.- Archbishop Giuseppe Betori of Florence said this week the dialogue between faith and reason is essential, especially in relation to the Galileo case, in order to overcome this âpainful misunderstanding.â
The archbishopâs comments came on the eve of the International Congress âGalileo 2009,â which will bring together experts to discuss the issue from an historical, philosophical and theological point of view May 27-29.
âOften this âpainful misunderstandingâ is interpreted erroneously as âa reflection of a substantial opposition between science and faith.â My hope is that this event shows that this opinion is unfounded,â the archbishop said.
Archbishop Betori expressed hope that âthe celebration of the international year of astronomy and the memory of the life, work and genius of Galileoâ would lead to a greater understanding of the importance of âthe fundamental dialogue between faith and reasonâ and a âpermanent and constructive collaboration between the Church and the institutions of scientific research, economic development and social promotion.â
âFaith,â he said, âdoes not grow with the rejection of rationality, but is rather inserted into a wider horizon of rationality.â
The archbishop went on to explain that âreason itself, without faith, runs the risk of being reduced to a calculation and to the exclusive assessment of conflict of interests, often blind to essential questions, fundamental values, dramatic and human situations.â
For this reason, the archbishop asserted, âDialogue between faith and reason must continue.â Nature, with all of its complexity, and the rapidly changing developments in scientific research and technology âdemand interior freedom and good will on the part of all, believers and non-believers alike,â he said.