New Pope. Old song.
The single most influential individual in bioethics, for better or worse, as he has as many fans as detractors, is Pope Francis. The new head of the Catholic Church has a reputation for progressive social views, but there is little sign that he has relaxed Catholic views in his latest speech on bioethics to participants in a meeting of the Science and Life Associatio. He attacks abortion, praises the mystery of human life, and links the pro-life cause to refugees, workplace safety, terrorism and world hunger.
… The existence of the human person, to which you dedicate your care, is also your constitutive principle, it is life in its unfathomable depth that originates and accompanies the whole scientific path; it is the miracle of life that undermines any form of scientific presumption, restoring primacy to wonder and beauty. … I invite you to highly maintain your gaze on the sacredness of every human person, so that science may truly be at the service of man, and not man at the service of science.
The scientific reflection uses a magnifying glass to stop and analyze certain details. And thanks to these analytical capabilities, we reaffirm that a just society recognizes the right to life from conception to its natural end as primary. But, I would like for us to go beyond, and to think attentively to the time that unites the beginning with the end. Therefore, recognizing the priceless value of human life, we should also reflect on how we use it. Life is above all a gift.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.