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Pope says scholars explore truth but don't create it

"A scholar is not a creator of truth, but its explorer," John Paul II said, when he met with a group of rectors and professors from several Polish universities on Thursday.

According to the Pope, the role of science is to serve humanity, a responsibility from which obligations stem, "not only referring to man and society but also, and perhaps most importantly, referring to truth itself."

The Holy Father went on to explain that "along with the transmission of knowledge, a university and all scientific centres must teach how to recognise the honesty of methods and have the courage to reject what is methodologically possible, but ethically reprehensible."

He urged intellectuals and scientists to "have the capacity and responsibility to foresee the effects of human acts, given man's situation, not only in the present place and moment, but also in the furthest corner of the world and the indefinite future."