22/12/2014 “The church welcomes scientific discoveries,” says astronomer Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, the Observatory of the Holy See, which now and December 25 is the host of the program Rai “Nautilus”, dedicated the comet.

Today and 25 December the “Nautilus” will target a Christmas theme par excellence, the comet. Special guest of the episode will be Father Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory astronomer, the Observatory of the Holy See.

The event is scheduled on 22 and 25 December at 21.00 on Rai School, channel 146 of the Digital Earth.

Here is the interview of Frederick Taddia Father Funes.

What the Vatican Observatory?

“It is the observatory of the Pope, is an astronomical observatory, like many others in the world. Born in 1891 by Pope Leo XIII, because of light pollution, the observatory has moved from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo and then from there in Arizona. ”

This Pope was particularly fond of astronomy or there is a close connection between theology and astronomy?

“There’s always this connection between science, the sky and the different religions, also certainly Christianity. Pope Leo XIII was very attentive to social issues and also to scientific, which is why he wanted to found the Vatican Observatory to make it clear that the Church is in favor of science. ”

Her father has three degrees in astronomy, theology and philosophy; did his doctorate in astronomy at the University of Padua, on what matters?

“With my doctoral thesis I helped to weigh the galaxies, to measure the amount of matter that is in the central regions of galaxies. I try to point out those galaxies that somehow are candidates to have a super-massive black hole at the center. ”

Saw “Interstellar”?

“Yes, I saw it and I loved it, I think it is a good film, has in many topics on which to reflect, from the future of the earth to the future of agriculture, the search for other planets, all of relativity, the holes blacks … all very interesting topics. ”

In his crib puts the comet?

“Of course, we also Magi with small telescopes, are our patron saints.”

About his dual role of scientist and religious, there is a point of contact between scripture and scientific research?

“I answer as a scientist and as a religious. As a scientist what moves me is the curiosity to understand how the universe was formed, the stars planets … in this I share the same passion of my fellow scientists. How did life on Earth is still a hypothesis, we do not know how it happened, but I am confident that in the future, science will tell us. And this is not in conflict with the faith, the Church rejoices when scientists make discoveries, because the Church is like a mother and any parent is proud of the progress of their children. ”

Rosetta therefore does not conflict with the book of Genesis, are two things that go together?

“Certainly not in contrast, let us remember that the book of the Bible is not a scientific book, if we seek scientific answers to scientific questions we can not find them there. The Bible is a book inspired by God, is a love letter that God wrote to his people. The language is that of two thousand years ago and the sacred author knew nothing of general relativity or quantum physics or the gravitation of Newton. “Scripture tells us how one goes to heaven but not how the heavens go,” said Galileo Galilei. ”

Now where are we in the Church and Galileo?

“We are at a good point, John Paul II rehabilitated Galileo. I believe that we can not deny that there was a conflict and that Galileo Galilei has suffered. Probably suffered a lot, but we must say that Galileo was a good Catholic, he obeyed the authorities of the time. Galileo was a good Catholic and a good scientist, there will always be conflicts and there were, there is no denying. The point is that these conflicts, the different views of the world, I do not say they’re going to fall, but at least they can discuss through sincere dialogue; This is the mission of all of us, to promote dialogue and not a sterile debate, an end in itself. “



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