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