VATICAN CITY Pope John Paul II emphasized the mutual relationship between faith and science, while celebrating the fourth centenary of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Nov. 10.
"In encouraging your work I have emphasized the spiritual dimension always present in the search for truth," the Pope said in his English-language address. "I have also affirmed that scientific research must be directed towards the common good of society and the integral development of its individual members."
John Paul noted the common goal to correct misunderstanding between the two spheres of intellectual enlightenment.
"We are united in our common desire to correct misunderstandings and even more to allow ourselves to be enlightened by the one Truth which governs the world and guides the lives of all men and women," said John Paul.
"I am more and more convinced that scientific truth, which is itself a participation in divine Truth, can help philosophy and theology to understand ever more fully the human person and God's revelation about man, a revelation that is completed and perfected in Jesus Christ," the Pope continued. "For this important mutual enrichment in the search for the truth and the benefit of mankind, I am, with the whole Church, profoundly grateful."
Throughout his 25 years in service, John Paul often expressed the relations between faith and science as mutual. He also mentioned that his participation in the assemblies of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences has given him the opportunity to manifest his great esteem for the sciences.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, originally, the Accademia dei Lincei, was established during the reign of the Pope Clement VIII in 1603, making it the oldest of its kind in existence.