Vatican Celebrates Galileo

The church denounced Galileo‘s theory as dangerous to the faith. Tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, later changed to house arrest.

The ruling helped fuel accusations that the church was hostile to science — a reputation the Vatican has been trying to shed ever since.

In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.”

The exhibit, and other Vatican initiatives to mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s telescope and the U.N.-designated International Year of Astronomy, is part of the Vatican’s continuing rehabilitation effort.

From here.

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition, painting...

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition Image via Wikipedia

My first reaction to this news was to suspect the Catholic Church of being hypocritical. Their pope celebrates a man who the church had condemned as a hypocrite and excommunicated?! There are plenty of examples of this religious organization suppressing and condemning beliefs that are not theirs as “blasphemy“.

But I took a step back, and thought about it again. The way the article presents it, and knowing that the previous Pope apologized for how the church had treated Galileo in the past, I now perceive this act of spending money, and effort, on promoting Galileo’s ideas as an apology. For hundreds of years there was the belief that the Pope (and thus the church) couldn’t be wrong; and that’s changing – for the better I think.

There are still cases of intolerance for other points of view in that particular religion, and it is something we must all guard against, but I think this is one positive step forward.

Related Article: Fundamentalist Atheists


One comment on “Vatican Celebrates Galileo

  1. fabrino says:

    Actually, what you have stated is true, and reasonable.It is out of this that we need to recognize some signs of impartiality that Pope John Paul the II has revealed throughout his life.Thing is there is no way that any religion can work on the bases of realistic or liberal principles. So we need to leave what is related to religious matter in its perspective, but also we cannot allow any religion developing the the falso principles which intend to harm the well being of humanity.Actually there are many strange things which are taking place in religious world which is bad enough we never had any organization which is intend to find out the injustices which are played in religious world.So scence and faith cannot work hand in hand in its expected sense in one way or another there might be some contradictions.Simply because one is based on the realistic and observable principle, whereas faith is also sometimes based on the observable principle but the principles a misterious, and not more realistic.


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