Evangelizing Is Good and Proselytizing is Bad

The Magis Center for Faith and Science

The Magis Center was founded by Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. On its website, it says

Our Mission: To explore and share the close connection between reason and faith as revealed by new discoveries in physics and philosophy.

Fr. Spitzer is promoting the arguments for God's existence based on the Big Bang and the so-called "fine-tuning" of physical constants. These are modern versions of two of the "five ways" from Thomas Aquinas. The "first cause" of Aquinas is what caused the Big Bang, and the "designer" of Aquinas caused the mass of an electron, the universal gravitational constant, and many other constants to have values consistent with the origin and evolution of life. My metaphysics teacher in college was Norris Clarke, S.J., and I was taught that these arguments are fallacious.

On June 12, 2015, I reviewed one of his books and posted my critique on amazon.com and ezinearticles.com (Fallacious Arguments That God Exists). I also reviewed to like-minded books about God's existence (Brer Barr and Brer Rabbit and Heresy and Pseudoscience). I also wrote an article titled, "Why People Think God Caused the Big Bang," and submitted it to The Thomist on October 11, 2015. In this paper, I attempt to explain why the arguments based on science are irrational. I also suggested the psychological reason so many people to think the arguments make sense.

On June 12, 2015, I sent an email to Archbishop Charles Chaput, who is an advisor to the Magis Center along with two other bishops and three cardinals, explaining my concerns and asking for an appointment asking to see him. He refused my offer.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

In July, I sent emails and faxes to the bishops affiliated with the Magis Center and the Committee for Evangelization and Catechesis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Robert Spitzer, President of Magis Center
Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia
Michael Murray, University of Kansas
Kevin Vann, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange
Robert Scherrer, Chairman of Physics Department at Vanderbilt University
Jose Horacio Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson
David Ricken, Bishop of Greenbay
Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington D.C.
Leonard Blair, Bishop of Hartford
Paul Manning, Diocese of Paterson
Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
Frank Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport

Letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, July 22, 2015

Your Eminence (Gerhard Cardinal Müller),
On February 21, 2014, I asked your office to correct the Archbishop of New York for suppressing my slideshow/lecture about the Holy Shroud. I made the same request of the Holy Father on October 1, 2014, and am now asking the College of Cardinals to correct the Pope. I translated the slideshow into 7 languages and created 7 websites. Yesterday, there were 244 visits to these websites. My correspondence with the Roman Rota is at a website titled “Complaint Against Cardinal Dolan.”

In my letter to Pope Francis, I mentioned another science-faith conflict that does not reflect well on the Catholic Church in the United States. It concerns evolutionary biology and I refer you to my website tiled, “Pseudoscience in the American Journal of Physics.”

I’v asked for a meeting with the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to explain a third concern I have, but this request is being refused. My correspondence about this is at the above website under “Magis Center for Faith and Science.” I’v written a number of articles about this and gave the references to the USCCB.

The Magis Center is run by a Jesuit priest and promotes arguments for God’s existence based on science rather than metaphysics. Suppose the Jesuit is addressing an audience of atheists and God-fearing people. The audience has agreed to pay for the lecture afterwards if they liked the lecture. The Jesuit explains that there is no natural explanation for the Big Bang, so there must be a supernatural explanation. The God-fearers will pay up because it confirms their faith. The atheists will also pay up because the lecture will confirm their belief that people who believe in God are irrational and stupid. I would make less money because the atheists would not pay me a dime.

Asking the blessing of Your Eminence, I am, Yours respectfully in Christ, David Roemer

Archdiocese of New York

On August 4, 2015, I asked Fr. Joseph LaMorte, Chairman of the Presbyteral Council for the Archdiocese of New York, for an opportunity to explain the harm the Magis Center is doing. I enclosed the handout I would distribute at such a meeting. In a telephone conversation, Fr. LaMorte said that Cardinal Dolan did not consult with the Presbyteral Council about my slideshow/lecture on the Shroud of Turin.

Open Letter to Theology Department of Fordham University

I have asked to meet with the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of New York to explain why the Catholic Church should correct the Magis Center, which is run by a Jesuit and has the support of three cardinals and three bishops. The Magis Center uses pseudoscience and misrepresents our salvation history to proselytize. I very recently had an insight into what would cause certain Catholic theologians to behave this way. Knowing that all Catholic theologians have a duty to assist the Magisterium, I am advising you about my request. I graduated from Fordham College in 1964 and got a Ph.D. in physics from New York University in 1971. My metaphysics teacher was Norris Clarke, S.J.

There are links to articles I have written about these matters on one of my websites ("Pseudoscience in the American Journal of Physics") under "Magis Center for Faith and Science." You will also find there my recent letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as the handout I would use at such a presentation. My correspondence with the Holy Father about these matters is at another website ("Complaint Against Cardinal Dolan").

