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Papal envoy highlights "new paradigm" challenge for bioethics

Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers President Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán has warned that a "new paradigm" is being imposed on debate on bioethics.

In Lourdes for the World Day of the Sick yesterday, he spoke of a "new concept of ethics closed to transcendence, for which human life has no absolute character".

He suggested these revised patterns of thought would continue to justify the elimination of human beings in certain circumstances.

The cardinal described the new "global ethics" as a "secularist religion".

He said: "This ethic might accept the divinity, but it is a poetic and aesthetic god that each one makes up for himself."

He warned that the new view of ethics is being promoted by the United Nations and, in particular, by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Cardinal Barragán said that in the new secularlist religion, human beings are subordinate to the earth itself, sometimes portrayed as a divinity with the name Gaia.

"The series of values upheld by the New Paradigm are values subordinated to this divinity, which is translated into the supreme ecological value that it calls sustainable development," the cardinal said.

He said that under the Catholic view, the human person is the synthesis of the universe and is the reason for everything that exists.

"Present-day biomedical sciences and technologies must be at the service of human life and not vice versa. They are to construct man, not to destroy him."

Bioethics Challenged by a "New Paradigm," Says Papal Envoy (Zenit 10/2/04)

Pope affirms "salvific" suffering (Catholic World News 11/2/04)
Pope: Care for those suffering together with Mary ( 11/2/04)
Lourdes celebrates World Day of the Sick (CathNews 10/2/04)
John Paul II Sees Profound Link Between Mary and the Sick
At Angelus pope launches appeal for the sick and workers ( 8/2/04)
Pope reflects on Lourdes, Immaculate Conception (Catholic World News 9/2/04)
World Days of the Sick
Message of His Holiness John Paul II for the 12th World Day of the Sick (Shrine of Lourdes, France, February 11, 2004)
Catholic Health Australia Liturgical Resource for World Day of the Sick 2004
World Day of the Sick Resources (National Association of Catholic Chaplains USA)
XII World Day of the Sick to examine pastoral care, bioethics (CHAUSA)
World Day of the Sick (Lourdes Magazine)
Call for better community care for aged on World Day of the Sick (CathNews 11/2/03)

12 Feb 2004