Tom at DIsputations was reading the latest from Sr. Joan Chittister
“Evolution gives us a God big enough to believe in.”
Sorry, Jesus, maybe You’ll do better next time.
But what particularly struck me, in and amongst the flirtation with Spong’s Law of Theophysical Inanity (though Sr. Joan mishandles cosmology and biology rather than quantum physics), was the interior of this sentence:
The unfolding of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and the launch, ironically, of the priest Georges Lemaître’s big bang theory — you can imagine how popular that made him in the church — changed everything.
Do we really need to imagine how popular Lemaître’s big bang theory made him in the church? Can’t we Google it?
Per Wikipedia, Lemaître published an expanded version of his theory in 1933, and he became famous throughout the world. In March 1934, “Lemaître received the Francqui Prize, the highest Belgian scientific distinction, from [the Catholic] King Leopold III.” Two years later, he was elected to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; he became president of the academy in 1960 — a year in which he was also made a Monsignor by Pope John XXIII — and served as president until his death in 1966. Pope Paul VI asked him to serve on the commission investigating oral contraception (he turned it down, citing ill health (and, at least privately, doubt that a mathematician would have much to contribute to the question)).
So his big bang theory made him remarkably popular in the Church, if public honors are any indication.
Yet Sr. Joan implies the opposite. Why?
Don’t you hate it when your stereotypes don’t meet reality? That those men in the hierarchy aren’t some knuckle dragging young earth fundamentalists who hate science. This type of thinking about the Church is fairly common, though usually this type of thinking is outside of the Church and not within a religious order. It looks like she did not spend any time Googling to see what exactly was the reaction, she just knew what it had to be.
What I think is even more contrary to her assumption is the fact that Fr. Lemaître’s contribution is fairly well known to faithful Catholics who mostly delight in his contribution and I have seen reference to him multiple times. No there is nothing “ironic” about Fr. Lemaître’s theory. It was quite fitting with all the Church has done in the area of science and the massive achievements of the clergy in this regard through the centuries. Hey but don’t let facts confuse you.