BELIEVING that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.
Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a "destructive myth" had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.
He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a "kind of paganism" because it harked back to the days of "nature gods" who were responsible for natural events.*
Refuted in full, and in Latin, on this other blog: Questiuncula de Veritatibus in Paganismo.
Summary: a truth taught by Christians during past centuries, even if no dogma, does not become an error because it is shared by Paganism. Pagan error is not a question of how much one agrees with a certain pagan religion, but of how much one disagrees with Christianity. Harking back to evil that Christians had to repudiate to become Christians is illicit, harking back to something Christians did NOT repudiate but Western Christian Sciety forgot centuries after its Christian conversion is most certainly not.
Brother Consolmagno, who was due to give a speech at the Glasgow Science Centre last night, entitled "Why the Pope has an Astronomer", said the idea of papal infallibility had been a "PR disaster". What it actually meant was that, on matters of faith, followers should accept "somebody has got to be the boss, the final authority".
"It's not like he has a magic power, that God whispers the truth in his ear," he said.*
Not at all. In a matter of faith, where a thing is not decided, there is no need for someone to be a boss in order to decide it. Faith limits are limited to what Christ revealed and the Holy Ghost reminded the Apostles including St Paul, but mainly the eyewitnesses, up to when the last of the Apostles left earthly life.
If Trinity had not been revealed - and I mean strictly revealed - by then, there would have been no need for Popes to stand up for Trinity against Arianism. If abortion had not already been considered by then a most ghastly kind of murder, there would be no need for Popes more recently to stand up against abortion.
There is no need to decide things, just because someone has to be the boss. The faith is not an instruction on how to run a factory. One detail in such an instruction is not decided, the factory may be standing still. And obviously someone or someones has or have to be the boss deciding it. But in matters of faith that is very much not so. Are angels pure spirits or are they a kind of souls inhabiting bodies of more subtle matter? Not revealed, not decided, as far as I know. And may never get to be decided.
Even if they are pure spirits, they certainly can "assumere corpus" - take bodily form. As for instance St Raphaël did when he walked with the younger Tobias. Even if they are pure spirits, the evil ones are able to work impregnations - though that then is effected through spiritual rape of two sinful people in solitary lust, not just one, which is what St Thomas Aquinas thought about cases like Merlin or Hercules. The other school would not agree the demon had to be a succuba before becoming an incubus in order to make children, he would be using and debasing his own body. Avoiding solitary lust is anyway obliging on Christians, even if such events are not among the likelier. So, in practise there is no need for anyone to decide whether angelic beings are perfectly pure spirits or not.
Same thing applies if beings claiming to come from outer space, from more advanced civilisations, come here and claim to be saving our world, if only the Pope or the US President or whoever will listen to their instructions. Angelic beings are able to take bodily form. God gave the Church all instructions it ever needed to save the world two thousand years ago. When those instructions are only little used, the world will die. Society will die morally, emotionally and spiritually, it will approach the state that the world before the Flood had reached just before the Flood, in the days of Noah.
What need there is of one man deciding comes when there is a serious quarrel between two factions about what belongs to the faith and not. In such cases, if Roman Catholicism is the true remnant of the original Church on that point, it is for the Pope to make a final decision. Orthodox say no single bishop can do that, and that it must be a Council. Either way, a final decision from the Church cannot be a ghastly mistake that ruins souls or even misleads intellect ever so slightly: because the CHURCH is the pillar and foundation of TRUTH.
God acting himself as "a nature god" i e directing immediately what happens in created physical nature is not condemned and cannot be condemned by the Church. Angels created by God acting as nature gods in that sense is not condemned and cannot be condemned by the Church.
The third chapter of Baruch (cited in article four of my questiuncula, relevant verses are 34, 35) was part of revelation even before Christianity. And it attributes a will to shine and praise God to the stars. Either that means stars are people like Ramandu in a certain fiction we have most of us enjoyed. Or it means at least that angelic beings are guiding orbit and light emission of any stellar object, but most especially those we traditionally call fixed stars.
Newton's Principia Mathematica, Einstein's Theory of General and of Special Relativity, Friedrich Engels' history of human civilisation in which belief in nature gods is stamped as "primitive" are none of them part of God's Revelation to Mankind, through Christ and through His Church.
Since these words were spoken by Guy Consolmagno a few years ago, more than six in fact, I can hope he has had time to reconsider his positions.
Creationism dismissed as 'a kind of paganism' by Vatican's astronomer
Published on Friday 5 May 2006 01:35
**En Lengua Romance en Antimodernism y de Mis Caminaciones:
Questiuncula de Veritatibus in Paganismo