Why does the Holy Father have Astronomers? (Relationship between Faith and Science)

by Evangelization, Faith & Science

One time, I was able to visit the Vatican Observatory and meet Brother Guy together with some of the other astronomers. One of those who were with us asked them,”Why does the Vatican have an observatory?” One of the priest astronomers replied: “That’s what the Vatican does.”

That is, for him, the answer was an obvious one. The supposed opposition between the Church’s faith and science makes little sense to these men of faith who daily marvel at the complexity and beauty of the world of laws, numbers, and discovery.

When seeing videos on this subject, sometimes I wonder if it would be worth it to show this to a younger audience. While surely there are some groups that wouldn’t be interested, I think that there are many young Catholics, who without mentioning it, often carry many misconceptions about the Church and Science.

Is it really that important that they learn differently? I think so. Some of the greatest challenges of living out the Christian life today are the false barriers that we set up between our lives and our faith. We restrict our faith’s living space. And the result is that, for many youth, the faith has never been allowed to enter into a classroom or lab. Their conception of Christian life is limited to the Church or youth group.

To consent such a state of things would be to fall into the same kind of thinking as many secular people when they look at the Vatican Observatory. It’s just an oddity or a publicity stunt that really has little to do with the Catholic faith.

It is vital that we transmit anew what the Church has always taught. The source of creation and the source of Revelation are the same: God.

Understanding this truth and interiorizing it, allows Catholics to expand the horizon of what Christian living really means. The desire to explore, to understand, and to develop what surrounds us is a God given desire.

If we aren’t able to understand and respond to in a correct manner, according to a faith-filled vision, scientific research and development will be left to continue to be associated with an agnostic or atheistic world vision. Christ’s call to service, to happiness, and to holiness penetrates every space, every interest, and every science that is authentically human; it is up to us to respond to that call and encourage others to do so.

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