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Thursday, November 3, 2005


VATICAN CITY, NOV 3, 2005 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today, a press conference was held to present the First International Congress of the STOQ Project (Science, Technology and the Ontological Quest). The congress will be held in the Pontifical Lateran University from November 9 to 11, on the theme: "Infinity in the Sciences, in Philosophy and in Theology.".

  Participating in today's press conference were: Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Msgr. Gianfranco Basti, director of the STOQ Project, Rodolfo Guzzi of the Italian Space Agency, and Vincenzo Cappelletti, professor of the history of science at Rome's "Roma Tre" university.

  Cardinal Poupard, who is also president of STOQ and whose dicastery gives patronage and support to the project through the Pontifical Universities in Rome, indicated that the aim of the initiative is "to create a new climate of dialogue within the Catholic Church between scientific culture, ... and our daily life."

  The ultimate goal of the project, he went on, "rather than limiting itself to a specialized study of theoretical problems, is to contribute to changing the mentality of believers towards the sciences. At the same time, the project seeks to offer the world of science competent partners with whom to maintain a respectful dialogue on the many questions raised by the development of science today, especially natural science."

    Msgr. Basti announced that the congresses will be held every two years. "The project aims to promote dialogue between science, philosophy and theology by organizing courses and research activities which, over the first three years, have already involved two Pontifical Universities, the Lateran and the Gregorian, and the Pontifical Athenaeum 'Regina Apostolorum.' Over the next few years, other Pontifical Universities will become involved, in the first place the Salesian and the Holy Cross, as well as ... certain European Universities such as the University of Navarre, Spain, of Lublin, Poland, and of Namur, Belgium."

  This month's congress will be attended by professors from the Universities of Princeton, Oxford and Indiana, as well as by two rabbis, both experts in the theme being considered.

  Professor Guzzi pointed out that "this congress will study the conceptions of infinity that emerge from physics, cosmology and mathematics, seeking to find responses to the questions arising from various scientific theories and from the readings supplied by modern radio telescopes, in order to create as unitary a vision as possible."
OP/CONGRESS INFINITY/POUPARD                    VIS 20051103 (410)

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