Benedict XVI reminded us of the necessary connection of faith and reason.
Joseph Ratzinger is today Pope because appointed by his fellow cardinals – should I add by inspiration of the Holy Spirit? – to defend the cause of Christian religion, as the coming together of faith and reason.
This joining of the two is for him – and for every true Christian – the sign of the truth of Christianity.
Their being so joined, though, doesn't make only the true religion, but also true science.
If you have doubts about it, please check with an interesting figure of scientist, epistemologist and social thinker died in 1976, the kind of which we wish we had more: Michael Polanyi.
He was a scientist (in the "hard sciences": physics and chemistry) who knew how to reflect on what he did, reaching conclusions different from the ones spread by philosophers fond of science, who spend their lives extolling it without ever engaging in it.
Science, he remarked, always develops out of a "tacit dimension", a prereflexive capacity of observation and understanding that guides the scientist in his research – like the language we speak without thinking about it, because we only pay attention to the things to say. It's a capacity unconceivable outside of the personal relationship between a disciple and a teacher: call it the faith prompted in the one by other, by which he is led to the use of his own reason.
Such is science, and I cannot deny that we have aplenty. Leaving out of recognition, though, the tacit dimension and the faith that goes with it, science turns against itself.
We are thus left with very little true science, capable of bringing people to agree in a common understanding of things. And with little true religion. Society turns then against itself in a creeping civil war. Like the one opposing the self-declared intellectual elite surrounding POTUS and the Tea Parties.
And yet, Benedict stays there as a reminder of hope.