animal production systems may need reshaping to reduce the risks of zoonotic breeding grounds,” the website stated.
“We also need to know more about the psychological foundations of human behavior in situations of collective stress, in order to decide on appropriate governance strategies in crises,” it said.
In his message, the pope said that COVID-19 not only affects people’s health, but also “the entire social, economic and spiritual fabric of society, paralyzing human relationships, work, manufacturing, trade and even many spiritual activities.”
It also has had a major impact on education, he added, in that great numbers of children are unable to return to school, thus risking an “increase in child labor, exploitation, abuse and malnutrition.”
On a broader scale, he said, “being unable to see a person’s face and considering other people as potential carriers of the virus is a terrible metaphor of a global social crisis that must be of concern to all who have the future of humanity at heart.”
The coronavirus pandemic, along with other issues such as global warming and the loss of biodiversity, he said, are calls for humanity “to rethink its course, to repent and to undertake an ecological conversion.”
The pope said the pandemic has also highlighted the plight of the poor who “cry out for equitable solutions on the part of government and all decision-makers.”
“Health care systems, for example, need to become much more inclusive and accessible to the disadvantaged and those living in low-income countries. If anyone should be given preference, let it be the neediest and most vulnerable among us,” Pope Francis said.
“How wonderful it would be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation could come along with more equality and social inclusion,” the pope said, quoting his recently published encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship.”
“How wonderful would it be, even as we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters who orbit around us!” he said.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Eventual coronavirus vaccine should belong to everyone, pope says
NEXT: Irish archbishops seek meeting with prime minister about Mass suspension
Share this story