CH 1995 53'
The building of a huge astronomical observatory on Mount Graham, in south-eastern Arizona has been strongly opposed by the San Carlos Apaches. To them, Mt. Graham is sacred land. It is home to mountain spirits, protector from illness and enemies, a source of strength for medicine men and an important ceremonial and burial site. The Apaches particularly resent the fact that the Catholic Church is involved in the building of this observatory. The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope is now completed and will be partly used to search for extraterrestrial life forms. Science and faith are at the heart of this controversy, but the real issue may be the respect of a threatened culture's integrity.