In modern society, an individual is almost forced to side between science and religion.
However, some people, including the Vatican Astronomer, feel that religion and science are not only capable of coexistence, but they also are mutually supportive. They believe that fundamentalism on both sides of the debate is perpetuating an unnecessary belief of an exclusive relationship between the two subjects. According to Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory if fundamentalists remove the resistance and gain confidence in their ability to reach out for new ideas, the problems associated with attempting to combine both scientific ideas and religious practices can be easily squashed.
History of the Vatican Observatory
Consolmagno is actually only one of the many members of the Observatory. Since the inception of both Catholicism and astronomy centuries ago, the two have been interrelated and supported. The Observatory of the Roman College was established before the United States even became independent from England. The Astronomy tower has been through significant changes, including relocations and government nationalization. However, it now stands in Castel Gandolfo, Italy as a research and educational facility. The presence of this significant scientific development throughout history indicates that the Catholic Church has been willing to accept science into the foundation of their principles.
Considering these multiple factors, the separation between the two topics seems quite unnecessary. The opinion of Consolmagno and many others is that removing the fundamentalist ideals from both sides would likely solve that problem. However, the increasing distance in recent years indicates that the possibility of the two subjects joining together and benefiting from each other any time in the close future is quite slim. Though, there are a significant number of individuals working towards the effort every day to help better the future with cooperation between every belief without unnecessary hesitation.
Consolmagno has also said studying the universe has enabled him to better understand Christ.