London, England, Sep 17, 2010 / 10:19 am
Following the recent claim by U.K. physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking that the universe “created itself from nothing,” the Holy Father spoke about “the most important question” of existence on Friday. Addressing interfaith leaders, the Pontiff explained that religion operates on “another level” than science in the question of explaining human existence.
The Holy Father spoke to leaders from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh traditions present for an inter-religious meeting on Friday morning. There was a visible mutual respect and warmth between the leaders, especially the Pope and the two other speakers, Dr. Khaled Azzam, a school director and Muslim, and Chief Rabbi Baron Sacks of Aldgate.
In his address, the Pope told all present that he appreciated their commitment to religion at a time "when religious convictions are not always understood or appreciated.
"The presence of committed believers in various fields of social and economic life speaks eloquently of the fact that the spiritual dimension of our lives is fundamental to our identity as human beings, that man, in other words, does not live by bread alone," he said.