About three years ago, I communicated a criticism of Stephen Barr, who is a prominent physicist and advisor to the Magis Center, to two Jesuits in this department. My complaint against Dr. Barr concerns evolution and thermodynamics. Understandably, the two theologians did not feel qualified to get involved in such a matter, but they were wrong. Any layman can see why an article published by the American Journal of Physics titled “Entropy and evolution” is absurd. This is one of the things I want to explain the Presbyteral Council.
Very truly yours, David Roemer

Letter to Pontifical Council for the Promoting the New Evangelization, September 16, 2105

Your Excellency (Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella),
The Magis Center is located in California and has on its board three cardinals and three bishops. On July 22, 2015, I filed a complaint against the Magis Center for using arguments for God’s existence based on science (the Big Bang, fine-tuning) rather than metaphysics (a finite being needs a cause) with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

After writing that letter, I had an insight into why a Catholic theologian would think the Big Bang is evidence of God’s existence. Richard Dawkins refutes this argument incisively and correctly by saying: What caused God?

I sent emails and faxes and made telephone calls to the theology faculty at Fordham University, St. John’s University, and Georgetown University suggesting that I give a seminar to explain my insight. I also called and sent an email to the Rev. Msgr. Joseph R. Reilly S.T.L, Ph.D., who is the rector/dean of the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University. I argued that theologians have a duty to assist the magisterium of the Catholic Church and should listen to what I had to say.

Since no one expressed an interest, I wrote up my ideas and submitted an article to Science, Religion and Culture. The editor is Gregg D. Caruso, who is a professor at Corning Community College in New York. I listed Msgr. Reilly and the chairmen of the theology departments of St. John’s and Fordham as my reviewers of choice.

If you want, I will email or fax the article (“Why People Believe God Caused the Big Bang”) to you. I would prefer to explain it in person where there would be give and take. Communicating with written documents requires intelligent and knowledgeable writing and reading.
Very truly yours, David Roemer
faxed to +39 0669869521

Letter to President of St. John's University, September 29, 2015

Dear Mr. Gempesaw,
On July 22, 2015, I sent a letter to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith criticizing a Catholic organization run by a Jesuit for helping the American Journal of Physics disseminate anti-religion propaganda about evolutionary biology, misrepresenting our salvation history by touting the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and for disseminating irrational arguments for God’s existence. I have not received a response yet. I am interpreting this to mean the Catholic Church wants me to educate its theologians in the United States about these matters. My correspondence with the Catholic Church is at these websites:

In addition, I recently submitted articles (“An Analogy Between Nazi Germany and the United States,” “Science, Metaphysics, Philosophy, History, and Theology of the Shroud of Turin,” and “Why People Believe God Caused the Big Bang”) to Perspectives on History (Shatha Almutawa), The Historian (Kees Boterbloem), and Journal of the American Academy of Religion (Amir Hussain), respectively.

I have contacted through emails, telephone calls, and letters mailed with a certificate of mailing 27 theologians at St. John’s University with an offer to give a seminar about these matters. My offer has been refused. I think you will be doing the Catholic Church a service if you make sure this decision is not the result of improper considerations and fear of unlawful reprisals from individuals in a position of authority.

Very truly yours, David Roemer
sent by restricted registered mail (RE134236414US)

Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University
Christopher P. Vogt, Chair
Christopher D. Denny
Rev. Robert Adamo
Rev. Stephen Bicsko
Douglas Blaine
Ben Bortin
Elizabeth Brim
Rev. Thomas Caserta
Hoon Choi
Meghan J. Clark
Francis D. Connolly-Weinert
Jeremy V. Cruz
Michael Dempsey
Eileen Fagan, S.C.
Peggy Fanning, C.S.J.
John J. Fitzgerald
Rev. Patrick Flanagan, C.M.
Andrea Florendo
Rev. Joseph Gibino
Colleen Greaney
David W. Haddorff
James Hannan
Nicholas M. Healy
Joann Heaney-Hunter
Fred Herron
Mary Jane Kelly
Sally Kenel
Erin Kidd
Mark Kiley
Rev. James King
Barbara Kosakowski
Rev. Richard Long
Marian Maskulak
Paul D. Molnar
Mary Ann Muller
Patrick Okafor
Carole Pacula
Rev. Robert Pagliari
Rabbi Mayer Perelmuter
Edward Prager
Habibeh Rahim
Robert Jay Rivera
Joseph Roach
Daniel Rober
Rev. Jean-Pierre Ruiz
Debora Semar
Rabbi Hirsch Simckes
Mariann Smith
Denis Sugrue
Matthew Lewis Sutton
Peter Taras
Tenny Thomas
Julia A. Upton, R.S.M.
Roberta VanBuskirk
Monserrat Washburn
Rev. Michael D. Whalen, C.M.

