Turning to the relationship between religion and science, there has been a definite, though still fragile and provisional, movement towards a new and more nuanced interchange. We have begun to talk to one another on deeper levels than before, and with greater openness towards one another’s perspectives. We have begun to search together for a more thorough understanding of one another’s disciplines, with their competencies and their limitations, and especially for areas of common ground. In doing so we have uncovered important questions which concern both of us, and which are vital to the larger human community we both serve. It is crucial that this common search based on critical openness and interchange should not only continue but also grow and deepen in its quality and scope.
—Pope St. John Paul II, Letter to Fr. George V. Coyne, Director of the Vatican Observatory, on the Occasion of the study week, “Physics, Philosophy and Theology—a Common Quest for Understanding,” 1987.
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