News24

Technology can't replace God - pope

2011-04-17 21:27

Vatican City - Pope Benedict led Roman Catholics into Holy Week celebrations, telling a Palm Sunday crowd that man will pay the price for his pride if he believes technology can give him the powers of God.

Under a splendid Roman sun, the German pope presided at a colourful celebration where tens of thousands of people waved palm and olive branches to commemorate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem the week before he was crucified.

The pope, who turned 84 on Saturday, wove his sermon around the theme of man's relationship with God and how it can sometimes be threatened by technology.

"From the beginning men and women have been filled - and this is as true today as ever - with a desire to 'be like God', to attain the heights of God by their own powers," he said, wearing resplendent red and gold vestments.

"Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we can fly! We can see, hear and speak to one another from the farthest ends of the earth. And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful," he said.

While the great advances of technology have improved life for man, the pope said, they have also increased possibilities for evil, and recent natural disasters were a reminder, if any were needed, that mankind is not all-powerful.

If man wanted a relationship with God he had to first "abandon the pride of wanting to become God," said the pope, celebrating his sixth Easter season as the leader of the world's some 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Palm Sunday, a moveable feast that is marked on the Sunday before Easter, is celebrated throughout the Christian world to commemorate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, a symbol of peace in the ancient world.

Kiss the feet of twelve

At the ceremony a cantor recounted all the events in Jesus' life between Palm Sunday and Easter. Via Della Conciliazione, the broad boulevard leading to the Vatican, was bedecked with olive trees and bronze statues depicting the "stations of the cross", or the last events in Jesus' life.

For the pope and Christians around the world, it marks the start of a hectic week of events leading to Easter Sunday.

On Holy Thursday, Benedict will preside at two traditional services in the Vatican, including one in which he will wash and kiss the feet of twelve men in a gesture of humility toward his apostles the night before he died.

On Good Friday he will preside at services in the Vatican and then lead a traditional torch-lit Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, around the ruins of Rome's ancient Colosseum.

Holy Week services at the Vatican culminate on Easter Sunday, the most important day in the liturgical calendar, when the pope delivers his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing and message.

Comments
  • Akesh - 2011-04-17 22:44

    All knowledge,including technology,medicine,science and arts are revealed to us by the supreme being.Without his grace,we will achieve nothing - dont ever forget that .

      Robert - 2011-04-17 22:59

      Amen!

      x - 2011-04-17 23:21

      Not true

      oxygen - 2011-04-18 08:18

      Oh BALLS man

      KayZee - 2011-04-18 08:35

      Akesh, do you really think that the multitudes of doctors, scientists etc working day and night for years, decades, even whole lifetimes, to solve the problems and answer the questions of mankind would agree with your statement that this knowledge was "revealed" to them? It is an absolute disgrace to even suggest such a thing. And besides, if you really believe that god (or the "supreme being") reveals these things to us, why hasn't he bothered to "reveal" the cures for cancer or Aids? Is he too busy? Or are the desperate prayers of millions suffering from these diseases just not good enough for him?

      Keita Haruka - 2011-04-18 10:48

      Oh really? So...he visited Charles Darwin one night and told him about evolution then? If all science comes from god, then so did evolution, which is also science.

      Looter - 2011-04-18 12:55

      so what am i suppose to think of myself? You should try open your mind a little and ask questions, thats what mankind does! I dont think a being made me useless without his higher power! you are lost in religion

      Matt - 2011-04-18 22:20

      @KayZee - if you understand the bible it says that in the latter days there will be incurable diseases. God would heal but people lack faith. God is real - one day we will all confess that his is Lord. Some gladdy, others in total fear!

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-08-03 12:13

      May his noodly appendage bless thee! Ra'men

  • HeyApple - 2011-04-17 22:53

    Sure pope, tell that to the doctors next time you end up in hospital. It's inevitable..one day technology will give scientists the power to forgive sins then we won't need religion anymore, then you will have to get a real job.

      wsm - 2011-04-18 08:56

      Rotten apples to have a function - they provide food for worms, and they make compost.. I am not Roman Catholic, but Jesus Christ God is God

      Gallows - 2011-04-18 10:05

      @wsm, You know how compost works because of science ;)

  • SkiaBran - 2011-04-18 08:46

    i think the difference is technology exists

      Matt - 2011-04-18 22:13

      Let me correct your sentence boet - because God gave man a brain which we used it to produce technology:)

  • stephen scott - 2011-04-18 08:52

    Half-wit

  • RationalistPabi - 2011-04-18 09:32

    He is right, technology can't replace something that does not exist!!!

