In a speech to leaders in the arts and science in Malta in May, 1990, Blessed John Paul II said:
Of course the economic, political, and social dimensions of life require careful attention and forthright commitment on the part of all. But at the same time it is necessary to reaffirm adamantly the primacy of ethics over technology, the primacy of “being” over “having.” This is especially imperative when we are immersed in a false culture of “appearances,” the result of an unbridled consumer mentality detrimental to the deepest needs of individuals and communities. The present challenge facing Europe is to rediscover its own deepest roots. In accepting this challenge, European culture is forcefully called to account for the Christian faith that gave form to its peoples.