The Vatican Observatory in Italy, an educational tool combining science and faith


The Vatican Observatory is located on a hill in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, the former summer residence of the popes. It’s a physical reminder of the Catholic Church’s commitment to science, and in particular to the heavens – the universe, star formation, the galaxies. Based on the fifth floor of the Apostolic Palaces, its roots date back to the 16th century when Pope Gregory VII reformed the calendar, aligning it more closely with the movement of the planets, giving us the much more accurate Gregorian calendar. Prof. Richard D’Souza is one of many priest astronomers doing research at the Observatory, whose main offices are now in a new facility and updated telescopes are at the edge of the Papal Gardens and also in Tuscon, Arizona (Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope-VATT). With a degree in physics and a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Munich, this fabric man is also a man of science. His field of research is the study of the formation and evolution of galaxies. In this episode of the Lighthouse Faith podcast, recorded at the former apostolic residence of Castel Gandolfo, Fr. D’Souza explains why the Catholic Church embraces science and sees no conflict between Holy Scripture and scientific findings.

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