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Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’

 

Eucharist Priest

Image by Robert Cheaib from Pixabay

Full disclosure: If I was as handsome as Fr. Mike Schmitz (and I’m not) I don’t think I would have ever thought about becoming a priest (and I did).   Let’s face it, he’s the Brad Pitt of Catholicism.

He’s so good-looking, my wife recently admitted to me that she can only listen to his podcasts because his good looks are too distracting.

For Catholic answers, my go-to-guys were always Patrick Madrid, Scott Hahn, Brant Pitre and alike.   Because of this, Fr. Mike’s face kept on popping up in my queue.

I kept ignoring them because, well, he was just too handsome.  

Because of his looks, I just thought that he was just a silly front man for some kind of watered-down ecumenical theological program.  So, for the longest time, I simply ignored him.

One day, I was scrolling through a series of YouTube videos from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, I came across a panel discussion for the “Defending the Faith Conference” with Patrick Madrid — and Fr. Mike Schmitz.

Father-Mike-Schmitz-Dating-Project

So, I listened — and discovered that I was dead wrong about the handsome dude in the Roman collar.  The next time he appeared in my queue, I took the bait. Eventually, I began regularly watching his short vlogs for Ascension Presents.  

Not only did I find Fr. Mike Schmitz entertaining, I also found his vlogs informative, spiritually enlightening and, above all, in line with Church teachings.

A few weeks ago, while going forth from Mass, my boys and I stopped to preview the Catholic Lighthouse Media display at the back of our church for something new.  On the rack, I spotted Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Jesus is… CD.

“I think you might enjoy this one,” I told my boys.

My five-year-old protested when I put it in the CD player in our car as we drove home.  (Yes, our car still has a CD player.)   Fr. Mike, however, immediately grabbed my five-year-old jokester’s attention.

“Let’s start off with a prayer, Amen?”

The crowd replies, “Amen!”

“Alright, that was it.”

That’s all it took! 

Since we’ve listened to that CD so many times that my boys cannot only tell you that a lack of Caribou Coffee causes a headache, they also know the difference between an Objective argument and a Subjective one.

Above all, no pun intended, they can not just tell you who Jesus [truly] is…, they can also tell you who He truly is not!

Once my boys discovered Fr. Mike Schmitz was a YouTuber, his status catapulted him into a totally new sphere of awesomeness. He’s now up there with Zach King, EvanTube HD, Dude Perfect, and Halfway Memes.

Listening to theological podcasts went from something I do to something we do together!  To be more precise, its something my boys want to do together with me.  For that, I am forever grateful. That is why I say …

“Thank you, Fr. Mike Schmitz!”

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, James DobkowskiTwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Image by Genty from Pixabay

Everyone knows the story about Galileo and the Catholic Church — or at least everyone thinks they know the story.

The centuries old controversy was set into motion after a sequence of events, beginning with the enlightened scientist’s  defense of the Copernican astronomical theory  and culminating  with a trial and condemnation by the behemoth of religiosity, the Catholic Church, and its stubborn hold to a scripture-centered Geocentrism.

At least that’s the present worldview of the events.

Today, many people point to this moment in history as the great schism between science and religion. The fallout from this event continues to foster disdain, not just for the Catholic Church, but for organized religion in general.

The Galileo Affair has also divided the faithful into two camps: Those who literally interpret scripture verse those who don’t.

These divisions are brutally deep, leaving gaping wounds, filled with hurt feelings and scars that have never fully healed.  The purulent exudate from the battle wounds of this historic clash, has seeped into of our schools, our institutions, our politics, and has saturated almost every aspect of life.

But what if the Church wasn’t wrong?  What if the Earth IS truly the center of the Universe?

Would all these scars finally mend and heal?

Would the scientific community jointly write a treatise, as John Paul II did in 1992, apologizing for their errors?

Would the news organizations such as the NY Times, Washington Post, AP and alike, which jointly declared in 1992: Church Declares Galileo Was Right, retract their news stories?

Well, truth be told, Stephen Hawking proved that the Church was right holding to the belief that the Earth was the center of the Universe.

Yes, Stephen Hawking!

Back in 2016, in Episode 4 of the TV series Genius, Stephen Hawking set out to prove, through a series of demonstrations, that the universe was ever-expanding, a theory promoted by the brilliant Belgian scientist named George Lemaître.

Lemaître was not just a mathematician, astronomer, professor of physics, and member of the Royal Academy of Science, he was also an ordained Catholic priest.  You may know Lemaître’s theory best as The Big Bang Theory.

