Faith and science

Vatican official calls for reconciliation of faith and science

.- The Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Science, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, spoke recently on the need to overcome the unnecessary barriers between faith and science which modern currents of thought create regarding life issues, the origin of man, and the biological conception of the person.

The bishop made his statements recently while in Oviedo (Spain) at a seminar on the reconciliation between science, philosophy, and faith, organized by the Archdiocese of Oviedo.

During a press conference, Bishop Sanchez said there are three “areas of conflict” regarding “the harmonization of science and faith” that need to be reconciled.  The first is “the problem of when an individual human being begins, whether with the stem cells, with the embryo, etc.” and united with this, that of “when an individual human dies, since the concept of death has changed:  it has gone from ‘rigor mortis’ to cessation of heartbeat, and later, to brain death, but brain death is something that not all religions accept, although the Catholic Church does.”

The second area of conflict is in the field of brain research, “where great discoveries have been made during the last 70 years to the point that today [the brain] is understood to be the center of energy of the entire organism,” Bishop Sanchez continued.  Yet “some think that man is only intellect, only neurons, but we speak of the mind, or spirit, or soul, or person,” he stressed.

The third area of conflict concerns “the origin of man: when does he appear,” that is, “evolution and creation.”

It is urgent, the bishop emphasized, “that the conditions of harmony be re-established,” as they were broken by “modern science” but can be found in “the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas, with everything in order, or in the Greek vision of the world, when Aristotle, in this most important treaty, locates the soul of plants, of animals, and of man.”

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