Vatican II: 'those who labor to penetrate reality are led by the hand of God'

A few words by then Pope John Paul II from a July 17, 1985 audience.

"The extraordinary advances of science, particularly over the last two centuries, have sometimes led to the belief that it alone is capable of answering all of man’s questions and of resolving all his problems. Some have concluded that by now there is no longer any need for God. For them, faith in science has supplanted faith in God. It has been said that one must choose between faith and science: either one embraces one or believes in the other. He who proceeds with a commitment to scientific research no longer has need of God; vice versa, he who wishes to believe in God cannot be a serious scientist, because between science and faith there is an irremediable conflict. The Second Vatican Council expressed a very different conviction. In the Constitution Gaudium et Spes it is affirmed: 'If methodical investigation within every branch of learning is carried out in accord with moral norms, it never truly conflicts with faith. For earthly matters and the concerns of faith derive from the same God. Indeed whoever labors to penetrate the secrets of reality with a humble and steady mind is, even unawares, being led by the hand of God, [emphasis added] who holds all things in existence, and gives them their identity” (G.S. 36).

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