Posts Tagged ‘Vatican Observatory’

Jesuit Astronomer Says Science, Religion Not Enemies

Rory O'Driscoll/Winona Daily News

Rory O'Driscoll/Winona Daily News

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Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory, seeks an understanding of God and the universe through prayer — and through his telescope.

Br. Consolmagno said one of the primary purposes of the observatory is to be an ongoing demonstration that the church is supportive of science and scientific research. Upon his appointment to the observatory in 1993, he said the first instruction he received was, “Guy, do good science.”

The supposed conflict between religion and science really doesn’t exist, Consolmagno said. “Science grew out of religion.”

Historically, the church has fostered science and the academic life, he pointed out, and churchmen have been in the forefront of scientific advancement.

“There is nothing in the Bible opposing evolution,” he said, “but there is something in the Bible against astrology.”

Biblical literalism is a recent development, not traditional Christianity, he said.

To apply a modern reading to a 2,000-year-old text “does violence to the text,” Consolmagno said, “and that’s not me saying it, it’s Augustine saying it.”

Read more about Consolmagno’s views on science and religion at the La Crosse Tribune.

Live Chat with Jesuit Astronomer

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Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, astronomer and curator of the Vatican Observatory’s meteorite collection, will be doing a live chat with the Arizona Daily Star newspaper this Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. Eastern.

The live “cosmic chat” with Br. Consolmagno will give people from all over the world a chance to hear him “make sense of the universe” and ask him questions.

Click this link to go to the chat with Consolmagno on Wednesday.

Jesuit Astronomers Interviewed on Asteriods, Stars and a Love of God

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Four Jesuits in history have had asteroids named after them. Jesuit Father George Coyne, director emeritus of the Vatican Observatory and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation and Brother Guy Consolmagno, curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory, are the two living astronomers with that distinction. They shared their observations of life, faith, friendship and the universe from their seats in the Vatican Observatory with Krista Trippet, host of the Speaking of Faith radio program on American Public Media during a recent show. Go here to download the interview or to listen to the interview directly.

Jesuit Vatican Astronomer Explains Why Science and Religion are a Match Made in Heaven

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno was interviewed by Canadian magazine The Walrus about his work at the Vatican Observatory Research Group, the second research center of the Vatican Observatory based in Tucson, Ariz. Read an excerpt below:

njn_Br_Guy_ConsolmagnoInstalled on the second floor of a small building on the summit of Arizona’s Mount Graham, Guy Consolmagno is multi-tasking. He’s checking email on his laptop and listening to the Penguin Cafe Orchestra on his iPod, all the while keeping an eye on a bank of computer monitors. One floor up, nestled in a silvery-white dome, a telescope is trained on a potato-shaped chunk of rock and ice known as Haumea, which orbits the sun some six billion kilometres from Earth. Thin clouds have been drifting overhead since sundown, but if they dissipate, the telescope’s digital camera will record changes in Haumea’s brightness as it tumbles through the outer reaches of the solar system, offering Consolmagno and fellow astronomers hints about the structure and evolution of our planetary family.

All this is typical fare for a scientist. What is perhaps surprising is that Consolmagno is also a Jesuit brother, that many of his colleagues are ordained priests, and that they’re scanning the heavens with the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope or, more affectionately, the “Pope scope.”

For more about Jesuit Brother Consolmagno’s worked with the Vatican Observatory, go here.