Some people know him as “The Pope’s Astronomer.” And that nickname isn’t too far from his actual title. Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit priest, is the Director of the Vatican Observatory, which was originally established in the 18th century. He’s considered the Vatican’s unofficial expert on science, and he regularly talks about the relationship between faith and reason. The Vatican Observatory Foundation even runs a regular blog.
Crux magazine recently caught up with Consolmagno in New York, where he had just given a talk on “Jesuits and Jedi: Science and Spirituality in the Age of Star Wars.” Consolmagno, author of Would You Baptize an Extraterrestial?, told Crux about his love of the cosmos, and how he sees the face of God in the heavens:
“Worship is a way that we come closer to God, and that’s what we do when we study the cosmos,” he said. “I do not rely on the Bible to tell me the answers to my scientific questions, but I do rely on the authority of Scripture to be reassured that those answers can be found and are worth pursuing. In particular, I am inspired by the psalmist who wrote “The Heavens proclaim the glory of God’ and St. Paul who reminds us that ‘from the beginning of time, God has made himself known in the things he has created.’ We get to learn God’s personality by getting used to his way of making creation work … a way that is elegant, rational, and full of joy!”
Consolmagno also told Crux that the church is nowhere near as “anti-science” as many have painted it over the years.