And then I wrote: As I mentioned last week, in 2009 the Redemptorist Press invited me to write a series of reflections on issues of religion and science for the Sunday bulletins that are distributed in churches throughout the United Kingdom.
Recall, the days of the week in 2009 match those of 2020 (after this year's leap day) and the liturgical calendar also matches; thus, both in 2009 and 2020, the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time falls on 12 July. Here's what I wrote for the second reflection… it’s a new retelling of a tale familiar to most of our readers.
Since most of the text material is familiar, I am appending at the end a number of historical images from our archives that you may not have seen before...
Studying creation is a time-honored way of coming closer to God. In the opening chapter of his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul points out that, since the beginning of time, God has revealed Himself in the things that He created. Thus it is not surprising that the Church should support science.
In 1891, Pope Leo XIII founded an astronomical research center at the Vatican. Telescopes were built on the walls surrounding the gardens behind St. Peter’s, and instruments were installed in the Tower of the Winds atop the Vatican Library. Pope Leo’s reasons were straightforward: “This plan is simply that everyone might see clearly that the Church and her Pastors are not opposed to true and solid science, whether human or divine, but that they embrace it, encourage it, and promote it with the fullest possible dedication.”
This wasn’t a new idea in the Church. In the 1500s, the Council of Trent…
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