Some people believe the world revolves around them â€” and their belief is born not of selfishness but of faith.
A few conservative Roman Catholics are pointing to a dozen Bible verses and the church’s original teachings as proof that Earth is the center of the universe, the view that was at the heart of the church’s clash with Galileo Galilei four centuries ago.
The relatively obscure movement has gained a following among those who find comfort in knowing there are still staunch defenders of early church doctrine.
“This subject is, as far as I can see, an embarrassment to the modern church because the world more or less looks upon geocentrism, or someone who believes it, in the same boat as the flat Earth,” said James Phillips ofCicero, Ill.
Phillips attends Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Church in Oak Park, Ill., a parish run by the Society of St. Pius X, which rejects most of the modernizing reforms made by the Vatican II council from 1962 to 1965.
But by challenging modern science, proponents of a geocentric universe are challenging the very church they seek to serve and protect.
“I have no idea who these people are,” said Brother Guy Consolmagno, curator of meteorites and spokesman for the Vatican Observatory. “Are they sincere, or is this a clever bit of theater?”
Those promoting geocentrism argue that heliocentrism, or the centuries-old consensus among scientists that Earth revolves around the sun, is a conspiracy to squelch the church’s influence.
“Heliocentrism becomes dangerous if it is being propped up as the true system when, in fact, it is a false system,” said Robert Sungenis, leader of a budding movement to get scientists to reconsider. “False information leads to false ideas, and false ideas lead to illicit and immoral actions â€” thus the state of the world today.â€¦ Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world, and governments and academia were subservient to her.” [more]