Vatican City, 26 June 2014 (VIS) – “Seeing all of you here today is like looking at a marvellous mosaic made up of people from throughout the world. It is only right that men and women everywhere should have access to research and scientific training”, said the Pope to young astronomers from 23 different countries who are currently participating in a course organised by the Vatican Observatory School in Astrophysics on the theme “Galaxies: Near and Far, Young and Old”, whom he received in audience this morning. “The hope that one day all peoples will be able to enjoy the benefits of science is one which spurs all of us on, scientists in particular”.
He commented that the Vatican Observatory School in Astrophysics is “a place where young people the world over can engage in dialogue and collaboration, helping one another in the search for truth, which in this case is concretised in the study of galaxies. This simple and practical initiative shows how the sciences can be a fitting and effective means for promoting peace and justice. Here too we see a further reason for the Church’s commitment to dialogue with the sciences on the basis of the light provided by faith: it is her conviction that faith is capable of both expanding and enriching the horizons of reason. In this dialogue, the Church rejoices in the marvellous progress of science, seeing it as a sign of the enormous God-given potential of the human mind, even as a mother rejoices and is rightly proud as her children grow in wisdom, and age and grace”.
The Holy Father encouraged those present to share the knowledge they have acquired about the universe with people in their own countries. “Only a fraction of the global population has access to such knowledge, which opens the heart and the mind to the great questions which human beings have always asked: Where do we come from? Where are we going?” he concluded. “The search for an answer to these questions can lead us to an encounter with the Creator, the loving Father, for 'in him we live and move and have our being'”.