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Letters to the Editor

12/20/2017

Science can purify religion from error and superstition

The Editor: Our Victoria Diocesan Conference featured “the pope’s astronomer,” Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ.
 
Br. Guy outlined how Catholic positions have evolved thanks to being informed by the various sciences — particularly after the 13-year review of Galileo’s trial initiated by St. John Paul II.
 
He stressed Pope Francis is not the first to respect what the various sciences have to offer. Br. Guy mentioned St. John Paul II’s position: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.”
 
To me, the first part of this is a piece of what Governor General Julie Payette was expressing in the speech for which she is being vilified. Repeatedly Br. Guy commented how Catholic ignorance of how science has informed Catholic teaching is manipulated by unscrupulous operators in the “culture wars” they designed.
 
Again — to me — this is similar to how Catholic ignorance of what St. John Paul II calls our “social magisterium” is manipulated to further the “cultural wars” which intensifies our culture of death while promoting their benefactors “libertarian-when-convenient” agenda.
 
“Religious” reporters and editors, unskilled at detecting and deconstructing misinformation or “culture war” tactics, run the stories.
 
Unintentionally they promote an agenda that St. John Paul II called “social” or “structural” sins and Pope Francis calls a “culture of indifference.”
 
The treatment of the governor general’s speech is classic “misinformation” and “culture war” tactics.
 
After reading your Nov. 22 coverage, I watched the speech. I had to be specific to see the “roll of the eyes.” It is that minor and it isn’t even when she is talking religion!
 
Basically, she makes points similar to St. John Paul II and Br. Guy. 
 
We need informed exchange between science, religion and policy-makers so we can constructively deal with the life-threatening challenges with which we are confronted. Right now, Payette stated, we can’t take for granted that is happening and she gave examples.
 
She also expressed the need for us to be vigilant while learning to deconstruct misinformation so we are not caught in “echo chambers.” — Yvonne Zarowny, Qualicum Beach, B.C.