Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit priest and director of the Vatican Observatory, has challenged physicist Stephen Hawking’s atheistic beliefs, and argued that while God’s workings can in part be explained by science, God remains supernatural. Consolmagno, an astronomer who’s hosting a three-day conference on May 9–12 at the papal summer residence in Castelgandolfo, Italy, about the relationship between science and the Divine, argued that God is not simply the cause of the Big Bang.

“If you look at God as merely the thing that started the Big Bang, then you get a nature god, like Jupiter throwing around lightning bolts,” Consolmagno said, according to a Crux article on Monday. “That’s not a god I want to believe in,” he said. “There are many ideas of god, which means there are many gods I don’t believe in. “We must believe in a God who is supernatural,” he continued. “We recognize God as the one who is responsible for existence, and our science tells us how he did it.” READ MORE