Pontiff Warns That Technical Efficiency Can Dazzle Us

Stresses That Man Has to Remember Question of Meaning

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By Junno Arocho

ROME, Italy, MAY 3, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI made a pastoral visit today to Rome's Sacred Heart Catholic University, to mark the 50th anniversary of the "Agostino Gemelli" faculty of medicine and surgery.

Addressing the crowd of doctors, patients, professors, students and religious, the 85-year-old Pontiff thanked all those in attendance for their work in medicine. 

He expressed concern in regards to the “crisis of thought” where man “almost dazzled by technical efficiency [...] forgets the fundamental horizon of the question of meaning," thus bringing man to search for absolute truth in science and not in God.

The Holy Father expressed that scientific research and the search for God in one’s life and in creation can be mutually beneficial. “It can be said that the very impulse to scientific research springs from nostalgia for God, who dwells in the human heart: at bottom, the man of science tends, even unconsciously, to reach that truth that can give meaning to life," he said. "However, no matter how passionate and tenacious human research is, it is not capable, on its own, to come to a safe conclusion, because 'man is not able to clarify completely the strange faint light that rests on the question of the eternal realities … God must take the initiative to come to meet us and to address man.'” 

The Gemelli hospital, located on the campus of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, provides patient care and also has pioneered bioethical research and prenatal care, such as exploring new ways of treating unborn children in the womb. 

The Holy Father called upon all present to search primarily for the wisdom that comes from heaven, which will in turn guide them in their scientific research. He also noted that the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart plays a fundamental role in society. “The Catholic University, which has a particular relationship with the See of Peter, is called today to be an exemplary institution that does not restrict learning to the functionality of economic success, but widens the extension of the project in which the gift of intelligence investigates and develops the gifts of the created world, exceeding a productive and utilitarian vision of existence.”

His Holiness concluded addressing the patients, assuring them of his prayers, reminding them that “they will always be followed with love so that in their faces, the suffering face of Christ is reflected.” He cited the example of Blessed Giuseppe Toniolo, the 19th century Italian sociologist who asserted that it is within man’s nature to read in others the image of God-love and his imprint on creation. “Without love, science also loses its nobility," the Holy Father stated. "Love alone guarantees the humanity of research."

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-34718?l=english