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Juan Pablo II

Letter by Pope John Paul II  (1988)

To the Reverend George V. Coyne S.J.
Director of the Vatican Observatory
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"
(Eph. 1:2).

[Introduction: reason for the document]

[§1] As you prepare to publish the papers presented at the Study Week held at Castel Gandolfo from 21-26 September 1987, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you, and also to all who contributed to this important initiative. I am confident that the publication of these papers will ensure that the fruits of that endeavor will be further enriched.

[§2] The three hundredth anniversary of the publication of Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy provided an appropriate occasion for the Holy See to sponsor a Study Week that investigated the multiple relationships among theology, philosophy and natural sciences. The man so honored, Sir Isaac Newton, had himself devoted much of his life to these same issues, and his reflections upon them can be found throughout his major works, his unfinished manuscripts and his vast correspondence. The publication of your own papers from this Study Week, taking again some of the same questions which this genius explored, affords me the opportunity to thank you for the efforts you devoted to a subject of such ... Continue