Faith and Reason / Church and Science

All too often the media and Hollywood draw a caricature of the Catholic Church as an enemy of knowledge and science.  The Galileo affair is often used to suggest a perpetual clash between the Church and science. Even some Christians themselves take this approach, talking about faith as “blind” and disregarding the evidence of science in favor of their personal beliefs.

However, if one looks at actual Scripture, the great Catholic thinkers, official Church teaching, and the real history of these events, a quite different story emerges.  God is the source of both faith and our human intellects, and sound science will never go against authentic faith.  Moreover, we forget that universities are a Catholic invention and that many of the greatest scientists of the past were ordained Catholic clerics (e.g., Copernicus), or received much of their funding from the Catholic hierarchy (e.g., Galileo).

A portion of this presentation will be more historical, attempting to clear up the actual facts of the unfortunate Galileo affair.  The rest will be more theoretical, explaining the proper relationship between faith and human reason, and the mutual respect that can and should exist between the Church and the academy, each of which has its own proper domain.