ROME — Pope Francis warned Saturday that humanity is regressing into “anachronistic conflicts” fueled by extremism and “aggressive nationalism.”
“After two tragic world wars,” the pope said in an address to members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “it seemed that the world had learned to move progressively towards respect for human rights, international law and various forms of cooperation.
“Unfortunately, history shows signs of regression,” he lamented.
“Not only are anachronistic conflicts intensifying, but instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are re-emerging, and new wars of domination, affecting civilians, the elderly, children, and the sick are causing destruction everywhere,” he declared.
The many ongoing armed conflicts “are of serious concern,” he said, and this “third world war being fought ‘piecemeal’ – perhaps we can now say that it is ‘all out’ – is putting people and the planet at ever greater risk.”
Francis noted that Saint John Paul II gave thanks to God that the world had been preserved from atomic war, but unfortunately, “we must continue to pray for protection against this danger, which should have been averted long ago.”
The pope went on to assert that all knowledge based on science and experience “must be utilized to avoid wars and overcome suffering, poverty and new forms of slavery.”
“By rejecting research that in the past has been destined for deadly ends, scientists around the world can unite in a common readiness to disarm science and thus become a force for peace,” he proposed.