      Matt - 2011-04-18 22:14

      haha - I thought April fools was over!!

  • Bongza.GP - 2011-04-18 10:19

    Man has the ability to crate in his own image. Powers of God perhaps?

  • Jeff - 2011-04-18 10:29

    The arrogance of the catholic church is once again astounding. It's DESPITE them that we have wrestled ourselves from the dark ages and have enlightened ourselves to a realisation that the world is beautiful and intriguing without fairy tales to scare us all.

      saburger - 2011-04-18 12:24

      Agree with you Jeff! Furthermore we do not need to pay the church to have mercy upon us and to forgive our sins. We have to believe in our selves to get the most out of our lifes! Only people not believing in gods can obtain real spiritual value and peace. Believers are too biassed.

      Matt - 2011-04-18 22:16

      Please note - Catholic is not the same as a Baptist Christian. The faith is miles different. The lie is that they are the same. Its like comparing apples with carrots.

  • ErickV - 2011-04-18 10:56

    Yep, keep the masses faithfull! Kertjieng!!!$$$$$$$$

  • Adolf - 2011-04-18 11:03

    You cannot replace that which never existed.

  • carlkristen - 2011-04-18 12:06

    It takes the great intellect and genius of an Einstein to mine out the genius and intelligence in the universe because that genius and intelligence is there. If, as the new atheists would have us believe, the universe / multiverse and life itself is simply a matter of chance, there would be no real reason to do science in the first place. One of the key facts that brought the world's best known atheist, Anthony Flew, to a belief in a divine omnipotence was the existence of physical law. Law necessitates a law-giver. You cannot get around this.

      Justin.A - 2011-04-18 13:45

      //It takes the great intellect and genius of an Einstein to mine out the genius and intelligence in the universe because that genius and intelligence is there// This does not imply there's intelligence - it just implies it's hard to understand. //the universe / multiverse and life itself is simply a matter of chance// Life is not a matter of chance, I suspect you already know that natural selection is not a chance mechanism. Rather be forthright in your arguements. Also lack of explanation does not imply intent. //One of the key facts that brought the world's best known atheist, Anthony Flew, to a belief in a divine omnipotence was the existence of physical law// Argument from authority. If he sees this as fact he should publish this in a journal for peer review. //Law necessitates a law-giver. You cannot get around this.// Rubbish. There's a vast difference between human made laws (behavioral code) and scientific laws (a description of the interaction between objects). The laws of chemistry apply such that if I eat baked beans the sugars broken down in my stomache will cause gas and make me fart. This is simply how the chemicals interact, theres no intent involved in this.

      Spoedvark - 2011-04-18 14:09

      Sorry, Carl. You have been listening to the wrong people. I am not aware of one single atheist that makes the assertion that "chance" is the reason for the universe etc. Please do not set up a strawman. It is quite dishonest and brush up on statistics v blind chance. Law does not necessitate a law-giver. Please tell us how you get to that position. There is a vast difference between intelligence and information and I have difficulty in folowing your argument that there is genius and intelligence in the universe. BTW: I do not think that a paedophile enabler should have any public platform to speak about humility.

      trueblu&real - 2011-04-18 16:24

      All those hard to understand things that the great minds of science have helped us to now understand better all have the marks of intelligence and i believe that i am intelligent enough to know intelligence when i see it, as i'm sure you have no problem with either, except of course when it comes to the existence of God, for some strange reason. You should at least have a grasp of the very basics of evolutionary theory if you want to raise the topic. Natural selection is unavailable until there is a self-replicator. Natural selection implies natural rejection. Something has to BE THERE to select / reject for. So, you want to write off over 50 years of scholarship by one of the sharpest minds in history by raising appeal to authority? You think thats the way it works, huh? BTW, Anthony Flew passed away recently. Laws in themselves only describe the way things behave. Physical / chemical law is not creative. The universe came into being a finite time ago according the big bang cosmology. Law could not have produced the universe because law is not creative, only descriptive. That leaves chance or God, what other possibilities are there?? A universe finely tuned for life looks like intent to me. Spoedvark, if you ask me information and intelligence are very closely related. Information is transmitted through language and when i last check, language always comes from intelligence, so i'm not quite sure if I understand where you are coming from.

