While astronomy, like art, may seem the work of dreamers like Galileo, his invention of the telescope and subsequent contribution to man's understanding of the universe is integral to humanity's understanding of energy, space, time, and self.
The church denounced Galileo's theory as dangerous to the faith, but Galileo defied its warnings. Tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, later changed to house arrest.
The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, which co-sponsored the conference, went further. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi told Vatican Radio that Galileo "could become for some the ideal patron for a dialogue between science and faith."
We at WebVisionItaly.com look to the heavens during this Epiphany 2009 seeing the planets Venus and Jupiter lined up with the Moon, which makes us think about Magi following the stars that lead them to the baby Jesus. Of course astronomy, science, God, and religion may co-exist we think. Yet as war rages between Israel and Palestine it is manifest how precious rational human civilization is. How precious each soul is. Peace to all.