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Rome Reports

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Pope to Astrophysics: never be satisfied to remain at a complacent agnosticism

Pope Francis was greeted by applause by this group of Astrophysics students who are participating in a summer school organized by the Vatican Observatory, from June 4-29. 

The director of the Vatican Observatory first addressed the pope. 

Director, Vatican Observatory
"These 24 young scholars, coming from 18 different nations and institutions, were selected from 130, who applied to participate in the school. Many of these have already published important scientific work."

Then Pope Francis addressed the students. He encouraged them to continue learning and never be afraid to learn more. 

“It is always important, as scientists or believers, to start by admitting there is a lot we do not know. But it is equally important to never be satisfied to remain at a complacent agnosticism. Just as we should never think we know everything, we should never fear to try to learn more.”

He explained that always continuing to learn more is the work of a scientist. The pope then explained two ways of seeing things.

“There is another way of seeing things, that of metaphysics, which acknowledges the First Cause of everything, hidden from tools of measurement. Then there is still another way of seeing things, through the eyes of faith, which accepts revelation. Harmonizing these different levels of knowledge leads us to understanding; and understanding – we hope – will make us open to wisdom.”

It was the pope's way to explain the Vatican's stance on science, saying that they both have a purpose in the world, and when combined can be used for the greater good.