LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN AN INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR
ENTITLED "SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SPIRITUAL VALUES"
HELD IN TOKYO
To Dr Soedjatmoko,
I wish to extend cordial greetings and good wishes on the occasion of the international seminar entitled "Science, Technology and Spiritual Values: an Asian Approach to Modernization" which is being co-sponsored by your two institutions and held in Tokyo on May 25-29. This is an event of great significance for all those who seek a development which truly serves humanity by promoting ethical and spiritual values as well as economic and scientific progress.
Together with the rest of the human family, but in a manner which reflects their own particular history and culture, the peoples of Asia are facing the many challenges created by rapid technological and scientific change. At this important crossroads, your seminar bears witness to the transcendent value of the human person and to the need for an integral development which responds to spiritual and cultural aspirations as well as material needs. If the rich Asian heritage of respect for this transcendent dimension is integrated with scientific and economic development, then Asia will provide a much needed example in a world which so often falls prey to materialism, consumerism and the pursuit of pleasure.
Christianity has always held that no true humanism can exist apart from man’s ethical and spiritual reality, a conviction shared by great philosophies and religions throughout the world. On the level of this shared conviction, interreligious cooperation is not only possible but desirable, as I sought to illustrate on the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for Peace, held in Assisi on October 27, 1986, with representatives of many religious traditions. The presence at your seminar of the World Conference on Religion and Peace is likewise a sign of this interreligious and intercultural cooperation.
Coming on the eve of the World Decade for Cultural Development proclaimed by the United Nations Organization, your seminar represents an important contribution, from an Asian perspective, towards a dearer understanding of economic, cultural and spiritual progress.
The Holy See is happy to participate in your work through the active cooperation of the Pontifical Council for Culture, represented by its President and its Secretary. May Almighty God abundantly bless all those taking part in this worthy initiative
From the Vatican, May 13, 1987
Rector United Nations University, Tokyo
and Prof. Masao Tsuchida, S. J.,
President Sophia University, Tokyo
IOANNES PAULUS PP. II
© Copyright 1987 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana