Science and the Vatican

The Vatican Observatory just held a conference to show that the Church is pro-science. The head of the observatory, Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit, said: “The Vatican Observatory was founded in 1891 by Pope Leo XII to show that the Church supports good science” (here). Just like it supports good history. In fact, Leo XII died in 1830. Leo XIII, successor to the recently sainted Pius IX, founded the observatory in an attempt to correct Pius IX’s rabid opposition to science.

Pope Francis attended the conference (here), and spoke of “the creative tension between faith and science”-- “That distinction, already present in St. Thomas Aquinas, avoids a short-circuiting that is as harmful to science as it is to faith …Before the immensity of space-time, we humans can experience awe and a sense of our own insignificance… As we journey towards the frontiers of human knowledge, it is indeed possible to have an authentic experience of the Lord, one which is capable of filling our hearts.”

In effect, he said screw science. He is part of the venerable Church tradition that banned Copernicus and jailed Galileo. That’s why Pope Pius IX, who fought science, was made a saint, while Pope Leo XIII, who respected science, is largely forgotten – even by the current head of the Vatican Observatory. That is why the Vatican has one scientist – a Jesuit priest – but a small army of exorcists. The Church doesn’t much care for reason.


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