Cardinal Says Galileo Studied Science With Faith

Secretary of State Sends Message to Mass

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 17, 2009 ( Benedict XVI’s secretary of state sent a message to an unprecedented Mass held in honor of Galileo, marking the scientist’s 445th birthday.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone spoke of the harmony between faith and science in the message, sent for the solemn Mass celebrated Sunday in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs in Rome.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and organized by the World Federation of Scientists, chaired by physicist Antonino Zichichi.
The secretary of state, citing the Pope’s epiphany homily from Jan. 6, stated that in Christianity there is a particular cosmological concept, which in our time «offers interesting signs of a new springtime» of scientists, able to value faith and reason as having «mutual fruitfulness.»
The cardinal’s message described Galileo Galilei as a model, since he «knew how to read and study science through the eyes of faith.»
Cardinal Bertone assured the Mass participants of the «Pontiff’s spiritual closeness,» and greeted the scientists, in particular, the representatives of the Sciences Academy of China.
In his homily, Archbishop Ravasi explained how «Galilei distinguished the two reasons, the truth of science and the truths useful for salvation, which are conveyed by the voice of the Spirit.»

At the end of Mass, Zichichi announced that in that basilica a statue will be erected to honor the great scientist.

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