By Hilary White

ROME, July 13, 2009 ( – Pope Benedict warned on Sunday that the increasing power of artificial procreation and biotechnologies will presage “dark scenarios” for the future of all the human race. These technologies, he said in his weekly Angelus address, are the “fruit of a 'materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life' that reduces love without truth to 'an empty shell, filled in an arbitrary way.'”

Speaking on his recently published encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” in the wake of the recently closed G8 summit meeting in L'Aquila, Pope Benedict cautioned against the “absolutism of technology, which finds its highest expression in certain practices that are contrary to life, [and] could design dark scenarios for the future of humanity.”

The pope, following the lead of his predecessor John Paul II, has written extensively on the “theological anthropology” that takes the spiritual aspect of human life into account on the “social questions” of poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth. He has repeatedly refuted the prevailing secularist position that these issues can only be approached from a strictly materialist and financial point of view.

“In our time … the way itself of conceiving man is more and more placed in the hands of man himself by modern biotechnology,” he said. 

“The solutions to the current problems of humanity cannot be merely technical, but must take account of all the needs of the person, who is endowed with soul and body, and must thus take the Creator, God, into consideration.”

The pope reasserted that this anthropological question – the true nature of humanity – is essential to the issues of “social inequalities and structural injustices” that were under discussion at the G8 summit.

He called the Catholic Church “an expert in humanity” that can be called upon by world leaders in their search for solutions to the problems of global poverty and injustice.


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