VATICAN CITY, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI cited Galileo as a scientist of deep religious faith as he opened a conference on creation Friday at the Vatican.
In his address at the Pontifical Academy of Science, the pope said that scientific findings on the origins of the universe are compatible with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
''Saying that the foundation of the cosmos and its developments are the fruit of the creator is not saying that creation is only about the beginning of the history of the world and of life,'' Benedict said.
The five-day conference is one of a series of events the church has planned for discussions on science. A similar conference on evolution is scheduled to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species."
Benedict said that Galileo Galilei believed in the 17th century that his scientific work was the study of "a book written by God." Galileo was found guilty of heresy for arguing that the earth circles the sun, a verdict Pope John Paul II called "an error of judgment" in 1992.