Pope Francis’ views on science

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Discussion by: Sjoerd Westenborg
There’s a new Pope in town, and even though most of us probably don’t give a damn about his theological qualities, it might be of interest to us to know his views on scientific matters. 

The now retired Benedictus XVI held many beliefs that we find preposterous, he was a Catholic cardinal after all, but he was a staunch advocate for adult stem cell research, for example, and also left a strong, green legacy. Does anyone have an idea of what to expect from Pope Francis?

20 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t really know his views on science. But I’d say Frances is an improvement over the old pope if for no other reason than he doesn’t remind me of Uncle Fester from the Adam’s Family.

  2. He’s a Jesuit, no reason he’d have any different views on science in general than R.D.. Check out the personnel at the Vatican Observatory. But his job is pope, he’s captain of a juggernaut, not a dinghy, and it will maneuver like one no matter what he thinks.The intersection of science and doctrine is where the problems arise. They’ve got a big hump to get over just to change policy on use of contraception to stop transmission of HIV.

    • In reply to #3 by whiteraven:

      He’s a Jesuit,

      Good point as the jesuits do have an interesting way of dealing with arguments. Ignatius Loyola wrote a set of rules they are supposed to follow, here is an extract of rule 13: “if the Church shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black”.

      So I guess he can solve most problems by telling his flock that the church says the problems does not exist.

      • In reply to #6 by The Unicorn Delusion:

        In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

        He’s a grown man dressed up and playing wizards with his pedophile buddies.

        So he’s like an average D&D player?

        D&D players are no more likely to be buddies with pedophiles than anyone else.
        What an ignorant thing to say.

        • In reply to #9 by zengardener:

          In reply to #6 by The Unicorn Delusion:In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:He’s a grown man dressed up and playing wizards with his pedophile buddies.So he’s like an average D&D player?D&D players are no more likely to be buddies with pedophiles than anyone else. What an ignorant thing to say.

          Thank you! I’m a D&D player :(

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      He’s a grown man dressed up and playing wizards with his pedophile buddies.

      The scary thing is pedophilia seems of have always been a part of the church. It simply wasn’t an issue until about 20 years ago. But at one time free access to boys was one of the perks of being a Priest.

    • *In reply to #11 by SomersetJohn: Less than Henry VIII but more than Elizabeth II? He can’t cut your head off but he can excommunicate you or transfer you to purgatory-on-earth, and he is Chairman of the board on earth and CEO of a multinational corporation with multi-billions in assets which includes one of the biggest collections of priceless treasures in the world (Can you imagine having to audit their books?). However, like all monarchs he has court intrigue to manage, a number of ambitious cardinals who just lost their shot at promotion unless he leaves his job sooner than anticipated, and who knows what international intrigues. John Paul II was reportedly subject of two assassination plots in Poland, one almost succeeded, suspected to have been masterminded by Bulgaria. In earlier times the job was considerably more hazardous: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_murdered_popes and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_the_Martyrs. *

      This may be something of a naive question but how much actual authority/influence does he have. Is he really in charge or more a figurehead. Are there any checks and balances to him?

    • In reply to #11 by SomersetJohn:

      This may be something of a naive question but how much actual authority/influence does he have. Is he really in charge or more a figurehead. Are there any checks and balances to him?

      As we have seen those that are in positions of authority in the Catholic Church can do serious damage to many lives either through their actions or their inactions.

      Think of a game of chess. If priests, bishops and cardinals are pawns, rooks, knights and queens then the Pope is the king. He is the one game piece of unlimited power.

      Will this new Pope try to root out child molesters from the church or will he protect them? Since he has the power to do either he’s more than just a figurehead.

  3. What to expect from Pope Francis? More of the same doctrine but with a friendlier and more down-to-earth tone and manner. The only substantive change he may push through could be a change in the Catholic Church’s way of handling clerical sex abuse cases, such as inserting provisions in Canon Law requiring the handing-over of such offenders to the secular authorities. There is, after all, a strong and ancient precedent for this, namely the handing-over of heretics to the secular authorities for similar purposes. Whether the Pope does so we wait with unbated breath to see.

  4. Why not make some suggestions about what he could usefully do (no, ignore the temptation to say what you were about to). There are more than a billion Catholics, obesity is a very serious problem and his comments on this might help. Of course it’s easy to laugh at the idea but in the real world, one might as well make turn nuisances into assets and from the Church’s point of view, it ought to be relatively uncontroversial since the nearest doctrinal issue is, I suppose, Gluttony. Imagine, a Papal edict against obesity – or supply your own issue. A way of secularising the Church without its noticing? Or a way of encouraging the loony fringe of atheism (oh yes, we have one too) to over eat?

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