Benedict XVI did the same in 2011, calling it an “extraordinary opportunity”
On May 21, 2011, Benedict spoke with 12 astronauts on the ISS for about 20 minutes via a satellite link. In fact, he asked them five questions.
He described it as an “extraordinary opportunity” and praised the astronauts’ “courage” and “discipline.”
He told them, “We are convinced you are inspired by noble ideals and that you intend placing the results of your research and endeavours at the disposal of all humanity and for the common good.”
In their dialogue, the Holy Father and the astronauts discussed the contribution of science to the cause of peace, men’s responsibility for the future of the planet and its fragility, and the beauty of the Earth and creation.
In 2001, receiving future doctors in astronomy, John Paul II for his part hoped that the research lead to the construction of “a more human world.”
The Holy See did not announce what themes Pope Francis will bring up with the astronauts.
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