Pope Creates 'Science and Faith' Pontifical Foundation

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 30, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI established a new "Science and Faith" Foundation, which will be under the guidance of the Pontifical Council for Culture and several pontifical universities.

Earlier this month, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope's secretary of state, announced that the Holy Father had established this Foundation, with headquarters in the Vatican, and endowed it with canonical and civil legal status.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, promoted the foundation. In doing so, he was seconding the requests of several Roman pontifical universities. The foundation will give continuity to the "Science, Theology and Ontological Quest Project," known by its English acronym as the STOQ Project.

This Project, which resulted from the studies of the Galileo Galilei Commission, was created by John Paul II in 2003. During its existence it has promoted dialogue between theology, philosophy and the natural sciences, through cultural study, research and public activities. It has been supported by various institutions, including the John Templeton Foundation.

The "Science and Faith" Foundation, the first of its kind in the Vatican, will continue the long-standing collaboration of the Pontifical Council for Culture and several pontifical universities, including the Lateran, the Gregorian, the Angelicum, the Salesian, the Urbaniana and that of the Holy Cross, and the Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.

The Foundation will be under the leadership of the president of the Council for Culture, but it will have autonomy to carry out its own projects.