Paul Joseph Jean Cardinal Poupard Paul Joseph Jean Cardinal Poupard
President of Culture, Roman Curia
Cardinal Priest of S Prassede
Aug 30, 1930
May 25, 1985
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English Fundamentals of faith
Nov 24, 2005
The Head of the Pontifical Council for Culture at the Vatican, Cardinal Paul Poupard, has stated that ignoring scientific reason in pursuit of blind faith risks a swerve towards fundamentalism.

(Hindustan Times, November 7, 2005) This statement comes not a day too late, as the debate over the teaching in US schools of the concept of intelligent design — that hints at the existence of a Creator — has raged on for months. While the Vatican is working on ways to help end the ‘mutual prejudice’ between science and religion, Americans are attempting to fight it out in courts.

But the issue is hardly something that ‘laws’ can decide. Which is why the cardinal’s statement carries great import. At the centre of the ‘intelligent design’ controversy is the basic tussle that science completely ignores the basis of religion and that ‘evolution’ theories are incomplete. This, in itself, is an instance of where blind faith, be it in any religion, can lead us. The cardinal has rightly pointed out that science without ethics, a pillar of religion, can be as dangerous as dogmatic faith without reason. For a secular democracy like the US, it’s unfortunate that those engaged in the debate are ignoring the call to reason from both the church and the scientific community.

For isn’t the basic point being in the semantics of the debate? For a rational schooling process, there exists no dichotomy in the teaching of both science and religion. However, it is unfortunate if the teaching of religion is masked under the garb of science, which is essentially defined by the presence of empirical evidence. In fact, with the dynamics of the world as they are, science and religion have equally important roles to play. There has to be faith in reason and reason in basic tenets of faith.
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