The Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament and Bukedea Woman Member of Parliament Rt Hon. Anita Among has delivered a message from Pope Francis on protecting human dignity from high-tech threats, the COVID-19 pandemic and Justice.
Among was part of a delegation from the International Catholic Legislators Network, an association founded in 2010 to serve Christian legislators at an international level which Pope Francis on 27th August 2021 .
The deputy speaker who said was humbled to Join leaders from the Association in a meeting with the Holy father in Rome committed herself to propagating and implementing the Pope’s message.
‘’ As leaders, we take home the wise counsel from the Holy father that the pandemic demands confront the deeper causes that the crisis has laid bare and aggravated Poverty, social inequality , widespread unemployment and the lack of access to education. We take home his advice on how to deal with the pandemic and push for Justice’’, tweeted Among who was accompanied by the government Chief whip Thomas Tayebwa.
In his address, the pontiff urged those present and other political leaders to carry out “a serious and in-depth moral reflection on the risks and opportunities inherent in scientific and technological progress, so that the legislation and international standards that govern them can focus on promoting integral human development and peace.”
At the start of the audience at the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father apologised for not being able to speak standing up, noting “I’m still in the post-operation period and I have to be seated.”
This is a “critical moment in history,” he stressed. “The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging. We have certainly made significant progress in making and distributing effective vaccines, but we still have a lot of work to do. More than 200 million confirmed cases have been reported with four million deaths from this terrible outbreak, which has also caused so much economic and social harm.”
In view of the situation, we must address “the root causes that the crisis has revealed and amplified: poverty, social inequality, widespread unemployment and lack of access to education”, conscious that “we do not come out of a crisis the same nor can we come out of it alone.”
“In an era of political disturbances and polarisation, legislators and more generally politicians are not always held in high esteem. However, what higher calling is there than to serve the common good and prioritise the well-being of all over personal gain? Your goal must always be this, for good politics is indispensable for universal brotherhood and social peace.”
The issue of how to use technology for the common good falls within politicians’ purview. For Francis, while it is appropriate to rejoice at the new possibilities that science and technology open up, it is also necessary to remember that if they are “left to themselves and to market forces alone, without proper guidelines set by legislative assemblies and other public authorities governed by a sense of social responsibility, these innovations can threaten human dignity.”
“It is not a question of slowing down technological progress,” the pontiff explained, but of “protecting human dignity when it is threatened” like it is by “the scourge of child pornography, the exploitation of personal data, attacks on critical infrastructures such as hospitals, falsehoods spread via social media and so on. Careful legislation can and must guide the evolution and application of technology for the common good.”
Although we are all called to promote the spirit of solidarity, starting from the needs of the weakest people, “to heal the world and build a more inclusive and sustainable future in which technology serves human needs and does not isolate us from each other, we need not only responsible citizens but also leaders prepared and motivated by the principle of the common good.”
“May the Lord allow you to be that leaven that regenerates mind, heart and spirit, and be witnesses to the political love for the most vulnerable, so that, by serving them, you may serve Him in everything you do.”