In the aforementioned episode, Hawking had screens set up that represented maps of a small part of our universe; the lights on the screens represented galaxies.

“Think of them,” Hawking said of the screens, “as two snapshots of the same area of space taken 1 billion years apart. So how about we put our [time] machine together? Overlap the screens?”

The two screens were then overlapped on each other. As the TV hosts stepped back from the screens, it was clear that they were not the same.

“It looks like everything is radiating out from a point,” they pointed out. “So it looks from a billion years ago to today everything has moved away slightly … Same patterns, but they have moved … It was like jumping to warp speed and you get that pssheew starburst sort of effect … And we figured out that that is supposed to represent the expansion of space….”

After this last demonstration, Hawking said something profound; something that has stayed with me ever since.

Everywhere is the center of the universe,” Hawking declared, “because it all came into existence at the same time, and it’s all moving away from everywhere at the same time. Space didn’t exist before the big bang. Now space is expanding in all directions, and these simple facts mean wherever you are in the universe, it’s the center, where it all began.”

Don’t take my word for it, CLICK HERE and read the episode script yourself.  It’s at the very end of the teleplay.  Or watch it below.  The scene discussed above starts at 45.25.

Everywhere is the center of the universe …wherever you are in the universe, it’s the center, where it all began.”

Astounding, right?

It sounds allot like the first words of scripture that teaches it all began when God, at the beginning of time, created heaven and earth.  Earth was still an empty waste…. (Genesis 1:1-2)

Assuming Stephen Hawking correct, that the universe IS ever-expanding — and the chances that the man declared the smartest person in the world is correct —  then wherever you are in the universe, it’s the center must be a true statement.

And if that statement is true, and wherever you are IS the Earth, then the Earth IS the center of the universe.

The truth is: The Gallileo Affair was never really about science.  At it’s core, it was a battle between philosophies. 

The Roman Church stood against Galileo’s theory because it believed it to bfoolish and absurd in philosophy [not  science] …  since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture.

By removing the Earth from the center of the cosmos, Copernicanism embraced what became known as the ‘principle of mediocrity’.  In that sense, Earth became just a mediocre member of a mediocre solar system.

The sense of Holy scripture is philosophically  contrary to the principle of mediocrity.

That’s because the sense of Holy scripture comes from a Divine point-of-view.  It informs us that the power and energy that created the universe came from God.  It also calls us to spiritually focus on a “Rare Earth” [1][2], a rare Earth that is the center of God’s world, the center of the universe.

In that sense, Stephen Hawking and the Church both philosophically  put the center of the universe in the same place — wherever you are!

So, if God created the universe that means God created you.  And, if the center of the universe is wherever you are, that means God put YOU in the center of the universe.

If God thinks you’re important enough to make you the center of His universe, maybe you might want to consider making God the center of yours.

That’s the true sense of Holy scripture.

Maybe that’s why they call The Big Bang Theory a Roman Catholic creation?

_________________________________________

Although St. John Paul II apologized, in 1992, for the condemnation of Galileo, the Polish pontiff added that “the Galileo case has been a sort of ‘myth,’ in which the image fabricated out of the events was quite far removed from the reality.”

St. John Paul II also said ““Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other to a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”

Maybe that’s why we call him Great.

Years before the pontificate of John Paul II, another Pope, Benedict XIV, granted an imprimatur to the first edition of the Complete Works of Galileo.  He did so — in 1741![1]  An imprimatur is an official declaration by a bishop — in this case the Bishop of Rome — that a book is free from doctrinal error. [2]

Regardless of the events in his life, Galileo remained a pious Catholic for the remainder of his life.  He died in 1642. Galileo was 88 years old and was buried at the Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze in Florence Italy  with his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste, a Catholic nun.

So, you can see why St. John Paul believed the events of the Galileo case were far removed from reality.

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  As a writer, James has been widely featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

You can read more about the Galileo Affair:

  1. THIS DAY IN HISTORY: OCTOBER 31ST- GALILEO AND WHY HE WAS CONVICTED OF HERESY
  2. The Galileo Affair by George Sim Johnston
  3. ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II:TO THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
  4.  Genius by Stephen Hawking (2016) s1e4 Episode Script Where Did the Universe Come From?
  5. Biographical sketches of memorable Christians of the past: Nicolas Copernicus, Priest and Scholar

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