Catholic Church apologizes to Galileo

Oct. 31, 1991

Catholic Church apologizes to Galileo, who died in 1642
In 1610, Century Italian astronomer/mathematician/inventor Galileo Galilei used a a telescope he built to observe the solar system, and deduced that the planets orbit the sun, not the earth.

This contradicted Church teachings, and some of the clergy accused Galileo of heresy. One friar went to the Inquisition, the Church court that investigated charges of heresy, and formally accused Galileo. (In 1600, a man named Giordano Bruno was convicted of being a heretic for believing that the earth moved around the Sun, and that there were many planets throughout the universe where life existed. Bruno was burnt to death.)

Galileo moved on to other projects. He started writing about ocean tides, but instead of writing a scientific paper, he found it much more interesting to have an imaginary conversation among three fictional characters. One character, who would support Galileo's side of the argument, was brilliant. Another character would be open to either side of the argument. The final character, named Simplicio, was dogmatic and foolish, representing all of Galileo's enemies who ignored any evidence that Galileo was right. Soon, Galileo wrote up a similar dialogue called "Dialogue on the Two Great Systems of the World. " This book talked about the Copernican system.

"Dialogue" was an immediate hit with the public, but not, of course, with the Church. The pope suspected that he was the model for Simplicio. He ordered the book banned, and also ordered Galileo to appear before the Inquisition in Rome for the crime of teaching the Copernican theory after being ordered not to do so.

Galileo was 68 years old and sick. Threatened with torture, he publicly confessed that he had been wrong to have said that the Earth moves around the Sun. Legend then has it that after his confession, Galileo quietly whispered "And yet, it moves."

Unlike many less famous prisoners, Galileo was allowed to live under house arrest. Until his death in 1642, he continued to investigate science, and even published a book on force and motion after he had become blind.

The Church eventually lifted the ban on Galileo's Dialogue in 1822, when it was common knowledge that the Earth was not the center of the Universe. Still later, there were statements by the Vatican Council in the early 1960's and in 1979 that implied that Galileo was pardoned, and that he had suffered at the hands of the Church. Finally, in 1992, three years after Galileo Galilei's namesake spacecraft had been launched on its way to Jupiter, the Vatican formally and publicly cleared Galileo of any wrongdoing.

(info from NASA and the History Channel) (portrait by Justus Sustermans painted in 1636)

In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for all the mistakes committed by some Catholics in the last 2,000 years of the Catholic Church's history, including the trial of Galileo among others

Vatican Science Panel Told By Pope: Galileo Was Right

ROME, Oct. 31, 1991

Moving formally to rectify a wrong, Pope John Paul II acknowledged in a speech today that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning Galileo 359 years ago for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

The address by the Pope before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences closed a 13-year investigation into the Church's condemnation of Galileo in 1633, one of history's most notorious conflicts between faith and science. Galileo was forced to recant his scientific findings to avoid being burned at the stake and spent the remaining eight years of his life under house arrest.

John Paul said the theologians who condemned Galileo did not recognize the formal distinction between the Bible and its interpretation.

"This led them unduly to transpose into the realm of the doctrine of the faith, a question which in fact pertained to scientific investigation.

Though the Pope acknowledged that the Church had done Galileo a wrong, he said the 17th-century theologians were working with the knowledge available to them at the time.



In 1992. the Vatican formally and publicly cleared Galileo of any wrongdoing.

The Church eventually lifted the ban on Galileo's Dialogue in 1822, when it was common knowledge that the Earth was not the center of the Universe. Still later, there were statements by the Vatican Council in the early 1960's and in 1979 that implied that Galileo was pardoned, and that he had suffered at the hands of the Church. Finally, in 1992, three years after Galileo Galilei's namesake spacecraft had been launched on its way to Jupiter, the Vatican formally and publicly cleared Galileo of any wrongdoing.

