VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis told a group of astronomers that scientific questions about the universe and its origins sometimes clash with theology and spiritual beliefs, but he encouraged them to continue their quest for knowledge and "never to fear truth."

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY – The Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, who has worked as an astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican for more than 20 years, told journalists Monday that faith and reason are hardly at odds.

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When thinking about women religious, science may not be the first idea to spring to mind. After all, faith and science are often portrayed as opposites, allegiance to one suggesting a betrayal of the other.

Published in International

He is risen! Truly, He is risen! We have just begun our celebration of the most incredible miracle of all time — the miracle of Easter.

Published in YSN: Speaking Out

VATICAN CITY – Be cautious about scientific data that offer to be the sole basis and single explanation for the differences between men and women, the Vatican newspaper said.

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VATICAN CITY – Because scientists can never be neutral in their research, they must not be tempted to suppress the truth and ignore the divine, Pope Francis told health care professionals.

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Creationist Christian tourists may soon flock to the Ark Encounter, a literal vision of Noah’s story in Genesis come to life in July as a theology-packed tourist attraction in Williamstown, Ky.

Published in Faith

For the budding Catholic scientist, many pundits present two exclusive and diverging paths. A person can take the path of science, reason and logic, or the path of religion, dogma and the intangible.

Published in Youth Speak News

WASHINGTON - The Catholic Church's strong stance against pornography is based on church teaching that the human body should be respected and every person has a God-given dignity.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Abortion, abandoning migrants at sea, unsafe working conditions, malnutrition, terrorism and euthanasia are all "attacks on life," said Pope Francis.

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Some time next month the Vatican will release the Pope’s much-anticipated encyclical on the environment. It will be the first time a pope has devoted an encyclical to environmental matters and already critics are questioning Pope Francis’ qualifications to address this complex scientific issue.

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Long before today’s clamorous atheists (Christopher Hitchens, God is not Good; Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion; Sam Harris, The End of Faith, etc.) began filling bookshelves and public airwaves, there was one name that was synonymous, at least in England, with public atheism. That name was Antony Flew.

Published in Guest Columns

Grade 8 student Samantha Bestavros is no hockey fan but the NHL might yet win her over through a new program that uses hockey to make math interesting.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Science and faith, contrary to popular belief, are not at odds with one another, says Fr. John McCarthy.

Published in Youth Speak News

TORONTO - The difference between right and wrong could be the difference between life and extinction as Earth’s climate continues to spiral out of control, a Yale University professor of forestry and religious studies told a Toronto audience Nov. 9.

Mary Evelyn Tucker is the director of Yale’s Forum on Religion and Ecology and was a frequent collaborator with the late Passionist father of ecotheology Fr. Thomas Berry. Speaking on “Future Generations and the Ethics of Climate Change” at the invitation of the University of St. Michael’s College’s Elliott Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology, Tucker made the case for an alliance between the worlds of religion and science.

While science is more comfortable with descriptive than prescriptive words about nature and cautious scientists have been reluctant to tell politicians what to do, religion has only very recently begun to address the environmental crisis and ecotheology is still rarely spoken of in seminaries. However, the state of the world’s natural systems demands the best thinking of both religion and science, said Tucker.

“We have to say continually that religion is necessary but not sufficient. We have to develop partners in science, in law, in policy,” she said.

“We need humility. We don’t have all the answers because we were late in coming to this.”

Even if there has been a widening gap between science and religion in the modern era, the world now needs the “deep spiritual resources” of world religions that have dedicated millennia to thinking about right, wrong and the common good. Religion has the ability to teach humanity to value nature as the source of life, rather than a collection of resources to be fed into the gross domestic product of nations, she said.

“We have to see environmental degradation as an ethical issue,” she said. “Until now degradation has been seen as the inevitable cost of economic growth.”

The beginnings of an ethics that addresses climate change would be a serious look at distributive justice, according to Tucker. There are already winners and losers around the globe as sea levels rise, droughts devastate farm land and more violent storms create climate refugees from New Jersey to Bangladesh. But distributive justice should also mean extending the reach of human rights to future generations who will have to live in the environment this generation leaves them.

While an ethic of rights might set minimum standards, drawing lines which must not be crossed, a true environmental ethic would concern itself with much more than the minimum. As nature always seeks flourishing, so should our ethics.

Our ethics should be based on a clear-eyed view of human beings as a “small but indispensable part of a 14-billion-year evolution,” she said. “We need an ethic that is culturally aware but also universally compelling.”

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA
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