Your Editorial suggests that Pope Francis's meeting with patients and researchers is evidence of “a new openness [of religion] towards science”, in the spirit of his 2015 encyclical Laudato si' (Nature 545, 265–266; 2017). This is tempered by your view that the encyclical nevertheless illustrates “a chasm between religion and science that cannot be bridged”.
In my view, the encyclical's most fruitful comment on science and religion is that they have “distinctive approaches to understanding reality” (paragraph 62; see go.nature.com/2swk22m). The essence of this distinctiveness is that the modern scientific approach never invokes God as an explanation for any phenomenon. This restatement of 'methodological naturalism' is not science being anti-God: it is science being science. All scientists adhere to this approach, including scientists who believe in God. In the religious approach, by contrast, God is at the heart of phenomena.
It follows that the fundamental distinction between science and religion has nothing to do with the question of whether or not God exists.
These insights can inform the debate around what should and should not be taught in science classes on, for example, evolution. In shedding light on the nature of the “chasm” between science and religion, these insights can also inform the new openness to which you refer.