On 31 October 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, and officially conceded that the Earth was not stationary, as the result of a study conducted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.[104][105] Pope Benedict XVI later praised Galileo.


http://4thefirsttime.blogspot.com/2007/09/1992-catholic-church-apologizes-to.html

Monday, September 10, 2007
1992: Catholic Church apologizes to Galileo, who died in 1642

In 1610, Century Italian astronomer/mathematician/inventor Galileo Galilei used a a telescope he built to observe the solar system, and deduced that the planets orbit the sun, not the earth.

This contradicted Church teachings, and some of the clergy accused Galileo of heresy. One friar went to the Inquisition, the Church court that investigated charges of heresy, and formally accused Galileo. (In 1600, a man named Giordano Bruno was convicted of being a heretic for believing that the earth moved around the Sun, and that there were many planets throughout the universe where life existed. Bruno was burnt to death.)

Galileo moved on to other projects. He started writing about ocean tides, but instead of writing a scientific paper, he found it much more interesting to have an imaginary conversation among three fictional characters. One character, who would support Galileo's side of the argument, was brilliant. Another character would be open to either side of the argument. The final character, named Simplicio, was dogmatic and foolish, representing all of Galileo's enemies who ignored any evidence that Galileo was right. Soon, Galileo wrote up a similar dialogue called "Dialogue on the Two Great Systems of the World." This book talked about the Copernican system.

"Dialogue" was an immediate hit with the public, but not, of course, with the Church. The pope suspected that he was the model for Simplicio. He ordered the book banned, and also ordered Galileo to appear before the Inquisition in Rome for the crime of teaching the Copernican theory after being ordered not to do so.

Galileo was 68 years old and sick. Threatened with torture, he publicly confessed that he had been wrong to have said that the Earth moves around the Sun. Legend then has it that after his confession, Galileo quietly whispered "And yet, it moves."

Unlike many less famous prisoners, Galileo was allowed to live under house arrest. Until his death in 1642, he continued to investigate science, and even published a book on force and motion after he had become blind.

The Church eventually lifted the ban on Galileo's Dialogue in 1822, when it was common knowledge that the Earth was not the center of the Universe. Still later, there were statements by the Vatican Council in the early 1960's and in 1979 that implied that Galileo was pardoned, and that he had suffered at the hands of the Church. Finally, in 1992, three years after Galileo Galilei's namesake spacecraft had been launched on its way to Jupiter, the Vatican formally and publicly cleared Galileo of any wrongdoing.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo#Church_controversy

Western Christian biblical references Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30 include (depending on translation) text stating that "the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved." In the same tradition, Psalm 104:5 says, "the LORD set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved." Further, Ecclesiastes 1:5 states that "And the sun rises and sets and returns to its place" etc.[85]

Galileo defended heliocentrism, and claimed it was not contrary to those Scripture passages. He took Augustine's position on Scripture: not to take every passage literally, particularly when the scripture in question is a book of poetry and songs, not a book of instructions or history. The writers of the Scripture wrote from the perspective of the terrestrial world, and from that vantage point the sun does rise and set. In fact, it is the earth's rotation which gives the impression of the sun in motion across the sky. He did, however, openly question the veracity of the Book of Joshua (10:13) wherein the sun and moon were said to have remained unmoved for three days to allow a victory to the Israelites.

By 1616 the attacks on Galileo had reached a head, and he went to Rome to try to persuade the Church authorities not to ban his ideas. In the end, Cardinal Bellarmine, acting on directives from the Inquisition, delivered him an order not to "hold or defend" the idea that the Earth moves and the Sun stands still at the centre. The decree did not prevent Galileo from discussing heliocentrism hypothetically. For the next several years Galileo stayed well away from the controversy. He revived his project of writing a book on the subject, encouraged by the election of Cardinal Barberini as Pope Urban VIII in 1623. Barberini was a friend and admirer of Galileo, and had opposed the condemnation of Galileo in 1616. The book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was published in 1632, with formal authorization from the Inquisition and papal permission.

