[FPSPACE] Titov & the lack of god: another detail
robert at collectspace.com
robert at collectspace.com
Sun Oct 17 10:02:40 EDT 2004
There is a story about Gagarin and the question of seeing God, that has
appeared several places in print which may be one source of the
confusion as to who spoke what, where. Online, I was able to find it
via a search in "Theology Today" written by Carl Walters, Assistant
Professor of Bible and Religion at Southwestern College at Memphis,
"There is a little parable that went around in ecclesiastical circles
shortly after the first Russian cosmonaut orbited planet earth. It was
told that upon his return to Moscow, Major Uri Gagarin, while being
feted at the Kremlin, was invited by Premier Khrushchev to join him for
a whiff or two of vodka in his private office. When the two were alone,
Mr. Khrushchev asked Mr. Gagarin, "Now tell me honestly, comrade, while
you were up and out there did you see him?" Gagarin, somewhat
reluctantly, replied, "Do you really want the truth?" And Khrushchev
answered, "Yes." So Gagarin said, "Yes, I actually did see him, up and
out there, in all his gleaming glory, sitting upon his shining throne."
Khrushchev shook his head and responded, "I was afraid of that. But
remember-don't tell anybody." From Moscow, Gagarin went on a world tour
as the honored guest of many heads of state. (And it must be emphasized
that in this story the Pope represents not just the Roman wing, but the
whole Christian church.) Well, after celebrations in Peking, East
Berlin, Delhi, and Paris, Gagarin came to Rome and to a reception at
the Vatican. When the festivities reached their height, the Pope
invited Mr. Gagarin back for a glass or two of his best wine and a chat
in his private chamber. When they were alone the Pope said, "Mr.
Gagarin, there is one question I want to ask you. When you were up and
out there did you see him?" And Gagarin, remembering the command of
Khrushchev, replied, "No, Your Holiness, I didn't. I looked, but I
couldn't find him anywhere. He's just not there." Whereupon the Pope
shook his head and said, "I was afraid of that. But please, Mr.
Gagarin, don't tell anybody."
Robert Pearlman, Editor
collectSPACE - The Source for Space History & Artifacts
On Oct 16, 2004, at 5:29 PM, Keith Gottschalk wrote:
> thanks Carlos,
> that confirms from a 3rd source that the remark was Gherman
> Titov rather than Gagarin. It also narrows it down to during 1962,
> during a US tour by him. (Titov flew in August 1961).
> If any researcher confirms - or refutes - my vague recollection of
> reading that he also made such a remark at Chicago, at a Rotary dinner
> / meeting, please let us know.
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