I admire the Vatican's stance on science, which is the polar opposite of the embarrassing anti-scientific stance taken by many Christian Evangelists, amongst others, especially in the USA.
"There is no opposition between faith's understanding of creation and the evidence of the empirical sciences," the pontiff said.
"Galileo saw nature as a book whose author is God."
The Catholic Church found the 17th-century astronomer Galileo guilty of heresy for insisting the earth revolved around the sun. It did not rehabilitate him until 1992.
Hawking appeases many theistic evolutionists because his statements do not rule out God completely:
"I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science," he said. "The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws."
NOW FOR SOME FUN
I saw the following picture and captions for it overflowed in my brain:
I came up with a couple of captions. Feel free to try to outdo me:
For more reaction on the Pope meets Hawking, check out Little Green Footballs.
LGF is known as a far right wing blog, but Charles (the blog's owner) is 100% teaching anything but real science in the classroom much to the chagrin of many of his readers (the Young Earth Creationist reality denying ones).