Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Monday in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.
the gathering is bringing together leading scientists from a broad spectrum of fields to explore how already available or expected scientific advances affect – for good and for ill – the sustainable development of human societies and their environments.
The working understanding of sustainability out of which Academy members were invited to work is one in which development should contribute to life on Earth at the very long term, to maintain a relatively stable equilibrium of human civilization within the broader and constantly evolving planetary ecology.
In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered to the Academicians Monday morning, Pope Francis said, “[I]t falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences, so that the vast potential of productivity will not be reserved only for the few.”
The Holy Father also called on political leaders informed by the best efforts of the scientific community to craft laws and a binding international structure of norms to safeguard the created order and the human ecology at the center of it.
“It has now become essential to create, with your cooperation, a normative system that includes inviolable limits and ensures the protection of ecosystems,” said Pope Francis, “before the new forms of power deriving from the techno-economic model causes irreversible harm not only to the environment, but also to our societies, to democracy, to justice and freedom.”
The Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of sciences opened on November 25th, and closes on November 29th.