Stunning images of galaxies formed after the Big Bang captured by the James Webb Telescope reveal God’s “extraordinary power” and “his love of beauty,” the Vatican Astronomical Observatory said Thursday.
“We are very excited about the new images coming from the Webb Telescope! These pictures are beautiful (…). It’s an exciting glimpse into what we might learn about the universe in the future,” observatory director Guy Consolmagno said in a statement.
“The science behind this telescope is our attempt to use our God-given intelligence to understand the logic of the universe, because the universe wouldn’t work if it wasn’t logical,” he added.
But the universe, he pointed out, is “not only logical, but also beautiful.” “This is the work of God revealed to us, in which we see both his extraordinary power and his beautiful love.”
Guy Consolmagno says he was particularly “delighted” to find the first sign of water vapor in an exoplanet’s atmosphere, “150 years later, Father Angelo Cecchi added a prism to the lens of his telescope on the roof of the church of St. Ignatius of Rome made the first spectroscopic measurements of the atmospheres of the planets of our own solar system”.
The divine origin of the universe remains an unchanging belief of the Catholic Church, but its scientific doctrine has clearly evolved over the past century. In 1992, Pope John Paul II rehabilitated Galileo, who in 1633 had been condemned by the Roman judges of the Inquisition for supporting the thesis of the Polish scientist Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) that the Earth revolved around the Sun.