In a historic address, Pope Francis surprised a Vancouver audience with a recorded message, urging powerful influencers to exhibit more kindness and humility.
The pope spoke in Italian in the recorded video, which was shown with English subtitles. (Read the English transcript here.) The appearance Tuesday at the TED Conference in Vancouver marks the first time the pontiff has spoken to an international conference.
"Allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more you are responsible to become humble. If you don't, your power will ruin you and you will ruin the other," the Catholic leader said in the 18-minute address.
The annual TED Conference in Vancouver draws 1,800 people and regularly sells out even though the least expensive ticket is US$8,500 for the week. Thousands more watched the Pope's speech that was simulcast in theatres around the world.
“I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other.”
Pope Francis also criticized a "culture of waste" that has developed in the pursuit of technological and economic progress at the cost of human connection and concern.
“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us.”
According to TED organizers, the video that was recorded in Vatican City took a year to co-ordinate.
In referencing the TED2017 theme of "The Future You," the pope urged people to persevere amid “all the evil we breathe every day.”
“Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness and never the other way around.”
This year's TED2017 features presenters ranging from tech pioneer Elon Musk, chess legend Garry Kasparov and tennis star Serena Williams.