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Did you know the Catholic Church has given more money to further the science of astronomy than any other institution in history.

Hal G. P. Colebatch has a fascination American Spectator article about the papacy and space exploration.  It is a MUST READ:

“...Kepler was helped by a number of Jesuit astronomers, including Father Paul Guldin and Father Zucchi, and by Giovanni Cassini, who studied under Jesuits. Cassini and Jesuit colleagues were eventually able to confirm Kepler’s theory on the Earth having an elliptical orbit….A Catholic priest, Father Nicholas Zucchi, invented the reflecting telescope. Among the many great Catholic clerical astronomers Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the first asteroid, Ceres, in 1801, and established the observatory at Palermo. Piazzi also obtained modern equipment and instruments for it, and converted Palermo from a backwater in poverty-stricken and ignorant Sicily to a great center for astronomy, a position it has maintained ever since, later being involved with the first imaging X-ray astrophysics. Despite being a Catholic priest and indeed a Professor of Dogmatic Theology in Rome, in 1788 Piazzi traveled to England to work with the astronomer Nevil Maskelyne, a Protestant minister, and the famous instrument-maker Ramsden. A little before this a Jesuit mathematician, R. G. Boscovich, had played a key role in charting the way to modern nuclear physics. In the 20th century a Catholic priest and scientist, Fr. Georges Lemaître, discovered the Big Bang. (He was concerned that it not be used as an argument to prove the existence of God, which he held should be a matter of faith.)…”

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