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A Papal Address to the Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, April 24, 1955. This article has been selected by the Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science (Inters.org), which is edited by the Advanced School for Interdisciplinary Research, operating at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, and directed by Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti. Pope Pius XII says to the assembled scientists:
As we bid you welcome in this house, whose doors have always been opened wide to those who cultivate the arts and sciences, we desire also to express to Your Excellencies, Members of our Academy, our lively satisfaction.
Your life, consecrated as is to the study of natural phenomena, enables you to observe every day more closely, and to interpret, the wonders which the Most High has inscribed on the reality of things. In very truth, the created world is a manifestation of the wisdom and goodness of God, for all things have received their existence from Him and reflect His grandeur. Each of them is, as it were, one of His words, and bears the mark of what we might call the fundamental alphabet, namely those natural and universal laws derived from yet higher laws and harmonies, which the labour of thought strives to discover in all their amplitude and their absolute character.
Created things are words of truth. In themselves, in their being, there is neither contradiction nor confusion. Rather, they always cohere one with the other. Sometimes they are difficult to understand because of their depth, but always, when clearly known, they are seen to be in conformity with the superior exigencies of reason. Nature opens up before you like a mysterious but astonishing book, which must be turned page by page and read in an orderly manner, with the aim in mind of progressing ceaselessly. In this manner, every forward step is a continuation of the preceding ones, corrects them, and climbs continually toward the light of a deeper understanding.
The mission confided to you, therefore, ranks among the most noble, for you should be, in a sense, the discoverers of the intentions of God. It pertains you to interpret the book of nature, to describe its contents, and to draw the consequences therefrom for the good of all….