Pope Francis laments civilisation woes amid rise in crimes against life

Pope Francis covers the head of a child during a general audience in Saint Peter's Square.Reuters

Civilisation has failed to live up to its responsibility amid rising crimes against life such as abortion and euthanasia, Pope Francis said, underscoring that civilisation's progress is not counted by its technological advancements but its capacity to protect the most vulnerable from conception until death.

Speaking before the members of the Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association) at the Vatican on Saturday, the leader of the world's 1.2-billion Catholics focused on the surge in abortion and euthanasia cases and the plight of migrants left to die stranded on the sea among other alarming global developments.

"The scourge of abortion is an attack against life. Leaving our brothers on boats to die in the Sicilian channel is an attack against life. Death in the workplace, because the minimum safety conditions are not followed, is an attack against life. Death from malnutrition is an attack against life. Terrorism, war, violence; but also euthanasia are attacks against life," the Pope said.

Pope Francis made the remarks just a day after around 750 migrants were saved off the coast of Sicily. However, the United Nation estimated that 1,800 people have already died trying to cross the Mediterranean in the last five months, out of the 60,000 who attempted to make the journey.

The Pope also urged his audience to always remember the "sacredness of every human person, in order that science may truly be at the service of man," not the opposite.

"Life is above all a gift," the Pope said, emphasizing that the protection of life is a "fundamental task."

"Loving life means to take care of the other, to love him, to cultivate and respect his transcendent dignity. The protection and promotion of life represents a fundamental task, especially in a society marked by the negative logic of waste," the pontiff said.