Pope Urban VIII personally asked Galileo to give arguments for and against heliocentrism in the book, and to be careful not to advocate heliocentrism. He made another request, that his own views on the matter be included in Galileo's book. Only the latter of those requests was fulfilled by Galileo. Whether unknowingly or deliberately, Simplicio ("Simpleton"[citation needed]), the defender of the Aristotelian Geocentric view in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was often caught in his own errors and sometimes came across as a fool. This fact made Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems appear as an advocacy book; an attack on Aristotelian geocentrism and defense of the Copernican theory. To add insult to injury, Galileo put the words of Pope Urban VIII into the mouth of Simplicio. Most historians agree Galileo did not act out of malice and felt blindsided by the reaction to his book.[86] However, the Pope did not take the suspected public ridicule lightly, nor the blatant bias. Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to defend his writings.

With the loss of many of his defenders in Rome because of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. The sentence of the Inquisition was in three essential parts:

*

Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to "abjure, curse and detest" those opinions.[87]
*

He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
*

His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.[88]

Tomb of Galileo Galilei, Santa Croce

According to popular legend, after recanting his theory that the Earth moved around the Sun, Galileo allegedly muttered the rebellious phrase And yet it moves, but there is no evidence that he actually said this or anything similarly impertinent. The first account of the legend dates to a century after his death.[89]

After a period with the friendly Ascanio Piccolomini (the Archbishop of Siena), Galileo was allowed to return to his villa at Arcetri near Florence, where he spent the remainder of his life under house arrest, and where he later became blind. It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he dedicated his time to one of his finest works, Two New Sciences. Here he summarized work he had done some forty years earlier, on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials. This book has received high praise from both Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.[citation needed] As a result of this work, Galileo is often called, the "father of modern physics".

Galileo died on 8 January 1642 at 77 years of age. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando II, wished to bury him in the main body of the Basilica of Santa Croce, next to the tombs of his father and other ancestors, and to erect a marble mausoleum in his honour.[90] These plans were scrapped, however, after Pope Urban VIII and his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Barberini, protested.[91] He was instead buried in a small room next to the novices' chapel at the end of a corridor from the southern transept of the basilica to the sacristy.[92] He was reburied in the main body of the basilica in 1737 after a monument had been erected there in his honour.[93]


Read further at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo#Church_controversy On October 31 of 1992, the Roman Catholic Church finally admitted
that it had erred in its 359-year-old persecution of the 17th century
astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). The announcement was
made by Pope John Paul II at a meeting of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy
of Sciences in Rome. The Pope said that "the underlying problems of this
case concern both the nature of science and the nature of faith...one day
we may find ourselves in a similar situation, which will require both sides
to have an informed awareness of the field and the limits of their own
competencies."

And the recent one is made September 14, 2008
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2081812/posts

"Church makes "ludicrous" apology to Charles Darwin - 126 years after his death
Daily Mail ^ | September 13, 2008 | Jonathan Petre

Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2008 3:24:36 PM by gondramB

The Church of England will tomorrow officially apologise to Charles Darwin for misunderstanding his theory of evolution.

In a bizarre step, the Church will address its contrition directly to the Victorian scientist himself, even though he died 126 years ago.

But the move was greeted with derision last night, with Darwin" great-great-grandson dismissing it as "pointless" and other critics branding it "ludicrous".

----

Church officials compared the apology to the late Pope John Paul II" decision to say sorry for the Vatican" 1633 trial of Galileo, the astronomer who appalled prelates by declaring that the earth revolved around the sun.

The officials said that senior bishops wanted to atone for the vilification their predecessors heaped on Darwin in the 1860s, when he put forward his theory that man was descended from apes."

Sites to read on, too:

http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=better-late-than-never-clergyman-sa-2008-09-16

http://catholicism.suite101.com/article.cfm/galileo_versus_catholicism