Department of Theology at Fordham University
Joseph M. McShane, SJ, President of Fordham University
J. Patrick Hornbeck II, Chair
Aristotle Papanikolaou
Barbara Andolsen
Benjamin Dunning
Bradford E. Hinze
Brenna Moore
Charles C. Camosy
Christiana Peppard
Christine Firer Hinze
George Demacopoulos
Harry P. Nasuti
James McCartin
James T. Fisher
Jeannine Hill Fletcher
John Seitz
Judith M. Kubicki, CSSF
Kathryn Kueny
Kathryn Reklis
Larry L. Welborn
Mary Callaway
Michael E. Lee
Michael Peppard
Richard R. Viladesau
Robert G. Davis
Thomas Scirghi, SJ
Sarit Kattan Gribetz
Karina Martin Hogan
Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ
Joseph T. Lienhard, SJ
Aristotle Papanikolaou
Maureen A. Tilley
Terrence W. Tilley
John Denniston
Matthew Lootens
Kathryn Reinhard
Joshua Schapiro
Krista Stevens
Joseph W. Koterski, SJ

The Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies
Very Rev. Kenneth R. Letoile, OP, Prior Provincial
Very Rev. John A. Langlois, OP, President
Rev. Thomas Petri, OP
Rev. Joseph Alobaidi, OP
Rev. Steven C. Boguslawski, OP
Rev. Basil B. Cole, OP
Dr. Gregory LaNave
Rev. Gabriel B. O’Donnell, OP
Rev. Stephen D. Ryan, OP
Rev. Thomas Joseph White, O. P.
Rev. Brian P. Chrzastek, OP
Rev. John D. Corbett, OP
Rev. Andrew Hofer, OP
Rev. John Baptist Ku, OP
Dr. Jody Vaccaro Lewis
Rev. Timothy Bellamah, OP
Rev. James Brent, OP
Dr. Brian Carl
Rev. Anthony Giambrone, OP
Rev. Dominic M. Langevin, OP
Rev. Dominic D. F. Legge, OP
Rev. Albert Trudel, OP
Rev. Seraphim Beshoner, TOR
Rev. Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield
Sr. John Mary Fleming, OP
Dr. Christopher Gross
Rev. Carleton Jones, OP
Ms. Sofia Seguel
Rev. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap.
Dr. Jem Sullivan
Rev. George P. Schommer, OP

The Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology of Seton Hall University
Rev. Msgr. Joseph R. Reilly, S.T.L., Ph.D., Rector and Dean
Rev. Robert K. Suszko, M.B.A., M.Div
Rev. Msgr. Gerard H. McCarren, S.T.D.
Rev. Christopher M. Ciccarino, S.S.L., S.T.D.
Dianne M. Traflet, J.D., S.T.D.
Rev. Hong-Ray Cho, S.T.L., Ph.D.
Justin Anderson, Ph.D.
Rev. Renato Bautista, M.Div.
Rev. W. Jerome Bracken, C.P., Ph.D.
Rev. Msgr. Joseph Chapel, S.T.D.
Rev. John Cryan, M.Div.
Timothy Fortin, Ph.D.
Rev. Pablo Gadenz, S.S.L.,S.T.D.
Gregory Glazov, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
Rev. Thomas Guarino, S.T.D.
Eric Johnston, Ph.D.
Rev. Douglas Milewski, S.T.D.
Jeffrey Morrow, Ph.D.
Rev. Lawrence Porter, Ph.D.
Joseph Rice, Ph.D.
Ellen Scully, Ph.D.
Victor Velarde-Mayol, Ph.D.
Rev. Msgr. Robert Wister, Hist.Eccl.D.
Rev. Peter Albano, Ph.D.
Rev. Donald Blumenfeld, Ph.D.
Julie Burkey, D.Min.
Diane Carr, M.A.
Rev. John Chadwick, S.T.D.
Rev. Msgr. Robert Coleman, J.C.D.
Rev. Msgr. T. Mark Condon, J.C.D.
Rev. Msgr. John Fell
Rev. Stephen Fichter, Ph.D.
David Hajduk, M.A., Ph.D.(cand.)
Rev. Msgr. Raymond Kupke, Ph.D.
Rev. Krzysztof Maslowski, S.T.D.
Fr. William McDonald, S.T.D.,S.T.B.
Rev. Daniel O'Mullane, S.T.L.,S.T.B.
Rev. Roberto Ortiz, S.T.L.
Rev. Charles Pinyan, D.Min. (cand.)
Rev. Msgr. John Radano, Ph.D.
Deacon Andrew Saunders, M.A.
Allan F. Wright
Rev. Msgr. C. Anthony Ziccardi, S.T.D.,S.S.L.
John Nowik, M.M.

Francis X. Clooney, S.J.
Michael Rossmann, S.J.