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By Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, Jan. 11, 2021
Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., and currently serves as the St. John Henry Newman Visiting Chair in Catholic Studies at Thomas More College.
St. John Paul II used to tell a story – a true story – about a colleague of his at a Polish university where the future pope was teaching ethics. The colleague was a philosopher who claimed that he was an atheist when he was sitting at his desk, but found himself believing in God when he went out hiking in the mountains.
Ever since I read that story, it’s come back to me, with force, in different situations. You could simply read it as yet another example of the follies of intellectuals. So far as I’ve heard, the professor in question never resolved this contradiction, which you might think would be the central occupation of his professional and private lives. …