Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, May 6, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
Scientific evidence points only toward a created universe, says Jesuit
Catholic News Service

NEW ORLEANS — Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer — a philosopher, accountant, former university president and leadership consultant — always has had a fascination with the intersection of faith and reason.

He's smart enough to have debated physicist Stephen Hawking, an avowed atheist, on national television over the scientific underpinnings of the beginning of the universe and the theological arguments for the existence of God.

In a recent address in New Orleans, Father Spitzer said the exciting news for the new evangelization being called for by Pope Benedict is the recent discoveries in "space-time geometry," prompting eminent physicists to assert the cosmos had to have a beginning and thus had to have a creator.

On the occasion of Hawking's 70th birthday in January, physicist Alexander Vilenkin, director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, read a paper asserting just that. Science journalist Lisa Grossman, writing in New Scientist, pithily described Vilenkin's presentation as "the worst birthday present ever."

If the rate of expansion of the universe is greater than zero -- something virtually all physicists agree on -- "at the end of the day we will reach an absolute beginning point prior to which the universe and multiverse (a combination of universes) were nothing," said Father Spitzer, founder and president of the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"Physical reality itself was nothing, and the one thing we know about nothing is that it's nothing," he said, eliciting laughter from his audience at the annual dinner of the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Nov. 8.

"The second thing we know about nothing is that nothing can only do nothing, and if the only thing nothing can do is nothing, then the whole of physical reality, configured as universe or multiverse, was nothing. It could never have moved itself to something by itself, because the only thing that it could do when it was nothing is nothing."

The scientific evidence points only toward a created universe, he said.
"There is something else, and that something else has to transcend the universe and be powerful enough to literally create it," he continued.

"And then, as you begin to investigate the cosmological constants, the initial conditions of the universe and multiverse, and when you look at the fine-tuning paradoxes that virtually every physicist, including Stephen Hawking, has admitted, then that creator is not just transcendent and powerful but really, really smart."

Why this is important, Father Spitzer said, is that it gives Catholics another reason to evangelize a culture that is mired in materialism and "its loss of the sense of eternal dignity."

Father Spitzer said when he teaches college students, someone usually poses the question about the existence of God and whether we really know "that Jesus walked and talked upon this earth."

"And then the rest of the classroom goes, 'Yeah, do we really know?'" said Father Spitzer, who retired in 2009 as president of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

"The answer is, 'Yes, I think we do know,'" he said. "What's my point? This contemporary approach is given to us almost as a gift from God. Alexander Vilenkin says in the final part of his essay that a good argument will convince a reasonable man and that a proof will convince even an unreasonable one. Well, now that the proof is in place, cosmologists cannot even hide behind the possibility of a past eternal universe. They must confront the reality."

All this allows us to answer "our kids' questions" about the evidence for God. Father Spitzer said even recent studies about near-death experiences point to God.

Dr. Eben Alexander, a Harvard-trained neurosurgeon, wrote about his experiences after being in a coma for seven days with his cortex completely shut down.

"He was clinically dead and he was monitored the whole time and he actually had these experiences," Father Spitzer said. "He could show definitively there was no physical activity that produced it. There are really good studies taking place in multiple hospitals that give evidence that human beings survive bodily death, that we have a soul that literally leaves the body."

This is riveting evidence that God exists and is moving in the world, and Father Spitzer said, "it's a chance for re-evangelization."

"But then it comes right back to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the resurrection into glory, into unconditional love," he said.

"We do have to make it contemporary. But as we point and point again, our eternal destiny becomes clearer and clearer even in the midst of the darkness of secularism. It falls upon us, as church, to move once again to begin the process of re-evangelization, of healing the culture and of reminding everyone that they are transcendent. You are not simply molecules and atoms."

Father Spitzer, who also is founder and chairman of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith in Irvine, Calif., said the early church transformed the Roman Empire by preaching the Resurrection, the intrinsic and eternal dignity of every human being, love as the greatest commandment and the redemptive view of suffering.

"We are grounded in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is with us," Father Spitzer said. "Human beings are transcendent and destined for eternal destiny and dignity. We must evangelize it."

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved