back to article Pope tells astronomers to pack up their telescopes

The Pope has given the Vatican's Jesuit astronomers their marching orders, banishing them and their infernal instruments from his summer palace and billeting them in a disused convent instead. The astronomers' eviction from the Castel Gandolfo has been put down to Benedict XVI's need for more space to receive visiting …

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Happy

Castel Gandolfo!

Presumably with a name like that, the eviction is because Signor Saruman has offered to pay more for the lease. Maybe it'll be changed to Dunwizzardin.

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Looks like............

Another attempt to prove that the sun and planets go round the earth by ignoring the bleedin' obvious.

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And this is a bad thing?

Unfortunately, this article comes across as is this were a bad thing. But according to those involved in the move this is an improvement. The new facility is being renovated and is larger and more modern then the current facility.

As the CNS reports:

"The Vatican astronomers' new facilities will cover two stories with residences on one floor and, on the bottom floor, brand new offices, laboratories, a museum, a library, a large classroom for their summer school program and additional space for the summer students' use."

"This is going to be a great improvement" for carrying out the astronomers' work and studies and the new residences "will be a whole lot more comfortable," said U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno.

"We're all pretty happy with the way they've planned things out," Brother Consolmagno said.

Vatican astronomers to move to bigger, more modern facilities

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0707310.htm

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Sam

Dramatic chord

"No-one expects the...oh bugger, the lens cap's still on...I'll go out and come in again..."

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Coat

Of course it's all a conspiracy...

... revealed in that famously accurate book "The Da-Vinci Code". The Vatican is embarassed by the meetings at Castle Gandolfo documented in the book, so of course the observatory must be moved ... the black helicopter crowd can chew on this for the next hundred years!

I'll go now...

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Gotcha!

Probably after they reported of a flying spaghetti monster....

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Pirate

Jesuits have developed liberal tendencies?

Yeah right - and in other news USAF have started recruiting stealth pigs

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Anonymous Coward

Wow..

Good lord, I mean... darn it, It's funny, you evict the scientists, but you also spend the most on digital archival techniques for you scriptures, can’t have those things degrading *wink*

Not to worry Mr. Pope, were not going to take away from your teachings or you religion that you hold onto with such fierceness.

After all, the Catholic Church is responsible for majority of bloodshed over the last few hundred years, but that is why you are close to God; it feels good to rewrite history when it suits your agenda, right?

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Get rid of..

All these atheliometers! We don't need your "truth"!!

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I wonder if the Vatican IT dept has...

The Blessed Operator From Heaven.

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Inevitable, I suppose

-- that people that complain about others re-writing history are actually doing so themselves: "After all, the Catholic Church is responsible for majority of bloodshed over the last few hundred years, but that is why you are close to God; it feels good to rewrite history when it suits your agenda, right?"

In point of fact, most bloodshed in the past few hundred years is the consequence of purges and genocides and, I believe, ultimately a manifestation of "Malthusian" scarcity. Malthus predicted that human beings always reproduce to the point that resources become scarce, at which time one group will destroy another to keep the resources for themselves (see also Sir Thomas More's "Utopia", reasons for war) or in a left-wing share alike philosophy, *everyone* will suffer equally. Not very many people actually want to suffer equally so conflict is inevitable and has absolutely nothing to do with any church whatsoever. Having said that, church does provide a framework of organization creating a natural "us versus them" division around which conflict can center. However, the "us versus them" boundary can be drawn over just about any visible characteristic. War is dramatic, but nowhere near as deadly as a good old purge of the wrong ideology or race (Stalin's purges, Pol Pot's purges, genocide in Rwanda and present Darfur). http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/03/0308_gorillas.html -- genocide in the Congo, one million persons.

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Coat

They were about to...

See God thru their telescope. And, as Douglas Adams put forward, this would be evidence for God's existence, and, as proof denies faith, and God requires faith for his existence, he would disappear in a puff of logic.

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Paris Hilton

As I understand it

The telescope(s) have been in Arizona for some considerable time. Too much light pollution in Rome for serious observing.

Only the HQ is in the Vatican.

I've chosen Paris Hilton as its the only icon for a heavenly body.

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Anonymous Coward

It will take more than telescopes..

..to predict a second coming!

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so why don't..

all these people who are so concerned about this, offer to build a nice facility to host the Jesuit Order? hell, if I was one of these Google millionaires who can built giant complexes like they were dollhouses, I'd build a nice campus and offer them a permanent home.

Or how about these so-called "institutes of higher learning"? If you can have leftist propaganda and active support for Islam or neo-Native American traditions, you can allow Jesuit beliefs as well.

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J
Coat

Re:And this is a bad thing?

Well, call me cynic (I am)... but what would you expect www.CATHOLICnews.com to say?

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J
Coat

Re:It will take more than telescopes..

Hm... I myself have no problem at all predicting second comings, they're always pretty obvious...

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J
Pirate

And finally, seriously (kinda)

Weren't I so lazy, I would go search to see what the hell have Vatican's scientists ever discovered... (because I don't know if they have done any scientific discovery as of lately, if ever)

Pirate flag in honor of His Noodliness.

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Ahem, Mr. Fay

As Michael above pointed out, the move is actually an improvement.

So why were you so hellbend to put this in an unsavoury light?

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Coat

Is The Pope Catholic?

