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posted by chromas on Tuesday February 12 2019, @03:41PM   Printer-friendly

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

The truth about Galileo and his conflict with the Catholic Church

Today virtually every child grows up learning that the earth orbits the sun.

But four centuries ago, the idea of a heliocentric solar system was so controversial that the Catholic Church classified it as a heresy, and warned the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei to abandon it.

Many people believe that Galileo was hounded by the church for almost two decades, that he openly maintained a belief in heliocentrism, and that he was only spared torture and death because his powerful friends intervened on his behalf. But an examination of the fine details of Galileo’s conflict with church leaders doesn’t bear that out, according to English department distinguished research professor Henry Kelly.

In an article published this month in the journal “Church History,” Kelly clarifies some popularly held notions around Galileo’s travails with the church.

“We can only guess at what he really believed,” said Kelly, who for his research undertook a thorough examination of the judicial procedure used by the church in its investigation of Galileo. “Galileo was clearly stretching the truth when he maintained at his trial in 1633 that after 1616 he had never considered heliocentrism to be possible. Admitting otherwise would have increased the penance he was given, but would not have endangered his life, since he agreed to renounce the heresy — and in fact it would have spared him even the threat of torture.”

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the Catholic Church’s investigation into Galileo.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12 2019, @05:54PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12 2019, @05:54PM (#800189)

    As to the details, if Galileo was an ass about it, and mocked the Pope, shouldn't the representatives of Christianity have shown more Christian forgiveness, as well as humility? Turn the other cheek? By going after him, they made a far bigger mockery of themselves than Galileo could have ever done. They showed they were actually prideful, petty, spiteful, vengeful, and wrongheaded, the very qualities they preach against.

    As both a Christian and an astronomer, I must agree that you speak much truth. Frankly, the Christian Church---especially in the West---has never lived this down, if it ever will. Seeing as how Galileo was being a bit of a pugnacious ass, it would have been far better for the Pope to have instead reminded Galileo to be a bit more polite and circumspect even as he disagreed. I hope that the Christian Church could at least learn that lesson, but alas I fear that many Christians still have not.

  • (Score: 1, Troll) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday February 12 2019, @09:36PM (4 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday February 12 2019, @09:36PM (#800342) Journal

    Your religion died in 325 AD at Nicaea, and Saul of Tarsus already made a good attempt at smothering it in the cradle centuries before.

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @12:16AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @12:16AM (#800402)

      Your religion died in 325 AD....

      Eh??? I don't believe we have ever met in person. Other than "Christian", how is it you purport to know what exactly my "religion" is? You do realize that "the Christian Church" of today is not one monolithic entity, right? In point of fact, "Christian" today covers a fairly large bit of ground. Or, so it seems to me.

      ...at Nicaea, and Saul of Tarsus already made a good attempt at smothering it in the cradle centuries before.

      Yes, please do go on and explain. I am genuinely intrigued by what you will share with us. I await your response with 'bated breath.

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday February 13 2019, @02:11AM (2 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday February 13 2019, @02:11AM (#800436) Journal

        Something tells me it would be, and this may be the most appropriate use of the phrase ever, a "pearls before swine" situation. Just an odd feeling I've got.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @03:24AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @03:24AM (#800475)

          In other words, you've got nothing but a snarky throwaway line.
          The Christian Church has been reborn more than once. The Roman Catholic Church is not the last word in Christianity.

          (Posted by a different AC)

          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday February 13 2019, @04:34AM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday February 13 2019, @04:34AM (#800492) Journal

            Oh yes, "the Christian Church" has been "reborn" so many times that we now have thousands of One True Faith(s) TM, nearly all of them warmly damning all the others to eternal hellfire. Which is about the last kind of situation you'd expect if the actual Truth with a capital T had been revealed to all and sundry.

            Ask the Arians sometime (oh wait, you can't) about that. Or try and imagine the disciples' reactions what that heretic Saul claimed to be their equal or better despite only ever seeing Jesus in visions, rather than, you know, ACTUALLY SPENDING TIME DIRECTLY AND PHYSICALLY WITH HIM.

            You know less about this subject than you think you do.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...