We Won’t Forget When Even The Vatican Tainted Salvation With Scientism

Two months ago, I read on the Vatican News website a headline that couldn’t help striking my critical attention, ‘Covid: vaccines are an act of love to save us together.’ Vatican News specified it was an educational initiative created by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission, which intended to explore the Pope’s teachings on the global health crisis.

First of all, the video contextualizes stigmas like discrimination, inequality, and accessibility to care in a sugarcoated and minimizing perspective. The message conveyed by the Pope and the Vatican in His pastoral representation is that getting the covid vaccine is a deliberate act of love, the informed choice of a Christian upon being guarded against “misinformation.” In doing so, the very institution called to dignify the holy essence of Christianity condones and gaslights the cruel and coercive reality of mandates and passports. These impositions were deployed on fearmongered citizens by an authoritarian regime that serially swept under the rug the nefarious consequences of rigid requests and reckless calls for sacrifice during the covid state of emergency.

Secondly, one can surmise how the lexicon around Salus in Latin (Health, or Salute in Italian) has been reduced and instrumentalized from meaning Salvation broadly as Prosperity to now become all about Public Health or Safety. This unusually decaying recalibration of Christian Salvation implies not only the Health of one’s body but especially its guilt-charged relation in social proximity with the neighbor.

Nevertheless, the entire history of our West teaches us how Salus meant as Salvation never coincided with the simple salvation of one’s own body or the biological bodies. If we think, for example, of the Greeks who sacrificed themselves in the battle of Thermopylae, or the Christian martyrs tortured, or the Thinkers burned alive under a stake to defend the transcendent aspect of truth, Salvation coincided with a more extraordinary idea than that of the simple survival of the body. It was an idea that invested the afterlife and a pattern of desires for higher awareness and participation in God’s truth and love.

Instead, today, in a time of wordy “integral human devolopment” slogans cloaked in nihilism tout court, it seems we are left even as Catholics to no longer believe in anything greater than an earthly safety, in any expectation of the afterlife, and in trust in human society. The only residual expectation lies in the salvation as safety, as the religion of scientism would exactly encourage the herd to “Trust the Science” and “save us together” for a new “common good” that is now miserably unlinked from contemplating the transcendent.

Nowadays, in the aftermath of the covid measures ordeal, we can more easily rekindle with the idea of having seen priests, monks, and nuns being ousted by virologists, who represented the novel ‘Theologians of the Salus.’ The civilization of nothingness and liquid atheism that has saturated even the Vatican in recent times only praises one salvation for the individual, that about safety, public health, and the mantra that “we are all in it together” as a scant justification made sparkling joy.

We are in times where the apotheosis of nihilism triumphs even in milieux that should stay refractory to it. In affirming that ‘vaccines allow us to save ourselves together,’ the Vatican suggests there’s nothing elevated in which to believe or hope as it uses the verb ‘save’—the most crucial verb for the life of a Christian—as an instrumental function of ‘science’ and its means, whatever it takes to reach its ends.

Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben is right when he says that the Church of Rome has become a simple handmaid of Techno-Scientism, to which it has surrendered itself entirely. As a consequence to this acritical submission to scientism, Christianity evaporates in its inspiration to guide bewildered souls and, with it, the spatial and spiritual place of Christianity itself.

Even as Christians, it seems we must settle with one theologically-correct thought, deprived of any reference to the sacred and the eternal, parroting those “scientists” who staged during the pandemic like the chosen custodians of a fixed and dogmatic knowledge now cardinalized even by the Church, regardless of the most intimate meaning of Salus.

Among the profound existential wounds inflicted on the Italian population in the past two years, I won’t forget how even the Vatican, the Church, and the Clergy took the sinister side of scientism.

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