Science develops best when its concepts and conclusions are integrated into the broader human culture and its concerns for ultimate meaning and value. Scientists cannot, therefore, hold themselves entirely aloof from the sorts of issues dealt with by philosophers and theologians. By devoting to these issues something of the energy and care they give to their research in science, they can help others realize more fully the human potentialities of their discoveries. They can also come to appreciate for themselves that these discoveries cannot be a genuine substitute for knowledge of the truly ultimate. Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.
Letter to the Reverend George V. Coyne, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory (1988-06-01).
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II, né Karol Józef Wojty?a (born 1920-05-18 in Wadowice, Poland, died 2005-04-02 in Vatican City), was Pope — the Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected on 1978-10-16, becoming the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first pope of Slavic origin in the history of the Church.