Vatican City, May 2, 2019 / 11:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis called on nations to work toward a global common good Thursday, particularly in confronting climate change, human trafficking, and nuclear threats.
“In the current situation of globalization not only of the economy but also of technological and cultural exchanges, the nation state is no longer able to procure the common good of its population alone,” Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences May 2.
“The common good has become global and nations must associate for their own benefit,” Francis said, noting that some nations today have “a spirit of opposition rather than cooperation.”
The pope called “building the common good of humanity, a necessary and essential element for the world balance.”
Pope Francis said that when a “supranational common good” is clearly identified, as in the case of climate change or human trafficking, it necessitates a special legal authority capable of facilitating solutions.
“If, now, not only on earth but in space, there are offensive and defensive nuclear weapons, the so-called new technological frontier, raised and not lowered the danger of a nuclear holocaust,” he said.
Pope Francis quoted St. Thomas Aquinas’ answer to the tenth objection to the ninth question in his Disputed Questions on Spiritual Creatures, noting that he believes St. Thomas has a beautiful idea of what it means to be ‘a people’: “As the Seine river is not ‘this particular river’ because of ‘this flowing water,’ but because of ‘this source’ and ‘this bed,’ and hence is always called the same river, although there may be other water flowing down it; likewise a people is the same, not because of a sameness of soul or of men, but because of the same dwelling place, or rather because of the same laws and the same manner of living, as Aristotle says in the third book of the Politics.”
What Else Does St. Thomas Aquinas Believe?
Third, the death penalty can sometimes support the common good. St Thomas Aquinas makes this point: “Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good.”