POPE JOHN Paul II has called for international pacts to control space technology for the good of the "whole human family."
He also warned rich nations against imposing "cultural or ideological colonialism" on poorer nations "through use of the instruments at their disposal, and in particular modern space technology."
The Pope made his remarks in an address to about 30 participants in a Pontifical Academy of Sciences-sponsored week of study on the impact of space exploration on mankind.
The Pope called for regulation of use of space technology so that no one country or group controls it. "Space belongs to the whole of humanity; it is something for the benefit of all," he said to the group, which is to report its findings to him at the end of its study.
"Just as the earth is for the benefit of all, and private property must be distributed in such a way that every human being is given a proper share in the goods of the earth," Pope John Paul said, "in the same way the occupation of space by satellites and other instruments must be regulated by just agreements and international pacts that will enable the whole human family to enjoy and use it." ' ' • Pope John Paul also said that space technology, shell as satellites, "can be used for a wider spreading of culture in all the countries of the world, not only in those where illiteracy has already been eliminatedtbut also in those where many can still not yet read or write, for culture can be spread with the use of pictures alone," the Pope said.
But he warned that the technology "must not be used by any form of cultural imperialism, to the detriment of the authentic culture of hurrian beings in the legitimate differences that have developed in the history of individual peoples."
"Satellites will carry out a beneficial task, when instead of imposing culture of the rich countries they favour a dialogue between cultures, which means a dialogue between the nations, essential for the peace of the world. "Nations have cultural frontiers that are more deeply rooted than geographical and political ones," he said.