Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Vatican Observatory

The Catholic Church is frequently attacked with the "you were mean to Galileo" line of criticism.  While the hierarchy may have treated Galileo a little roughly, the Brooklyn response might be something like, "he was askin' for it."  Putting the historical debate over Galileo aside for another time, one attack on the Church that is clearly unmerited is that it is averse to science.  In fact, if it weren't for the Church, the science of astronomy quite possibly would not be where it is today.  Case in point, the establishment of the Vatican Observatory.

The Vatican Observatory traces its foundation to the year 1582 during the reign of Pope Gregory XIII.  The original impetus for studying the stars was the reform of the Julian calendar.   The observatory, which was originally located behind St. Peter's, was moved to Castel Gandolfo in the 1980s after the lights of Rome became too bright to get a clear view of outer space with the telescope.

 It's worth a trip over to the observatory's website:, where one can read about its history, as well as view some spectacular pictures of outer space taken through its telescope.

In my imagination I see the pope peering into the telescope during his summer vacation, meditating upon the grandeur of God's creation.


                      He determines the number of the stars, he gives to all of them their names. 
                                         - Psalm 147:3 

Photographs from the Vatican Observatory

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.