"Another attempt to prove that the sun and planets go round the earth by ignoring the bleedin' obvious."

You mean they don't?

Next you'll be saying that Terry Pratchett made up the discworld.

Oh Ye Of Little Faith!

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Anonymous Coward

If...

So, if the vatican moves the astronomers' offices, it's turning it's back on science.

When Apple moved out of Jobs' mum's living room, was it turning it's back on computers?

Did Wimbledon (*spit*) cease to be a football team when they moved to Milton Keynes?

Did the House of Commons cease to be democratic when it moved to Westminster?

Weak, dude... just weak.

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Coat

The mind boggles....

....at the thought of the proximity of long instruments and nuns !!

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Re: Inevitable, I suppose

Lets not forget about a very famous purge called the inquisition. Just who was it that was responsible for that purge that lasted several hundred years.

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You call that "intelligent?"

"Benedict has been accused of looking to turn the clock back on his predecessor's embrace of science, to the extent of apparently endorsing intelligent design."

The most compelling evidence against intelligent design is the existence of Mankind. No intelligent creator would ever produce an ape that is so fractious, obstinate, fratricidal, bigoted, repressive, greedy... I could go on, but there's only so much time in the day.

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Happy

Re: And this is a bad thing?

You have to check out the referenced Orlando Sentinel article, too:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/community/news/ucf/orl-popescope2107dec21,0,3216163.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

"The Vatican has several telescopes that could use Lust's touch, astronomers said."

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Stop

People, calm down please!

I have worked at the Vatican for 3 years, and I have had the pleasure to see the "Specula Vaticana" HQ in Castel Gandolfo. Let me tell you: the place sucks on so many levels! Their only connection to the rest of the world was through a 2mbit/s microwave link with San Pietro in Rome. And it was analog as well!!!

Castel Gandolfo is a wonderful castel, and the history in it is something to behold. But the working quarters are really really really cramped!

Anyhow, Specula Vaticana hasn't being using the telescope there for ages. Their main observation point is in Tucson, Arizona.

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Heart

@Toni re Catholic purges

approx. 6000 deaths (of people deemed extremely dangerous) in 500 years must make the Inquisition one of the poorest purge attempts ever; no matter how regrettable each death was

much like the article itself missing the point of moving the astronomers to better facilities rather than kicking them out onto the streets - never let the facts get in the way of a good Catholic bashing...

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Castel Gandolfo

I was exploring the country side one weekend, driving down from Frascati towards Subaudia and found a truly wonderful restaurant, right next to the Pope's summer palace, if you get down there it might be worth a try.

I think it is a bit rich blaming the catholic church for decades of blood letting like no one else was involved ? Our 'Enry started a lot of it too and Cromwell seemed to quite enjoy it. Listen to the Archbishop of Canterbury today, when he is wondering out loud why christians don't defend their faith in the same manner as muslims. Perhaps, Archbishop, we lost interest after the crusades.

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Why bother?

It won't be the first time a pope gave an astronomer marching orders. It took 300 years for the church to apologize to Galileo. I hope they're a little quicker on the turnaround for these saps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jesuits have developed liberal tendencies?

Its not that the Jesuits have become liberal. Its that they seem to have stayed sane and rational while the rest of the church... has not...

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Anonymous Coward

Purges and genocide...

Yeah, but remember, most people aren't cold blooded executioners unless they believe that they have God on their side, which has of course been used extensively by the masterminds of most purges and genocides.

Stalin's a notable exception, of course. He probably would've found it easier to use religion, though, but, on the plus side, now we have millions of potentially brilliant minds not inflicted by the crippling mental illness that is religion!

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Stop

@ Blubster

Actually, the "bleedin' obvious" is that the sun and planets DO go round the earth, or did Einstein teach you nothing.

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F.E.S. finally restrored

I guess this means good ol' Greg is planning to restore pre-Galilean doctrine.

Hang on everybody, the Earth is now flat again.

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Re: Purges and genocide...

> By Anonymous Coward

> Posted Monday 7th January 2008 07:56 GMT

>

> Yeah, but remember, most people aren't cold blooded executioners unless

> they believe that they have God on their side, which has of course been

> used extensively by the masterminds of most purges and genocides.

>

> Stalin's a notable exception, of course. He probably would've found it

> easier to use religion, though, but, on the plus side, now we have millions

> of potentially brilliant minds not inflicted by the crippling mental illness

> that is religion!

Stalin was certainly not an exception. Please read your George Orwell. A dictator like Stalin seeks to supplant religion, not suppress it. Orwell pointed this out in his journalism back in the 1930s. In the case of Stalin (and Mao, Kim, etc., etc.) Marxism became the state religion, with the leader as the Prophet (or maybe God incarnate). For the second coming and the final judgement, substitute the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. For the suppression of the heliocentric model and the persecution of Galileo, substitute the imposition of the Lamarckian views of Trofim Lysenko and the imprisonment of genuine biologists and geneticists in the Gulag. Stalin did more to pervert science than any pope.

(I leave the working out of the parallels in the case of Hitler as an exercise for the reader.)

Karl Popper wrote in a similar vein in "The Poverty of Historicism".

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Stop

Wow

**Stalin was certainly not an exception.**

Theists not only have to take the blame for what people did in the past in the name of religion, but now must take the blame for what the atheists did as well. Wow!!

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