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The Universe, Astronomy, and the Catechism with Br. Guy Consolmagno

Edmund welcomes the Director of the Vatican Observatory, Br. Guy Consolmagno. Together they dive into the mystery of the universe, science, and how all of God’s creation leads back to him.

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Show Notes

(00:04) Edmundo welcomes us to this episode and introduces us to the episode’s guest Brother Guy Consolmagno who is the Director of the Vatican Observatory. He earned his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and holds the Carl Sagan Medal for Outstanding Communication by an Active Planetary Scientist to the General Public. Br. Guy explains why the Vatican has an observatory and the role it plays in modern astronomy.

(03:40) “How can science supplement our faith and not be against it?” Edmund asks Br. Guy to explain the relationship between faith and reason, and how science and theology intertwine. He goes on to tell us that reason comes from God. And also, that we can’t overlook the desire we have for good explanations and the pleasure we receive in them. Science is powerful because we enjoy it and because it leads us to a greater understanding of God.

(10:20) “Is Christianity just to fill in the gaps that science can’t explain?” Br. Guy addresses this question that Edmund poses to him. And goes on to explain that many scientists he encounters believe in God, and have some sort of faith system. Br. Guy shares that wearing the collar of a religious has opened the door for many fruitful conversations between him and his colleagues about faith since it clearly shows that Br. Guy is religious.

(15:21) The danger of looking to science for certainty: Br. Guy describes what he sees in our culture concerning how people search for absolute answers about the world around them, and ultimately religion does offer the answers we are all looking for. The conversation goes on to “The universe has to be logical or it wouldn’t work. But it doesn’t have to be beautiful. And yet it is.” The discussion revisits the idea of certainty and Br. Guy shares a quote from Anne Lamot:, “the opposite of faith isn’t doubt. The opposite of faith is certainty.” He says, “If you had certainty, then you wouldn’t need faith.”

(20:35) Edmund asks Br. Guy about his popular books, the stories behind their names, and why he wrote them. Br. Guy shares the interpretations of his books and the purpose of his writings. They discuss the importance of bridges of faith, of finding ways to connect with those who are skeptical of the faith, and using science and what we know of the universe to proclaim God’s goodness.

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