Sanchez Gallardo:

Article by Francisco Sánchez Gallardo, PhD in Physical Sciences, former director of the Málaga Institute of Meteorology and member of the Malaga Academy of Sciences.

After one of the fastest conclaves in the history of the Church, when on April 19, 2005 Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope as the 265th successor of Saint Peter, with the name of Benedict XVI, the Italian press considered his election as Good news. This statement is undoubtedly correct, since with his wisdom and erudition he demonstrated in his writings and throughout his Petrine pontificate to be one of the great sages comparable, without exaggeration, to another German sage such as Saint Albert the Great (Patron of Sciences). . Since Pope Saint Sylvester II (the first French pope and great mathematician who introduced the use of the number zero), Benedict XVI may have been one of the most scientifically minded popes in the history of the Church; an institution that, far from being a hindrance to scientific advances, has always been an active and fundamental part of them, as demonstrated by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, international in scope, and multiracial in its members, whose main objective is to honor pure science .

If Saint John Paul II led the Church into the 21st century, Benedict XVI marked the path to follow with his teachings wisely expressed in his magisterium, a source of wisdom and spirituality, and always oriented in defense of Christianity which, according to his expression, does not correspond with the image of a star that is disintegrating, but rather like the mustard seed that is always rejuvenated again (Astronomy and Biology). And continuing with this gift of science that he possessed, even before becoming Pope, in 1997, he told his biographer and journalist Peter Seewald this beautiful phrase: “A small particle of love, seeming so weak, is far superior to the maximum capacity of destruction”. With this very original expression, he implied the similarity between love, as an impulse with different dimensions, and energy; because according to the quantum theory of the also German Max Planck, electromagnetic radiation is emitted in discrete units of energy, called “quantos”, thus manifesting an idea very typical of him, as it is that: “the Theology of the small is fundamental in Christianity” (Nuclear Physics and Charity). At the same time, with these expressions he was also indicating to us, in some way, the meaning of the aforementioned parable of the mustard seed, because in his opinion (and he published it in his great work “Jesus of Nazareth”), the parables do not they contain a coercive force, but rather are an internal dynamic that invite a demanding movement towards the mystery of God. And later, in this same book, when he analyzes the world as a geometric figure, he advises that the “barycenter” of the life of the man clinging to his own ego, move to another field of gravitation, which is the field of love (Geometry , law of universal gravitation and Love).

In these first years of the 21st century, and since the middle of the last century, we find ourselves in one of those periods of great scientific development; Science is diversifying, expanding and pluralizing, even towards a cosmic dimension, without forgetting the vast and no less mysterious field of nanoscience. Well then, Benedict XVI with a great vision of reality and empirical contemplation of this world, already expressed on the occasion of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, his desire to achieve a true humanist synthesis of knowledge, like the one that inspired the fathers of modern science.

Throughout his pontificate, and even before as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, all his pastoral action had four points of support on which he oriented his thinking: God, Christ, man and the world. That is, spirituality; existence of Jesus of Nazareth as a certainty of a historical nature; reality of man as a creature in the image and likeness of God, and fourthly, a world as a visible universe in which man can measure the magnitudes of time, space and matter. Four realities that essentially belong to the life of man, complemented by a characteristic that he himself recognized: his openness to the various possibilities that the macro and micro cosmos harbor within itself. And it is in this cosmological and human framework that Benedict XVI manifested his wisdom about man and his scientific knowledge of the universe, with expressions typical of a man of science.

Sometimes, when we talk about science, we refer to contents belonging to physics, mathematics or biology, (not to mention other experimental sciences or fields of human knowledge), making the mistake that with this way of speaking we do not perceive the unitary sense of science that today is generally admitted. Benedict XVI perfectly combined this concept with the depth of a brilliant mind and the precision of a great teacher. Moreover, he defended the conjunction between faith and reason, through his writings and speeches as a prelude to a new humanist and universalist renaissance, with the paradigm of establishing a relationship between the reality of man and the cosmological vision of the universe, postulating that God It is the measure of the evolution of science.

Without a doubt, he will go down in history as one of the wisest, bravest and most consistent Pontiffs in his work. A future holy Doctor of the Church. A collaborator of the Truth.

Sanchez Gallardo: