Faith and Reason "Bring People Closer to God," Says Prelate

Chancellor of Pontifical Academy of Sciences Speaks at Rimini

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RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 28, 2003 ( The Catholic Church sees in science «the plan of Providence to bring people closer to God,» says the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo evaluated the dialogue between faith and science when addressing the weeklong «Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples,» organized by the Communion and Liberation movement.

«The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which this year celebrates its fourth centenary, is the concrete demonstration of the importance that the Church gives to science,» he said in his address entitled «Love for the Truth: The Church and the Men of Science.»

«It is no accident that the first scientific academy was born precisely in Rome, under the auspices, support and Christian inspiration of Pope Clement VIII,» he added.

The Academy of Lynxes — its original name, in reference to the sharp eye of learning desired by its members — was founded in Rome in 1603 by Frederick Cesi. Its members included Galileo Galilei.

Explaining the spirit that animates the academy, Bishop Sánchez Sorondo said: «Man has two sources to arrive at truth: one is reason and the other is faith.»

«Truth is the end of the universe,» he said, quoting St. Thomas Aquinas, and, for this reason, «the search for truth is the end of science and religion.»

«Science, when it is genuine knowledge, is not in opposition to the truth of Christian faith,» the bishop said.

He asked: «Does the Church need science?» His answer: «For the Christian, nothing which is human is foreign.»

«Four hundred years later, we realize that the challenge consists in making a culture of the relation between faith and reason,» the bishop concluded.

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