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Pope to scientists: Harmonise faith and science in the pursuit for truth

Pope Francis urges scientists to harmonise faith and science in their pursuit of truth, emphasising that both stem from God’s absolute truth and should serve humanity.

By Francesca Merlo

Pope Francis on Thursday addressed Participants at the second conference of the Vatican Specola, which focused on the theme of “Black Holes, Gravitational Waves and Space-Time Singularities”.

The Holy Father warmly welcomed all those present by paying homage to Archbishop George Lemaître, to whom the scientists’ conference was dedicated.

Pope Francis noted that the scientific value of the Belgian priest and cosmologist has been recognised by the International Astronomical Union, which, he noted, “has decided that the well-known Hubble law should more properly be called the Hubble-Lemaître law”.

As the scientists gathered to debate “the latest questions posed by scientific research in cosmology”, Pope Francis assured them that “the Church is attentive to such research and promotes it, because it shakes the sensitivity and intelligence of the men and women of our time”.

He went on to highlight that the beginning of the universe, its ultimate evolution, and the profound structure of space and time “confront human beings with a frantic search for meaning, in a vast scenario where they risk losing themselves”. He noted that through psalms, amongst other things, it becomes clear that these themes have a particular relevance for theology, philosophy, science and also for the spiritual life.

An example of this was, in fact, George Lemaître, whom the Holy Father described as “an exemplary priest and scientist” whose “human and spiritual journey represents a model of life from which we can all learn” as he understood that “science and faith follow two different and parallel paths, between which there is no conflict”.

In fact, Pope Francis continued, “these paths can harmonise with each other, because both science and faith, for a believer, have the same matrix in the absolute Truth of God”.

Bringing his address to a close, Pope Francis invited the scientists present to continue to confront each other in a loyal and humble spirit on the issues they are discussing. “May the freedom and lack of conditioning, which you are experiencing in this conference, help you to progress in your fields towards the Truth, which is surely an emanation of the Charity of God”. Finally, he reiterated, “Faith and science can be united in charity if science is put at the service of the men and women of our time, and not distorted to their detriment or even destruction”.

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