'Technology without God is dangerous'

2012-04-08 13:55

Vatican City - Pope Benedict, leading the world's Catholics into Easter, said on Saturday technological progress, in the absence of awareness of God and moral values, posed a threat to the world.

Benedict presided at a solemn Easter vigil Mass in St Peter's Basilica to usher the 1.2 billion-member church into the most important day of its liturgical calendar.

The basilica, the largest church in Christendom, was in the dark for the start of the service to signify the darkness in Jesus' tomb before what Christians believe was his resurrection from the dead three days after his crucifixion.

The about 10 000 faithful in the basilica lit candles as the pope moved up the central aisle on a wheeled platform he uses to conserve his strength and then the basilica's lights were turned on when he reached the main altar.

Wearing gold and white vestments at the Mass, his last Holy Week service before Easter Sunday, Benedict wove his sermon around the theme of darkness and light.

Real threat

"The darkness that poses a real threat to mankind, after all, is the fact that he can see and investigate tangible material things, but cannot see where the world is going or whence it comes, where our own life is going, what is good and what is evil," he said.

"The darkness enshrouding God and obscuring values is the real threat to our existence and to the world in general," he said.

Benedict, repeating one of the central themes of his pontificate, said man was too often in awe of technology instead of being in awe of God.

"If God and moral values, the difference between good and evil, remain in darkness, then all other 'lights', that put such incredible technical feats within our reach, are not only progress but also dangers that put us and the world at risk," he said.

"With regard to material things, our knowledge and our technical accomplishments are legion, but what reaches beyond, the things of God and the question of good, we can no longer identify," he said.

The pope, who returned from a gruelling trip to Mexico and Cuba last week, looked fatigued at the long service, during which be baptised eight adults from Italy, the United States, Slovakia, Turkmenistan, Albania, Germany and Cameroon. He turns 85 on April 16.

On Sunday the pope will preside at an Easter day Mass and then deliver his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing and message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica.

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-04-08 14:37

    Jesus didn't come to make religion he came to save people all that religion stuff is just man made

      Martin Myburgh - 2012-04-08 15:05

      I agree , Jesus is my saviour , not my religion

      PhilosopherStoned - 2012-04-08 22:24

      @Cassandra - If you believe in Jesus.. or any other supernatural being..then you have a religion. Religion wouldn't be a problem if there was only one. Unfortunately some guys believe in Jesus and some guys believe in Mohammed and the world is at war. Stop your silly beliefs before you drag us all down with you..

  • Helmut - 2012-04-08 14:43

    Ratzinger(pope)please get real,stop talking about things no body can see or feel, yes lead them by there nose and make the church rich

      zaatheist - 2012-04-08 20:22

      But he uses the technology of bullet proof glass for his aquarium on the back of his bakkie. So why does this proclaimed representative of god on Earth even need bullet proof glass? Does his omnipresent all powerful god not protect him or does he know that the god is a fiction created by the Catholic Church. Pah!

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-04-09 14:37

  • Andriette - 2012-04-08 14:50

    Did the Dark Ages not start because the Catholic Church wanted to stop intellectual and scientific progress?

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-08 14:50

    No, we don't need darkness, but we need lots of light, to find a condom before having sex !!!!!!!

  • Crracker - 2012-04-08 14:56

    My understanding has always been that god is not a technology or science fan. How about the Pope advocating the use of some of the simplest and most basic artificial birth control and anti-viral methods at our disposal thanks to common sense and science and technology? These may not even have existed if the Pope's god was present.

  • Ask - 2012-04-08 15:02

    The Pope, like anybody else is entitled to his opinion. We should respect that, even if we don't agree... why the insults?

      Crracker - 2012-04-08 15:16

      @ AskJoe No AskJoe, he is the spiritual leader of (supposedly) 1,2 billion Catholics. His opinions are not his own. They are designed to regulate the beliefs and behavior of the rest of his religion and, ultimately, to dominate the whole world. The Pope will tell you that only his flock will be saved. Which of course makes the matter even a bit worse. He's not the only culprit, let's note it. There are many other similarly delusional religious leaders out there. All making the same claims and aspiring to dominate others, including the destruction of religions they in turn despise.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-08 16:43

      No, the Pope is NOT entitled to his own opinion, if they are criminal!! When the Pope , the year before last, flew above Africa, and told reporters that one must NOT wear a condom while having sex, he should on landing, have been arrested, and put on the next plane to the ICC in the Netherlands, to stand trial for crimes against humanity!! 30000ft below him, MILLIONS of Africans were suffering and dying of aids !!!!!! HE IS A CRIMINAL !!!

      zaatheist - 2012-04-08 20:25

      All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don’t respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a "Prophet" who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him. I don't respect some guy Joseph Smith who found gold tablets from god in America, nogal. I don't respect a religion that L Ron Hubbard said he would create from a sci-fi novel. Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.– Thomas Jefferson

  • Shane - 2012-04-08 15:03

    Morality comes from our own personal and/or cultural values and are arrived upon independently of religion. It is our own instinctive recognition between what is right and what is wrong. The church must be upset that they lost out to science in explaining the origins of life and the workings of the universe, and they are now trying desperately to hold onto morals and ethics for their legitimacy and place in society. As far as I see it the church has already had a few centuries of absolute rule - they were called the dark ages. We don't want that again do we?

