for example, John Paul II said that the Church
values their research, which helps her “to derive
concrete indications helpful for her magisterial
Within the Church countless issues
are being studied and reflected upon with great
freedom. Differing currents of thought in phi-
losophy, theology and pastoral practice, if open
to being reconciled by the Spirit in respect and
love, can enable the Church to grow, since all of
them help to express more clearly the immense
riches of God’s word. For those who long for a
monolithic body of doctrine guarded by all and
leaving no room for nuance, this might appear
as undesirable and leading to confusion. But in
fact such variety serves to bring out and develop
different facets of the inexhaustible riches of the
41. At the same time, today’s vast and rapid
cultural changes demand that we constantly seek
ways of expressing unchanging truths in a lan-
guage which brings out their abiding newness.
 Motu Proprio
Socialium Scientiarum
(1 January 1994):
AAS 86 (1994), 209.
 Saint Thomas Aquinas noted that the multiplicity and
variety “were the intention of the first agent”, who wished that
“what each individual thing lacked in order to reflect the divine
goodness would be made up for by other things”, since the
Creator’s goodness “could not be fittingly reflected by just one
creature” (
S. Th.
, I, q. 47, a. 1). Consequently, we need to grasp
the variety of things in their multiple relationships (cf.
S. Th.
I, q. 47, a. 2, ad 1; q. 47, a. 3). By analogy, we need to listen to
and complement one another in our partial reception of reality
and the Gospel.
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