Pope Francis Declares Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
Pope Francis, who has been an outspoken defender of science and technology, gave a TED talk of his own Tuesday night. He spoke from the Vatican in a three-part message professing a “revolution of tenderness” and warning the kings of the earth to act responsibly or “your power will ruin you.”
The pontiff was seated at a desk and spoke in the Italian language for nearly 18 minutes.
Bruno Giussani, TED’s international curator, has spent the past year attempting to get the pope to present, The Washington Post reports. When the pope got on screen, “the room erupted in applause,” the newspaper said.
The pope addressed the connection between the rich and powerful and the less fortunate, with a pointed appeal to those with wealth and influence, calling for a “revolution of tenderness” toward the weak, the poor, children and the “sick and polluted earth” by everyone, particularly by the strong.
“Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly,” he said. “If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.
There is a saying in Argentina: ‘Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.’ You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.”
If James chapter 4 and verse 10 didn’t resonate with people, the christian world, or the kings of the earth; perhaps the pope will resonate with them. History has shown that too much power simply corrupts mankind. Man has a way of attempting to exercise his power to brutal extents in order to “win.”
The pope also addressed the concerns of the sick, of migrants “in search of a brighter future” and of prison inmates, asking why these people faced such heavy burdens and not the pope himself.
“I, myself, was born in a family of migrants; my father, my grandparents, like many other Italians, left for Argentina and met the fate of those who are left with nothing,” he said. “I could have very well ended up among today’s ‘discarded’ people. And that’s why I always ask myself, deep in my heart: ‘Why them and not me?'”
Francis once again showed strong support for scientific and technological innovation but added it would be “wonderful” if such advancements went hand in hand with more equality and social inclusion.
“How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us,” he said.
“Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the ‘culture of waste,’ which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people,” he said.
While the pope noted that the future of humankind is not exclusively in the hands of politicians and leaders of big companies and that “we all need each other,” he did issue a pointed message for those with power and wealth.
“People’s paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people,” he said. “And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves ‘respectable,’ of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road.”
You can see the original article here at USA Today!
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