According to a controversial Facebook post, in a time-honored sacred ritual, Professor Hawking became a Christian just before passing away.
But did Stephen Hawking really turn to Christianity before his death?
The world-renowned astrophysicist passed away at the age of 76, leaving behind a great scientific legacy. And when it came down to religion and God, Hawking wasn’t really someone who was religiously motivated, nor did he believe in the existence in god as he claimed, on numerous occasions, how God had no role in creating the universe.”
Now, as news about Hawking’s death has quickly spread among all social networks and news agencies, posts about Stephen Hawking have become very popular, after all, he was one of the most popular scientists of the 21st century.
On 14 March 2018a a Facebook Post published by a Page called „Catholics Online“ posted an image of Professor Stephen Hawking and Pope Francis with a caption reading: Before he died, ‘Stip’h ‘Hawkins’ (apparently the author didn’t even manage to spell Hawking’s name accurately) who did not believe in God requested to visit the Vatican. “Now l believe” was the only statement he made after the Holy Father blessed him.
Before he died, Stiph Hawkins who did not believe in God requested to visit the Vatican. "Now l believe" was the only statement he made after the Holy Father blessed him.
However, we all know that Professor Hawking was an atheist, and saw no place for God in the universe.
Hawking often discussed the origins of the universe and his views about a Creator suggesting that the universe had no need for such a divine being.
As the Washington Post documented after his death, Hawking told the Guardian in 2011 that he did not believe in an afterlife or heaven:
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
Furthermore, in his Book “The Grand Design,” which was co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says according to a new series of theories, it is superfluous to think of a creator of the universe.
“The universe began with the Big Bang, which simply followed the inevitable law of physics,” Hawking wrote. “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”
“The universe didn’t need a God to begin; it was quite capable of launching its existence on its own,” said Hawking explained in his book, The Grand Design.
In today’s world, where new theories emerge reapply, physicists are constantly adapting new ideologies and theories to new discoveries in their respective fields.
In 2010, he told ABC News: “One can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, but science makes God unnecessary.”
But despite the fact that Hawking was an atheist, he was a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, appointed to it by Pope Paul VI in 1968.
As noted in an article written by the Catholic Herald, the academy said he told four popes he wanted to ‘advance the relationship between Faith and Scientific Reason’.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which Pope Pius IX established in 1847, tweeted, “We are deeply saddened about the passing of our remarkable Academician Stephen #Hawking who was so faithful to our Academy.”
“He told the 4 Popes he met that he wanted to advance the relationship between Faith and Scientific Reason. We pray the Lord to welcome him in his Glory,” @CasinaPioIV, the academy, tweeted March 14.
It is precisely there, from where the Facebook Page Catholics Online created their little contribution to Fake News.
Francisco saluta a Hawking che è contento, soddisfatto e sofferentemente per la malattia che lo imprigiona pic.twitter.com/7SrcDKW76s
— Casina Pio IV (@CasinaPioIV) March 15, 2018
They used an image of Pope Francis and Stephen Hawking when he delivered his presentation on “The Origin of the Universe” at the academy’s plenary session on science and sustainability in 2016.
But despite the fact that Professor Hawking did not believe in God, he was greatly appreciated and respected in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the Catholic Church in General.
Curiously, Vatican astronomer Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, who has studied both physics and philosophy, told Catholic News Service in 2010 that “the ‘god’ that Stephen Hawking doesn’t believe in is one I don’t believe in either.”
“God is not just another force in the universe, alongside gravity or electricity,” he added. “God is the reason why existence itself exists. God is the reason why space and time and the laws of nature can be present for the forces to operate that Stephen Hawking is talking about.”
Featured image credit: Vatican Media.