Vatican City, 13 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday, Saturday, the Holy Father lunched with the participants in the international seminar dedicated to Pope Francis' proposal in the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, for “an increasingly inclusive economy”, which took place in the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican.
“What you do is very important”, he said. “Reflecting on reality, but reflecting without fear, reflecting with intelligence. Without fear and with intelligence. And this is a service”. Referring to the themes considered during the seminar, he went on to offer a brief discourse on anthropological reductionism.
“I believe that this is the strongest moment for anthropological reductionism. What is happening to humanity at the moment is what happens when wine becomes brandy: it passes through a phase of distillation, in organisational terms. It is no longer wine, but it is something else: perhaps more useful, more qualified, but it is not wine! For mankind it is the same: man passes through this transformational phase and ends up – and I am serious – losing his humanity and becoming a tool of the system, a social and economic system, a system where imbalance reigns. When mankind loses his humanity, what happens to us? What occurs is what I would describe in simple terms as a throwaway policy or sociology: what is no longer useful is discarded, because man is not at the centre. And when man is not at the centre, there is something else in his place and man is at the service of this other thing. The idea, therefore, is to save mankind, in the sense of restoring him to the centre: to the centre of society, of thought, of reflection. Restoring mankind to the centre. You do good work. You study, reflect, hold conferences for this reason – so that mankind is not discarded. Children are discarded – we all know about today's birth rates, at least in Europe; the elderly are discarded, because they are not 'useful'. And now? An entire generation of young people is discarded, and this is very serious! I have seen a figure: 75 million young people, under the age of 25, without work. The 'neither-nor' young: those who neither work nor study. They do not study because they do not have the opportunity, and the do not work because there is no work. Who will be the next to be discarded? Let us stop this in time, please!”.
The Pope thanked those present for their work and their initiatives “to restore balance to this imbalanced situation and to recover mankind, restoring him to the centre of reflection and the centre of life. He is the king of the universe!” he exclaimed. “And this is not theology, it is philosophy and human reality”.