'Pope's astronomer' at the Vatican tours Scotland

The Pope’s stargazer is to visit Scotland to attend a series of events aimed at exploring the evidence for God's existence.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, said he was "thrilled" to be visiting for a four day tour.

Archbishop Leo Cushley said: “Brother Guy Consolmagno is a high profile example of one whose work combines matters of science and matters of God, demonstrating once more that there is absolutely no inherent conflict between scientific understanding and belief in a creator.

"The more we know about science, the more we see the imprint of a creator.

"That we have a Jesuit speaking at an event hosted by the interdenominational body Grasping the Nettle (GTN) underscores the commitment of the Church in Scotland to speak with one voice on the issue of science and God.”

Faith and science

GTN is backed by Scottish church leaders and promotes dialogue on how faith and science can work together.

Bro Consolmagno, a Jesuit religious brother, said: "It’s so important to dialogue with students and the general public, of all faiths and sciences, how faith enhances our science and science our faith. Both seek truth, and find it in joy.”

“The claim that somehow a scientist must be atheist is a holdover from the Victorian idea of materialism. But consider the 19th century physicist James Clerk Maxwell, whose famous equations led to the overthrow of that misconception and opened the door to modern physics.  He was a man of deep faith; and, of course, a Scotsman. I am honoured to visit the land of his birth.”

Very Rev John Chalmers, Former Church of Scotland Moderator and Ambassador at Large for GTN said: “Those of us who are a part of GTN believe that the search for God is not incompatible with holding a deep respect for science and its success in helping us to understand our place in the physical universe. We are searching for meaning and purpose and as well as exploring our inner space we find inspiration in outer space.”

Tour schedule

Wed 30th Oct: Adventures of a Vatican Astronomer. Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, 2:30pm

Wed 30th Oct: Adventures of a Vatican Astronomer Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, John Anderson Lecture Theatre, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, 7:30pm.

Thur 31st Oct: Schools Conference, St Bride’s Hall, Motherwell, in association with the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES).

Thur 31st Oct: ‘Strange Cosmologies’, Institute of Physics Talk, Boyd Orr Building, Lecture Theatre 222, Glasgow University, 6:30pm.

Fri 1st Nov: Schools Conference, Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry, in association with Christian Values in Education Scotland (CVE).

Fri 1st Nov: Discarded Images: The History of Strange Ideas (including God?), Dundee Science Centre, 7:30pm.

Sat 2nd Nov: GTN National Conference, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, 10:00am - 4:30pm.