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Man must guide technological development, without letting himself be dominated by it : Pope Francis

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Our personal life is highly dependent on the technology that people have developed. Technology has advanced positively with years and it has changed the way we purchase products , the way we live , the way we communicate , the way we travel , and so many other changes too, but with these continuous technological advancements Pope Francis has warned against allowing human beings to be replaced by a soulless machine saying that, “if technology gets too far out of our hands, the planet could slowly turn into “an empty garden for the enjoyment of a chosen few."

“In the face of profound and epochal changes, world leaders are challenged to ensure that the coming ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ the result of robotics and scientific and technological innovations, does not lead to the destruction of the human person," the Pope has said.

“There is a need to create new models of doing business which, while promoting the development of advanced technologies, are also capable of using them to create dignified work for all, to uphold and consolidate social rights, and to protect the environment," he continued.

“Man must guide technological development, without letting himself be dominated by it"

His comments came in a message addressed to Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and president of the World Economic Forum delivered on the first day of the organization’s annual meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland. The theme of this year’s meeting: “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution"

Present at the forum was President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson.

In his message which was read out by Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Holy father said that the rise of the “so-called fourth industrial revolution" has been accompanied by a “drastic reduction" in the number of jobs available.

Referring to the latest study conducted by the International Labor Organization, official worldwide unemployment climbed to more than 200 million for the first time last year.

“The financialization and technologization of national and global economies have produced far-reaching changes in the field of labor," the Pope said, adding that the lack of opportunity for “useful and dignified employment," coupled with a decline in social security, are causing “a disturbing rise" in both poverty and inequality throughout the world.

Emphasizing on the need to create new ways of doing business that both promote technological advancements, Pope Francis appealed to the economic leaders of the world not to forget the poor saying that this concern is their primary challenge.

“We must never allow the culture of prosperity to deaden us, to make us incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and sensing the need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own," he said.


In no uncertain terms Pope Francis tells business leaders to open their eyes, see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help.

He urged them to embrace the opportunities that might unveil during the processes that are currently underway, building “inclusive societies” that is rooted on respect for the human person, tolerance, compassion and mercy.

With a heart filled with an expression of hope, the Holy Father hoped that the meeting would become a platform from which to advocate for the defense and protection of creation, as well as the achievement of a progress that is “healthier, more human, more social, more integral."



1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Perhaps if the Church embraced contraception, we could reduce the number of new people (about 78 million annually) added to the workforce who are competing for fewer jobs. Technology has already given us a partial solution to level off population growth, but the RCC discards it out of hand because it usurps its power over fearful people.

    Technology reduces some jobs, but it creates others. It allows people to create entirely new industries that didn’t exist prior to the technology. All you have to do is look at much of the Islamic world to see what happened when their religion essentially stopped the clock on math and science (precursors to technology) in the 13th century.

    But then the Church has been concerned about technology ever since telescopes forced the sun to stop going around the earth and countered the Church’s teaching that the earth was the center of the universe specifically created by Bible God so that we could worship Him. Since learning we’re not in the middle, technology supporting cosmology, archaeology, geology, biology, evolution, etc. have cut deeply into Bible God’s job description; so I guess it makes sense that the RCC is concerned about it eventually depriving Bible God from gainful employment! (grin)

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