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Two great men from different sides of the spectrum meet at the Vatican

On Monday, science met theology in Italy during the Pontifical Academy of Sciences meeting at the Vatican.

The meeting, on Dr. Stephen Hawking’s presentation, “Science and Sustainability: Impacts of Scientific Knowledge and Technology on Human Society and its Environment,” included talks of a No-Boundary proposal concerning the origin of the universe.

The plenary session, according to Vatican Radio, will conclude Tuesday.

On Monday, Pope Francis met with Dr. Hawking during the four-day plenary session on Science and Sustainability, but he did not exchange many words.

While addressing experts at the session, Pope Francis stated: “We are not custodians of a museum and its masterpieces that we have to dust off every morning, but rather collaborators in the conservation and development of the existence and biodiversity of the planet and human life.”

The Pontiff continued, explaining modern society has grown up “thinking we are the owners and masters of nature, authorised to plunder it without any consideration for its secret potential and evolutionary laws, as if it were an inert substance at our disposal, causing, among other things, a very serious loss of biodiversity.”

His Holiness called for an “ecological conversion” to help people understand they are responsible for the care of the world’s resources.

It is time for people to recognize their responsibility to promote social justice and overcome “an unfair system that produces misery, inequality and exclusion.”

Pope Francis explained how sustainable development would unite taking care of both people and the planet, promoting the common good worldwide.

He described the current “weak response” to international policies concerning the promotion of the common good and lamented how easily scientific opinion is “disregarded.”

Pope Francis greets Stephen Hawking. Pope Francis greets Stephen Hawking (L’Osservatore Romano).

Evidence of this blatant disregard is seen in how other countries remain “distracted” or delayed in applying international agreements on the environment, as well as the “continuous wars of dominance masquerading as noble declarations that cause increasingly serious harm to the environment and the moral and cultural wealth of peoples.”

Science experts sat in silence as the pontiff explained they should “build a cultural model to tackle the crisis of climate change and its social consequences so that enormous productive capacities are not reserved only to the few.”

To reach that point, the Pope explained scientists must be free of political, economic and ideological interests.

They should be leaders to propose solutions to water, energy and food security issues – all of which they are deeply knowledgeable in due to their studies and demonstrations of the many crises facing the planet.

Pope Francis believes the world’s scientists must collaborate to create a “regulatory system that includes inviolable limits and guarantees the protection of ecosystems before new forms of irreversible damage not just to the environment but also to coexistence, democracy, justice and freedom.”

According to Rome Reports, Salvador Moncada, from Latin America, and one of the newest members to the Academy, who won a 1998 Nobel Prize, witnessed the negative effects of climate change first-hand.

“The evidence for climate change is overwhelming now and it’s being accepted everywhere,” Moncada explained at the meeting. “I think the pope has had a great impact, a beneficial impact.

“It has made us think. It has made us reflect. It has made us understand which are the main problems confronting humanity and has added a sense of urgency to all our activities and I think it’s great.”

By Kenya Sinclair



  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “The Pontiff continued, explaining modern society has grown up “thinking we are the owners and masters of nature, authorised to plunder it without any consideration for its secret potential and evolutionary laws, as if it were an inert substance at our disposal, causing, among other things, a very serious loss of biodiversity.”
    Hmm. Did the Pope apologize for the role that his own organization has played in this plundering over many centuries? Did he make note of the role his organization continues to play by attempting to prevent the use of contraception to those who cannot afford the large families, that results in “”an unfair system that produces misery, inequality and exclusion.”
    The Pope “lamented how easily scientific opinion is “disregarded.” Are you freaking kidding me? This is an organization that fought scientific progress at every turn in its attempt to keep mankind at the center of the universe. This is an organization that continues to dispute DNA evidence that does away with a two-person DNA bottleneck (Adam and Eve) because it destroys the concept of original sin, a baseless fear without which Christianity may have trouble existing.
    Until the Catholic Church changes it’s maniacally obsessive stance on sex and does away with the foolishness – if not evil – of denying contraception, the Pope is throwing kerosene on the fire while claiming to be a firefighter. Almost every major problem we have on this earth rides side by side with the exponential population growth that is going to leave us drowning in our own waste products like a virus that has eaten everything in its petri dish. When I was born, the world’s population was 2.5 billion people and it took 200,000 years to get there. In my short lifetime alone, the number has increased to 7 billion. This growth is not sustainable, and indeed many experts say we need to remove several billion people to get back to a place where earth’s resources can be replenished at the rate they are being used up. Our national debt in the US is nothing compared with the ecological debt that our earth has accumulated as a result of our population explosion, but the Church has no interest in actually solving the core problem – instead it contributes to it; presumably in a self-prophetic attempt to bring about catastrophic end times to justify its apocalyptic religion.

  2. Peter Aiello Reply

    The only ecological conversion that is needed for people to understand their place in nature is the conversion of the heart. This is outside of the scope of science.

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