The Pope fully agrees with the view that the Catholic Church has made more of a contribution to science and art than any other institution.
The Holy Father said that first of all he wanted to express the whole of his deep pleasure and also – not as a mere form of speech but sincerely – his gratitude at the magnificent Christmas present and new year that the Academy of Sciences had wanted to present to him and offer him.
He added that the President had spoken words full of truth and of magnificent, most beautiful grandeur when he said that no institution known by history had made, as much as the Church of God, the Catholic Church, this Custodian of the revealed word of the Faith, such a valuable contribution to science, to art. And thus it filled the Holy Father with very pure joy to be able to present to his Pontifical Academy of Sciences his congratulations on such a broad, such a beautiful, and such a solid contribution made by it to demonstrating and confirming this truth.
His felicitations went first of all to those whom he called his ‘evident gold medals’ and then to the whole of the Academy and to all those who contributed so effectively to its work and took part in its aims. And in the same way as the felicitations of the Holy Father were sincere and grateful, so he was confident in his hope and wish that his dear Academy would continue to progress increasingly actively, increasingly resolutely, along the very beautiful path that it was already honourably following.
With these felicitations, and with this hope and wish, His Holiness extended his greetings to the Academy and all the Academicians, to their work and their families, to all that they carried in their mindful thoughts and to the affections of their hearts, with their wish for his Apostolic Blessing, which he most willingly imparted.