It was at about the same time that I started to question the status quo of the Novus Ordo that I happened upon the theory of geocentrism. Now, I am sure many of you are quite familiar with the writings and video productions of Robert Sungenis, the leader of the resurgent theory of old that the earth is still and stationary. What I would like to say in this post, is a kind of airing out the linen of my own mind. What I have to say here is not a defense or denial of geocentrism, but a psychological meditation on a broader phenomenon.
Like I said, when I first starting realizing that there was something up with the Novus Ordo, because I started to pay attention to what the “Pope” was saying, and was reading articles from LifeSiteNews, The Remnant, etc., I was also becoming acquainted with geocentrism. Now, I am not sure that the accidental conjunction of the two theories being present to my mind had any influence on the cause of the effect, but I distinctly recall thinking about how everything revolves around the earth, not in a dry and scientific way, since I lacked the basic scientific training to even conceive of things in such a way, but in a spiritual sense, if not (I dare say) mystical sense. I understood—so I thought—that the heavens indeed revolve around the earth, because this is where Christ was incarnate, where He died, and where He rose from the dead, and from where He ascended into Heaven. The picture was complete in my mind, and geocentrism as a theory was taking on all the hallmarks of a decided dogma.
Was I wrong to allow the religious awakening in me to inform and colorize the scientific awakening—if one can call waking up in a dream an awakening at all. I believe the problem came from not understanding how the Church understands science and faith, first of all, and secondly, that I did not understand how the Church related to the issue of geocentrism as a scientific theory, neither of which issues I will deal with directly here, for that is not entirely my point at present. That there is a distinction between truths of the faith and truths of science, everyone believes. That there must be overlap between these two categories is quite obvious.
But how the Church determines where that overlap is, and, if there be a conflict, how to resolve such, is most briefly answered by St. Augustine, quoted by Pope Leo XIII, in Providentissimus Deus:
“Whatever they can really demonstrate to be true of physical nature, we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our Scriptures; and whatever they assert in their treatises which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is to Catholic faith, we must either prove it as well as we can to be entirely false, or at all events we must, without the smallest hesitation, believe it to be so.”
Whether or not the theory of geocentrism is and has been proven false, is not in my personal competence to say. I am interested in the topic for sure, and I have heretofore promoted the belief in a still and stationary globe on the assumption that the new geocentrism represented what the Church teaches. I was woefully wrong on that point. A friend of mine sent me a link to several articles in the Dublin Review written in the 1800s. I have started to read them, and the interesting thing to note on my initial look-over, is that this idea is recurrent: Galileo was not condemned for his Copernican theory, because there were several top scientists and Churchmen of the day appointed to top posts who held the view, as well. What I also learned of interest was that Kepler himself was offered, if my memory serves, the top astronomy post in Rome, who himself openly taught and advocated the heliocentric model. I encourage those who are interested to take a deeper dive into those Dublin Review articles. But the point I really want to stress which I learned from them is this: the heliocentric view was never denounced as heresy by the Church, according to the historical record presented in the Dublin Review.
Those who are interested in diving into the topic of geocentrism from Robert Sungenis’s work would do well to also check out the website GeocentrismDebunked.org, which has many articles about the science involved. I am not sure if Sungenis believes that the heliocentric model is heretical or not, or teaches that or not. I would have to watch his presentations again to know. Nor am I saying that geocentrism is false and the heliocentric model is true, but there are historical facts which support the view that the heliocentric model is both the established model in science but also the accepted view of the Catholic Church, as a quick look into the subject on Wikipedia would prove:
“In 1822, the Congregation of the Holy Office removed the prohibition on the publication of books treating of the Earth’s motion in accordance with modern astronomy and Pope Pius VII ratified the decision:
‘The most excellent [cardinals] have decreed that there must be no denial, by the present or by future Masters of the Sacred Apostolic Palace, of permission to print and to publish works which treat of the mobility of the Earth and of the immobility of the sun, according to the common opinion of modern astronomers, as long as there are no other contrary indications, on the basis of the decrees of the Sacred Congregation of the Index of 1757 and of this Supreme [Holy Office] of 1820; and that those who would show themselves to be reluctant or would disobey, should be forced under punishments at the choice of [this] Sacred Congregation, with derogation of [their] claimed privileges, where necessary,” (“Geocentric Model,” Wikipedia).
