The recent article on the papal encyclical quotes a man saying that the Catholic Church should stay out of scientific controversies, citing the church's experience denying Galileo's theories ["Pope speaks out forcefully on climate," News, June 19]. That seems like a cheap shot.

The Catholic Church has been responsible for funding and supporting much scientific research over several centuries, including monk Gregor Mendel, who was a pioneer in genetics, and the astronomer-monk Copernicus. Pope Gregory XIII, in 1582, commissioned the Gregorian calendar to replace the significantly less accurate Julian calendar.

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Let's wait until qualified scientists have had a chance to read this work and see how they rate it.

John M. McDonagh, Cold Spring Harbor