The following is the text of the video message sent by the Holy Father Francis to the participants in the international meeting, “Science for Peace”, promoted by the diocese of Teramo-Atri and the University of Teramo, at the opening of the event which is taking place on 2 and 3 July at the University of Teramo and the Shrine of Saint Gabriele of Our Lady of Sorrows, as part of the Jubilee of Saint Gabriel:
Video Message of the Holy Father
I wish to express my gratitude to the organisers of the meeting “Science for Peace” on the occasion of the Jubilee of Saint Gabriel [of Our Lady of Sorrows], whose shrine is located on the slopes of the Gran Sasso, home to the National Laboratories for Nuclear Physics.
I greet the academic and scientific authorities, the guests of the national and European institutions, and all the men and women engaged in scientific research.
Among these, I would like to recall Professor Antonino Zichichi, President of the World Federation of Scientists - awarded on this occasion with the highest honour of the University of Teramo - who continues to dedicate his life to the development of science and the education of new generations.
Dear distinguished scientists, your meeting is a great gift of hope for humanity. Never before has the need for a revival of scientific research been so keenly felt in order to rise to the challenges of contemporary society. And I am happy that it is the diocesan community of Teramo that is promoting this meeting, thus demonstrating that there cannot and must not be any opposition between faith and science.
As I recalled in the Encyclical Fratelli tutti, it is urgent to know reality so as to build together (cf. 204). To nurture and develop the desire for knowledge that is hidden in the heart of every man and woman, scientific research must put its results at the service of all, always seeking new forms of collaboration, sharing results and building networks.
Furthermore, I continued in the Encyclical, we must not overlook the “risk that a single scientific advance will be seen as the only possible lens for viewing a particular aspect of life, society and the world” (ibid.).
The experience of the health emergency even more so, and in some ways even more urgently, has prompted the world of science to rethink the prospects for prevention, treatment and health organisation, taking into account the anthropological implications linked to sociality and the quality of relations between family members and, above all, between generations.
No scientific knowledge should stand alone and believe it is self-sufficient. Historical reality is increasingly becoming a single reality (cf. ibid.) and needs to be served in the plurality of knowledge, which in its specificity contributes to the growth of a new culture capable of building society by promoting the dignity and development of every man and woman.
In the face of new challenges, you, dear friends of science, are entrusted with the task of bearing witness to the possibility of constructing a new social bond, committing yourselves to making scientific research close to the whole community, from the local to the international one, and showing that together it is possible to overcome every conflict.
Science is a great resource for building peace!
I ask you to accompany the formation of the new generations, teaching them not to be afraid of the effort of research. The Master also lets Himself be sought: He instils in everyone the certainty that when one seeks honestly, one encounters the truth. The changing age needs new disciples of knowledge, and you, dear scientists, are the teachers of a new generation of peacemakers.
I assure you, I am close to you and the whole Church is close to you, with prayer and encouragement.