preme value of the human person at every stage
of life. All of society can be enriched thanks to
this dialogue, which opens up new horizons for
thought and expands the possibilities of reason.
This too is a path of harmony and peace.
243. The Church has no wish to hold back the
marvellous progress of science. On the contra-
ry, she rejoices and even delights in acknowledg-
ing the enormous potential that God has given to
the human mind. Whenever the sciences – rig-
orously focused on their specific field of inquiry
– arrive at a conclusion which reason cannot
refute, faith does not contradict it. Neither can
believers claim that a scientific opinion which
is attractive but not sufficiently verified has the
same weight as a dogma of faith. At times some
scientists have exceeded the limits of their scien-
tific competence by making certain statements or
claims. But here the problem is not with reason
itself, but with the promotion of a particular ide-
ology which blocks the path to authentic, serene
and productive dialogue.
Ecumenical dialogue
244. Commitment to ecumenism responds to
the prayer of the Lord Jesus that “they may all
be one” (
17:21). The credibility of the Chris-
tian message would be much greater if Christians
could overcome their divisions and the Church
could realize “the fullness of catholicity prop-
er to her in those of her children who, though
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