Pope Francis meets with pharmacists of "Apoteca Natura" Pope Francis meets with pharmacists of "Apoteca Natura"  (Vatican Media)

Pope to pharmacists: ‘Combat throwaway culture with culture of care’

Pope Francis meets with members of Apoteca Natura, an Italian network of pharmacies, and calls for a culture of care which promotes harmony between people and nature.

By Devin Watkins

Meeting with the Apoteca Natura network of Italian pharmacies on Monday, Pope Francis spoke about the need to rediscover a “new harmony between we human beings and Creation.”

He told the pharmacists that their efforts to promote holistic care with natural products reminded him of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin in South America.

“Indigenous cultures always have a healthy attitude of living-well with Creation and the environment, which is not the sweet life or taking it easy. Rather, it is the harmony of the person and their family living with Creation.”

Integral ecology

Pope Francis said the pharmacists’ work offers a “positive sign of the times” since they base it on an integral ecological intuition which can help create harmony between people and nature.

He added that pharmacists also help tie national healthcare systems to local people through their personal rapport.

Pharmacies, he said, “cannot take the place of the National Health Service, but they can certainly meet a real need of the people by compensating for certain deficiencies.”

Harmony of Creation

The Pope went on to reflect on the word “harmony”, saying it has both a theological and spiritual value.

Harmony could be considered a name of God, he said, since “the Holy Spirit is Himself Harmony.”

He added that Creation also tends toward goodness and harmony, even if it has been wounded by evil that pollutes it.

Choice between opposing cultures

Pope Francis also noted that our globalized world has created a clash of cultures, in which the throwaway culture of consumerism is pitted against the culture of care.

“Today we are not allowed to remain neutral. A choice must be made, because the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor demand responsibility.”

Each of us, he said, must choose between the two in our simple, everyday actions.

The Pope concluded his address to pharmacists of the Apoteca Natura network with an invitation to embrace the culture of care and create an economy centered on the human person and the common good.

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14 November 2022, 12:28