Vatican City (Fides Service) - " We are united in our common desire to correct misunderstandings and even more to allow ourselves to be enlightened by the one Truth which governs the world and guides the lives of all men and women” Pope John Paul II said on November 10 when he addressed participants at a Meeting promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Science to mark the 400th anniversary of its establishment.
“The two topics which you have chosen for your meeting concern the life sciences, and in particular the very nature of human life ” the Holy Father said. “The first, Mind, Brain and Education, draws our attention to the complexity of human life and its pre-eminence over other forms of life.” “But the study of the human mind involves more than the observable data proper to the neurological sciences” the Pope said, adding “Scientists themselves perceive in the study of the human mind the mystery of a spiritual dimension which transcends cerebral physiology and appears to direct all our activities as free and autonomous beings, capable of responsibility and love, and marked with dignity.”
Referring to the second topic discussed by the Pontifical Academy of Science “Stem Cell Technology and Other Innovative Therapies” John Paul II said that research in this field has understandably grown in importance in recent years because of the hope it offers for the cure of ills affecting many people recalling his own interventions in this regard. “I have on other occasions stated that stem cells for purposes of experimentation or treatment cannot come from human embryo tissue. I have instead encouraged research on adult human tissue or tissue superfluous to normal fetal development. Any treatment which claims to save human lives, yet is based upon the destruction of human life in its embryonic state, is logically and morally contradictory, as is any production of human embryos for the direct or indirect purpose of experimentation or eventual destruction.” (S.L.) (Fides Service 11/11/2003 – lines 24; words 346)