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Pope says scientific progress must preserve human dignity


Scientific and technological progress must not come at the cost of the life and dignity of people, Benedict XVI told a Vatican conference on higher education.

Catholic News Service reports that the pope made his remarks on the weekend at an international seminar with educators and government ministers sponsored by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education.

He said universities and other institutions of higher learning can play a key role in sustaining the ideals and values that uphold and protect humanity while still pursuing scientific advancements.

Universities have always stood out for their "love of knowledge and search for the truth," the pope said in his address.

But educators and university heads must clarify the purpose of institutions of higher learning: Are they at the service of individuals caught up in their own special interests or at the service of those who are "open to solidarity with others in the search for the true meaning of existence?" the pope asked.

He said universities must never just pass on knowledge to students, but also must be concerned with educating new generations by "appealing to the heritage of ideals and values" upon which Europe was built.

The humanistic tradition was founded on Christian values, he said, making European universities "authentic laboratories for research" and deepening knowledge.

The international gathering on 1 April focused on the cultural heritage and academic values of European universities.


SOURCE
Scientific progress must not come at cost of human dignity, says pope (Catholic News Service 3/4/06)

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5 Apr 2006