Robert Sungenis, John Salza, and other assorted Nuts
Robert Sungenis, John Salza, and all the other Catholic assorted nuts out there who actually believe in the false theory of geocentrism, are inducted into our Hall of Shame for their departure from reason that makes Catholicism look foolish. Geocentricism is the nutty theory that the sun and stars revolve around the earth and that the earth itself stands still. We are not going to get into a debate about this for to do so would be to give a level of credibility to this profoundly stupid theory. There is plenty of science out there for anyone to look up if they have doubts about this. The only issue we bring up is the hypocrisy of these people. These geocentrists claim a literal interpretation of Scripture that is contrary to that taught by the Church. The Geocentrist are using a method called literalism. Literalism is not the same thing as the literal/historical-grammatical-critical/analogical/ typological/literary/spiritual method used by the Church. Literalism takes the passages of Scripture at face value without any recognition of the issues that a proper hermeneutic considers, such as context, the writer’s intent, the audience, the state of knowledge at the time, etc. But, far worse than that deeply flawed hermeneutic method is that the Geocentrists are not consistent with their own method of interpretation. They are hypocritical, which is to be expected, but nonetheless it is important to point out. If these assorted nuts are going to claim the Scripture verses that speak of the earth not moving and the universe orbiting around the earth, then they must also take the verses that say the earth has four corners with equal literalism. (Isa 11:12) He will raise an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Rev 7:1) After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. (Rev 20:8) and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. If we use the same interpretative method of the Geocentrist, then we must also conclude that the Earth has four corners. Since there are no corners in a sphere we must conclude that the Earth is a flat rectangle or square. These Geocentrists usually do not claim the earth is flat, so they are consummate hypocrites to their own interpretative method. Pope John Paul II said[the incident with Galileo was based on a tragic mutual miscomprehension, said it well about such literalistic interpretations of Scripture: (9) …Cardinal Poupard has also reminded us that the sentence of 1633 was not irreformable, and that the debate which had not ceased to evolve thereafter, was closed in 1820 with the imprimatur given to the work of Canon Settele. . . . (11) …The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world’s structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. Let us recall the celebrated saying attributed to Baronius Spiritui Sancto mentem fuisse nos docere quomodo ad coelum eatur, non quomodo coelum gradiatur. In fact, the Bible does not concern itself with the details of the physical world, the understanding of which is the competence of human experience and reasoning. There exist two realms of knowledge, one which has its source in Revelation and one which reason can discover by its own power. To the latter belong especially the experimental sciences and philosophy. The distinction between the two realms of knowledge ought not to be understood as opposition. (Pope John Paul II (1992-11-04). Faith can never conflict with reason. L’Osservatore Romano 44 (1264). ) While we cannot imagine many people are that gullible to buy into to such nonsense, the fact that Robert Sungenis and John Salza have some notoriety causes scandal to the those few Faithful out there who may be seduced by them. Why does this matter? It matters because Truth matters. It matters because such nonsense interpretations do violence to the virtue of Truth, causes the Church to look foolish, and provides fuel for those anti-Catholics to deride the Church as unreasonable and anti-scientific. No matter what other good material these two nutters may have on their websites, we cannot recommend them and caution the public to be careful reading their websites as Sungenis and Salza cannot be trusted to think correctly in concert with the Catholic worldview. Update: There is actually a so-called a First Annual Catholic Conference on Geocentricism The roster of nutballs includes: Robert SungenisMark WyattRobert BennettRick/Wyn DelanoMartin SelbredeGerry BouwJohn SalzaMichael JonesHugh Miller Caution should be practiced in reading or listening to any of these people.