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Astrophysics research receives papal support

In a message to scientists studying at the Vatican Observatory, Pope John Paul II has expressed his hope that advances in astrophysical research will produce a greater understanding of the mysteries of the universe and of creation.

Catholic World News reports that the Holy Father received the participants at the 8th annual seminar of astrophysics, held by the Vatican Observatory at Castelgandalfo.

The seminars are designed to bring together scholars from around the world, to discuss the latest advances in their field. The topic for this year's meeting reflected the research specialties of the participants: "White Dwarves, Neutron Stars, and Black Holes".

Pope John Paul assured the scientists that their work should be beneficial to all men, regardless of the degree of specialisation.

He cautioned them, however, that in order to produce real benefits to human understanding, they must themselves keep it in mind that "the human person is an integral part of creation."