Pope’s March prayer intention for researchers
The general prayer intention of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for the month of March is for researchers – that those involved in scientific research may serve the wellbeing of the whole human person. Many people think that science and religion are in conflict. There are many churchmen among outstanding scientists throughout history. 13th century English Franciscan friar Roger Bacon is regarded as one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method. Nicholas Copernicus is considered the founder of modern astronomy. In 1933 Jesuit Father Georges Lemaitre introduced the “Big Bang” theory about the expanding universe which he called the “hypothesis of the primeval atom” or “Cosmic Egg.” More than 40 lunar craters are named after Jesuit astronomers. Augustinian friar Gregor Mendel is regarded the founder of modern genetics. Science and the Church are not in conflict because both seek the truth. However, where science seeks the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of things, religion seeks the ‘why’. The ‘why’ is important because it ultimately guides how we use the knowledge gained from science. When science and technology are not guided by the higher truths about the dignity of the human person, they end up causing more harm than good. Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that when humanity acts without wisdom, trying to take the place of God, it ends up destroying creation. We are co-creators, working with God to care for creation according to the Creator’s plan. Let’s therefore join Pope Francis in the month of March in praying for researchers that they may always seek the entire truth and work for the physical and spiritual well-being of all people.