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Comentario de Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti en la revista Nature

Commentary by Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti in Nature Magazine

In a column in Nature magazine (vol. 434, 7 April 2005, p. 684), Quirin Schiermeier quotes another comment by CRYF member Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti on the good understanding between the Pope and scientists.

The most significant paragraphs of the column are translated below:

Scientists pay tribute to Pope John Paul II

Catholic researchers and bioethicists have responded to the death of Pope John Paul II by paying tribute to his efforts to reconcile faith and science. And some are optimistic that his successor will follow suit.

The Polish Pope had a great interest staff in science and worked to reduce hostility between the academic community and the Catholic Church. (...).

John Paul frequently discussed scientific matters with such luminaries as Stephen Hawking, who is one of the 80 members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. And the Vatican regularly receives scientific advice (see Nature 432, 666; 2004).

"Many of us have been able to see a special rapport between the Pope and scientists," says Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti, a theologian and astrophysicist at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

In 1980, in Cologne Cathedral, Germany, John Paul declared that there was "no contradiction" between faith and science. He said on several occasions that the concepts of the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution were more than mere hypotheses. In 1992, he officially rehabilitated Galileo Galilei (...).

Ludger Honnefelder, a Catholic theologian and philosopher at the high school for Science and Ethics in Bonn, Germany, says John Paul helped religion and science to coexist. He points out that the next Pope will have to deal with issues such as the implications of human modification Genetics . "We expect stable responses from the Church to new ethical challenges," says Honnefelder, "just as we expect science not to think of itself as an omnipotent system."