"New Humanism" Called For by John Paul II

Faith Must Express Itself in Culture, He Says

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Wary that scientific and technological progress might be turned against the good of mankind, John Paul II today called for a "new humanism" to keep research on an ethical footing.



The Pope made his appeal in a message sent to the fourth Italian Meeting of Catholic University Professors, held at Sacred Heart University in Rome.

"Today, just as at the beginning of humanity, when man wishes to dispose of the fruits of the tree of knowledge according to his own will, he ends up by becoming the sad agent of fear, confrontation and death," the Holy Father stated in the message.

He proposed a "new humanism" in response to research without ethics. "Freedom of research, which is so important, cannot mean indifferent neutrality before truth," the Pope explained.

"The university is called to become increasingly a laboratory in which a universal humanism is cultivated and developed, open to the spiritual dimension of truth," John Paul II added.

He said that faith "is not at all like ideological rigidity." On the contrary, he noted, "it is the clear light of truth, which does not oppose the richness of creativity, but only the darkness of error."

"Christian faith illuminates and clarifies life in all its aspects. Inspired by this inner richness, the Christian communicates it courageously and witnesses to it consistently," he said.

This new humanism is expressed in the "synthesis between faith and culture," which "is not only an imperative of culture but of faith itself," John Paul II continued.

"A faith that does not become culture is a faith that has not been accepted in its fullness, which has not been totally reflected upon, or faithfully lived," the Pope concluded.