CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

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Never think you know everything pope says

VATICAN (CNS): Speaking to dozens of young astronomy students who were taking part in a month-long summer school sponsored by the Vatican Observatory, Pope Francis said on June 14 that scientists and people of faith must always admit they don’t know everything and they must never be afraid to explore and discover more.
 
“As people who love what we do, we can find in our love for this universe a foretaste of that divine love which, in contemplating his creation, declared that it was good,” the pope, who is as chemical technologist, said.
 
The summer programme in astrophysics, held every two years, accepts a small group of promising university and graduate students, mostly from developing nations, who are specialising in astronomical sciences.
 
During a private audience in the apostolic palace, the pope praised the way the study programme brings together people from so many different countries, cultures and areas of specialisation.
 
This endeavour shows how “diversity can be united by a common goal of study” and how success in that work depends precisely on this diversity, the pope said.
 
“Whether as scientists or believers, it is always important to start by admitting there is much that we do not know. But it is equally important” to never be satisfied with sticking with a “complacent agnosticism,” he said.
 
Pope Francis stressed, “Just as we should never think we know everything, we should never be afraid of trying to learn more.” 
 
Harmony between scientific knowledge, metaphysics and faith “leads us to understanding, and understanding—we hope—will make us open to wisdom,” he added.
 
As humans, “we are more than just thinking, rational beings,” he said. “We are also people with a sense of curiosity that drives us to know more; we are creatures who work to learn and share what we have learned for the pure joy of doing so.”
 
In Paradiso by Dante Alighieri, the 14th-century Italian poet wrote that it is “love that moves the sun and other stars,” Pope Francis said.
 
“May your work likewise be moved by love: love for truth; love for the universe itself and love for one another as you work together amid your diversity.”

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