Thus we see that the Catholic Church is not opposed to the heliocentric model. On reading the Dublin Review articles, one is struck by the conduct of the Churchmen during the Galileo affair being positively enthusiastic about the theory. There is a lot going on with all that surrounds this issue of geocentrism, and I am not interested in embarking on that sea voyage just yet, and certainly not in a short post like this. But I do want to use it as an occasion to address a broader and more profound issue facing us Catholics today, and that is on the question of reality and reason, and where faith plays into it—if and when, or ever.
At present there is a vacuum of meaning in our lives. For those of us who pray at home and who do not belong to a religious community as such, though we belong in faith to the Body of Christ and His Church, we are perhaps more susceptible to succumb to false teachers and false prophets, both in the spiritual order but also in the secular. You see, when we belonged to the Novus Ordo, like it or not, there was security of mind. We knew what the truth was, because our priest taught us when we asked. We knew in a roundabout way what the “Church” taught, because we had read our Catechism of the Catholic Church, and we believed it—for all its blundering and modernist speech, there are truths in it after all. We did not worry about whether the earth was flat or round, hollow or solid, moving or immoveable, young or old, because we ourselves were sure of where we stood on it. It is only when the proverbial rug was yanked out from under us that we did not know where we stood anymore on so many issues. It was only when we realized that a heretic could not be pope, or an ecumenical council could not promulgate heresy, that we started to get shaky under our feet on other issues as well. It is to that psychological-spiritual phenomenon that I would like to offer a word on.
You see, we mustn’t lose our heads because we almost lost our souls living in a sect from hell. Coming out of Babylon was hard enough, being scattered to the four winds like so many war refugees and exiles. We must keep our reason in the common things of experience, and in commonsense and trust that, though we may very well be living during the reign of the Antichrist, we don’t have to believe that everything is lies and deception. This is hard, like I said before, because we who are out in the wild with our Lady are deprived of that social structure and habitation for a healthy mind. The temptation is to believe that there is a connection between the certain truths of the faith which we have reasoned from to arrive here in the desert, and those half-truths or speculations of either religion or science which we come to find were not so, and which then casts shadows of doubt on the certain truths of the faith we relied upon but which we mistakenly connected with opinions in religion or science. That is my fear for us, that when we discover that the earth is round and rotates and revolves around the sun, we will call into question certain truths which had nothing to do with cosmology or the Church, for the reason that we mistakenly connected them.
So that is what I am warning against here. It may be that the earth is very old, very round, and that it moves around the sun and around its own axis, and that these views of the natural order are completely compatible with the dogmas of the Catholic Church. I have not investigated the question in any seriousness whether they are in fact compatible, but if it is proven that these are facts of our experience, St. Augustine tells us we should unhesitatingly believe them.
We mustn’t make the mistake of fideism, the false (and heretical) belief that reason and faith are separate entities, that faith is independent of reason, or that reason is subservient to faith. There are mysteries in our religion, no doubt, which reason cannot in principle explain, because they depend for their effect on the will of God as cause, which is in principle incomprehensible, just as being itself is incomprehensible, because the principle of existence is God Himself. That is not what I am talking about. I mean that there is a new fideism in the air in light of both a distrust of the world under the current spiritual crisis and reign of the Antichrist, and in light of all the competing theories of everything, geocentrism being just one subject out of a hundred. Science is in crisis just as much as the faith is in crisis, but there is sure ground in science just as much as there is sure ground in faith. The difficulty–and thrill and adventure–is discovering both again as if they were new. I am proposing that we make a journey to the center of gravity, to where all things are held in balance and harmony, in equilibrium, that the fact we have no pope or lawful pastors to teach, govern and sanctify us, does not mean that a thousand other things we once believed true are false.