      Spoedvark - 2011-04-18 19:24

      Trueblu, I do not quite get your points, but here goes: Information and intelligence is related, but not the same. Simple example: DNA = information, but not intelligence in itself. It may code for intelligence. Any data = information, but not intelligence. Computer programs are good examples. (AI is a bit in the future, still ;-)) This is where many people miss the point as the information may LOOK like intelligence whereas there is only data/information - a good computer program may appear intelligent, but it is not. "Natural selection implies natural rejection. Something has to BE THERE to select / reject for." There is the rub. Evolution does not have a goal in mind - the environment (mindless) causes the genetic variation to either thrive or disappear from the gene pool - no need for an intelligence to do the selecting. Many a species had gone extinct. Evolution is mindless and does not "strive" to do anything or go anywhere. It meanders all over the place. "A universe finely tuned for life looks like intent to me." Only if you do not consider the flipside. What about "humans finely tuned by evolution for living in the universe we have"? Of course god is a hypothesis that has to be considered. It is one of many. My objection is that it is not a scientific hypothesis as it is not subject to scientific enquiry (broadly stated). An example: The hypothesis is that god started abiogenesis. OK, no prob. Tell us HOW. Keep well

      Justin.A - 2011-04-19 08:14

      //i believe that i am intelligent enough to know intelligence when i see it// Why is God automatically exempt from the scientific method when everything else on the planet is subject to scientific scrunity in order to establish fact/existence? //Something has to BE THERE to select / reject for// What's your point? //So, you want to write off over 50 years of scholarship by one of the sharpest minds in history by raising appeal to authority?// Yes, unless he published his ideas for peer review they remain his opinions. Again, saying one of the sharpest minds is argument from authorty (he's smart therefore god) //Law could not have produced the universe// Stephen Hawking disagrees with you. As would most comsologists and theroetical physicists. //That leaves chance or God, what other possibilities are there??// Sorry, you argument is "I personally don't know, therefor God?"? //A universe finely tuned for life looks like intent to me// Explain your argument in terms of more than 60% of our planet and 99.9% of the known universe being hostile to our kind of life. And again, theres a standard for knowledge on this planet, you are fully entitled to your views, but "looks like intent" remains your opinion until tested. Spoedvark, if you ask me information and intelligence are very closely related. Information is transmitted through language and when i last check, language always comes from intelligence, so i'm not quite sure if I understand where you are coming from.

      carlkristen - 2011-04-19 13:37

      spoedvark, i didn't say information was equivalent to intelligence, what i said was that information (which comes from "inform" ie language) is a mark of intelligence. If you don't believe that a good computer programme is a mark of intelligence, then there is no good reason to continue this discussion because you simply want to reject all common sense.

      carlkristen - 2011-04-19 13:42

      and i'm sure you are aware that DNA is far more complex than even the best computer programme. There is another fundamental reality and its called language. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God". The Word of God = the communication of God = the language of God. DNA is meaningful.

      carlkristen - 2011-04-19 13:48

      no Justin.A alot of things are exempt from the scientific method. In fact, the scientific method is itself exempt from the scientific method because the scientific method cannot be proven to be correct using the scientific method.

  • barkers - 2011-04-18 19:35

    BEWARE... The most successful prison, is the prison you don't realise you are in!! The pope sounds like Satan.

      Matt - 2011-04-18 22:17

      I am a afraid to say that in the near future he will be promoting the anti christ. When millions of people disappear you will believe for sure.

      Spoedvark - 2011-04-18 22:22

      Matt, I really, really, really hope that, when the rapture comes, you get to go with.

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