VATICAN CITY, AUG. 18, 2010 ( Benedict XVI has expressed his condolences for the death of Italian physicist Nicola Cabibbo, president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He died Monday at the age of 75.
The funeral for the deceased scientist was held today in the Roman Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, presided over by Cardinal Giovanni Coppa, apostolic nuncio in the Czech Republic.
In the message sent through the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy Father recalled Cabibbo's "generous service to the Holy See." The Pontiff also offered his apostolic blessing to the family of Cabibbo, as well as to all those who attended the funeral.
Cardinal Coppa recalled during the homily that Cabibbo made an original and decisive contribution to the progress of dialogue between faith and reason "in the great scientific and social topics such as life, death, evolution, the study of the universe, peace."
Cabibbo "scrutinized the structure of the universe, especially in the field of the physics of particles." With his studies "he went to the roots of creation, the old and ever new work of the wisdom of God," said the cardinal, whose homily was reported in today's edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
For his part, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, stressed the deceased's contribution to "fostering the reconciliation between faith and reason, and his passionate work in defense of peace, of nuclear disarmament and for the development of sources of renewable energies."
In addition to being president of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, Nicola Cabibbo worked in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, and taught at the Universities of La Sapienza and Tor Vergata of Rome. He dedicated many addresses to the relationship between creation and evolution.