But while the Vatican did not exclude any area of science, it did reject as "absurd" the atheist notion of biologist and author Richard Dawkins and others that evolution proves there is no God, he said.
"Of course we think that's absurd and not at all proven," he said. "But other than that ... the Vatican has recognized that it doesn't stand in the way of scientific realities."
The Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI has been trying to stress its belief that there is no incompatibility between faith and reason, and the conference at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University was a key demonstration of its efforts to engage with the scientific community.
Not nearly on the order of Vatican II but important nonetheless.