  • Darryn - 2012-04-08 15:04

    Searched the apple app store and cannot find an app for this...what now?

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2012-04-08 15:06

    Just listen to what this self proclaimed "representative of God" on earth is saying. Darkness does not enshroud God, but darkness enshrouds Man and that's why Christ came to us and did what He did. That is something very basic he should've known. It just goes to show how little he knows the Bible.

      zaatheist - 2012-04-09 08:05

      Ag Jurgen Did you not know? The Catholic Church wrote the ruddy bible. So I think the Poe well knows that it is just made up stories.

      joneethling - 2012-04-09 21:14

      Th Catholic Church did NOT write the Bible.

  • Judith - 2012-04-08 15:40

    The hypocracy of the richest religious institution never ceases to exceed itself. Old men in frock who are so rigid in their authoritarianism tell us what to do - how stupid is that?

      Maetsane - 2012-04-08 18:22

      Judith the old men in frocks are not telling you to do anything.Rather they are speaking to us their 1.2 billion faithful.Judith your ignorance stems from the fact that you do not know why God permits evil to exist, in the world and even in his church.People seem to think that with all the evil in the world God has lost the battle.There is nothing like that. The parable of the wheat and darnell clearly explain why God allows evil. the Evil One, one night sowed darnell in the Lord's field among the wheat. When both the wheat and the poisonous darnell grew the servants asked their Master who was responsible and He replied: The Evil One. He asked them not to remove the darnell because it looked exactly like the wheat, only just before harvest could one tell the difference between the two.Do God stated: LET THEM GROW TOGETHER! At the end of the age, God will send his angels to separate the two.The darnell will be gathered in bundles and burn and the wheat will be kept.

      zaatheist - 2012-04-09 08:10

      @Maetsane Are you just another sucker for the white man's made up god. An argument ad populum is invalid. You and the rest of the jesus peddlers here might find my continual questions asking for proof that your god exists irritating or boring. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s central and important. Are we to live in a society that values truth, or one where truth is irrelevant. A society governed by, and our children taught by, people who promote falsehoods? People who live their entire lives guided entirely by disproven myths and falsehoods, and evangelize that nonsense intensely? Whatever "proof" you have for the existence of any god would be the exact same evidence you have for the existence of the Tooth Fairy, santa, Easter Bunny and bigfoot. Interestingly, no one in all history, no theologian, has ever proffered "proof" that would stand up to the scientific method or even the lower level of proof necessary in a court of law,

  • Tshepo - 2012-04-08 16:36

    I'm sorry Mr. Pope, I respectfully disagree

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-04-08 20:23

    catholicism is dangerous.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-09 06:52

      ""catholicism is dangerous"" This is not true. The basics of catholicism, like with most religions, is nothing wrong with. It is the Roman Catholic institution, which is the propblem. It is the unbelievable wealth of this organisation, while half the world starves!! The hundreds of millions of dollars in art it possesses, is disgraceful. It is the secrecy of this organisation, which makes it corrupt and unaccountable to no one. It is their insane doctrine of not allowing birth control, which has caused suffering and deaths of MILLIONS!! It is the celibacy of their priests, which has resulted in the insanity of thousands, no, tens of thousands, of young children been sexually molested by the ones who should protect them. It is their unwillingnes to change, and so to make up for their lost membership in ,developed, countries, they peddle their outdated believes, and off course ,collect money, in ,underdeveloped, countries. It is the same marketing stratagy that cigarette companies use. And than THIS pope; with his slimy smile, and his pink shoes, every child, and adult !, should run, to get far away from him !!!

  • Garth - 2012-04-09 09:47

    If one examines the number of immoral acts conducted by the catholic church over the centuries it will become quite apparent that it has no moral compass whatsoever!!

  • curtiswelliem - 2012-04-10 05:16

    We all know christians are stupid & thieves. Just because, iphone, facebook, blacberries, samsungs are making money, the pope feels left out of the wealth of technology, he is trying to profit from. Too bad we now know that christianity is a business decision nothing else, we wont allow it

  • Jonathan - 2012-04-10 21:13

    If we used religion to moderate technology, we might end up with more technologically advanced torture devices to convert the rightfuly unwilling non believers. Our current society has progressed far beyond the teachings of the bible to the point that the bible is anachronistic and contextually irrelevant. Now that we have heard from the pope on the matter, maybe we can gain some further insight from other prominent figures on the matter like Britney Spears and Ja rule.

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