Pope Francis warns Hungarian university students of danger of idolizing technology

Pope Francis arrived in a wheelchair to the Péter Pázmány Catholic University. It is named after a Hungarian Jesuit who was made a cardinal by Pope Urban VIII.

The Pope listened to the testimony of the university's rector -- and from a renowned archaeologist and professor at the university and from a doctoral student. Then, a singer and a pianist performed a short piece for the Pope.

In his speech, the Pope recalled the words of German priest Romano Guardini, who warned about the danger of technology dominating human life.

"How many isolated individuals, with a lot of social life but little concern for social issues, resort in a vicious circle to the consolation of technology to fill the emptiness they feel," Pope Francis said. "They run at an even more frantic pace while, victims of a savage capitalism, they feel more pain for their own weaknesses in a society where external speed goes hand in hand with inner fragility."

The Pope also spoke about the book "Lord of the World" by Robert Benson. It is a dystopian science fiction novel about a world dominated by technology. At the end, all people are sad.

Pope Francis explained that in this novel, abortion and euthanasia are imposed, and languages and national identities are eliminated in favor of a consensus that is, in reality, a persecution of difference.

With an unexpectedly somber speech by the Pope, which he apologized for several times, he offered culture as an antidote to the dangers he warned about. According to the Second Vatican Council, he said, culture favors admiration, intuition and contemplation and enables the development of personal judgment and moral depth.

He also emphasized the danger of ideologies, recalling the history of the country that welcomed him.

Pope Francis closed with saying that true freedom is found in Christ and blessed all the attendees before returning to Rome.