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Galileo Denial?


New Member
I know I'm way the hell behind on the date of this article but damn. The headline jumped out at me on google.

"Mendacity & Whitewash: The Slanderous Anti-Christian Falsehoods of 'Angels & Demons'"


Its a movie review of that Tom Hanks movie. I never saw it, nor cared to, but this article had me reeling a little.

This guy is claiming that Galileo was never condemned by the Church as a heretic. Ironically he then argues that the reason the Church kept him under house arrest was because of his heretical theological views and nothing to do with his theory on heliocentrism. . .

I'm wondering if anyone else has run into this one yet? Thoughts?

p.s. wasn't sure which forum this should go in, but since it's more about christian denial than Galileo's findings, I threw it in here.
That was the strangest "defense" of the Catholic Church I've seen all week: "We didn't lock up Galileo and keep him confined for the last decade f his life because of his heretical views about science!! We did it because he made fun of the Pope! Don't you feel stupid for criticizing the Church now?" :facepalm:
from the article said:
In fact, the movie's ultimate impression is that Christians throughout history are mostly a bunch of well meaning but bumbling fools with a few really bad guys and hypocrites included in the bunch.

I'd say that's about right. :lol:

As for the Galileo thing, I'm not really surprised. If the Catholic church has ever had an excellent profession in anything, it is historical revisionism.
Uh, yeah, I've heard that argument before... where was it?

Oh, yeah
Catholic Encyclopedia said:
In regard to their history, there are two main points to be considered. It is in the first place constantly assumed, especially at the present day, that the opposition which Copernicanism encountered at the hands of ecclesiastical authority was prompted by hatred of science and a desire to keep the minds of men in the darkness of ignorance. To suppose that any body of men could deliberately adopt such a course is ridiculous, especially a body which, with whatever defects of method, had for so long been the only one which concerned itself with science at all.

It is likewise contradicted by the history of the very controversy with which we are now concerned. According to a popular notion the point, upon which beyond all others churchmen were determined to insist, was the geocentric system of astronomy. Nevertheless it was a churchman, Nicholas Copernicus, who first advanced the contrary doctrine that the sun and not the earth is the centre of our system, round which our planet revolves, rotating on its own axis. His great work, "De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium", was published at the earnest solicitation of two distinguished churchmen, Cardinal Schà¶mberg and Tiedemann Giese, Bishop of Culm. It was dedicated by permission to Pope Paul III in order, as Copernicus explained, that it might be thus protected from the attacks which it was sure to encounter on the part of the "mathematicians" (i.e. philosophers) for its apparent contradiction of the evidence of our senses, and even of common sense. He added that he made no account of objections which might be brought by ignorant wiseacres on Scriptural grounds. Indeed, for nearly three quarters of a century no such difficulties were raised on the Catholic side, although Luther and Melanchthon condemned the work of Copernicus in unmeasured terms. Neither Paul III, nor any of the nine popes who followed him, nor the Roman Congregations raised any alarm, and, as has been seen, Galileo himself in 1597, speaking of the risks he might run by an advocacy of Copernicanism, mentioned ridicule only and said nothing of persecution. Even when he had made his famous discoveries, no change occurred in this respect. On the contrary, coming to Rome in 1611, he was received in triumph; all the world, clerical and lay, flocked to see him, and, setting up his telescope in the Quirinal Garden belonging to Cardinal Bandim, he exhibited the sunspots and other objects to an admiring throng.

It was not until four years later that trouble arose, the ecclesiastical authorities taking alarm at the persistence with which Galileo proclaimed the truth of the Copernican doctrine. That their opposition was grounded, as is constantly assumed, upon a fear lest men should be enlightened by the diffusion of scientific truth, it is obviously absurd to maintain. On the contrary, they were firmly convinced, with Bacon and others, that the new teaching was radically false and unscientific, while it is now truly admitted that Galileo himself had no sufficient proof of what he so vehemently advocated, and Professor Huxley after examining the case avowed his opinion that the opponents of Galileo "had rather the best of it". But what, more than all, raised alarm was anxiety for the credit of Holy Scripture, the letter of which was then universally believed to be the supreme authority in matters of science, as in all others. When therefore it spoke of the sun staying his course at the prayer of Joshua, or the earth as being ever immovable, it was assumed that the doctrine of Copernicus and Galileo was anti-Scriptural; and therefore heretical. It is evident that, since the days of Copernicus himself, the Reformation controversy had done much to attach suspicion to novel interpretations of the Bible, which was not lessened by the endeavours of Galileo and his ally Foscarini to find positive arguments for Copernicanism in the inspired volume.[ . . . ]

In these circumstances, Galileo, hearing that some had denounced his doctrine as anti-Scriptural, presented himself at Rome in December, 1615, and was courteously received. He was presently interrogated before the Inquisition, which after consultation declared the system he upheld to be scientifically false, and anti-Scriptural or heretical, and that he must renounce it. This he obediently did, promising to teach it no more. Then followed a decree of the Congregation of the Index dated 5 March 1616, prohibiting various heretical works to which were added any advocating the Copernican system. In this decree no mention is made of Galileo, or of any of his works.

[ . . . ]

After his return to Florence, Galileo set himself to compose the work which revived and aggravated all former animosities, namely a dialogue in which a Ptolemist is utterly routed and confounded by two Copernicans. This was published in 1632, and, being plainly inconsistent with his former promise, was taken by the Roman authorities as a direct challenge. He was therefore again cited before the Inquisition, and again failed to display the courage of his opinions, declaring that since his former trial in 1616 he had never held the Copernican theory. Such a declaration, naturally was not taken very seriously, and in spite of it he was condemned as "vehemently suspected of heresy" to incarceration at the pleasure of the tribunal and to recite the Seven Penitential Psalms once a week for three years.

Under the sentence of imprisonment Galileo remained till his death in 1642. It is, however, untrue to speak of him as in any proper sense a "prisoner". [ . . . ] It is wholly untrue that he was , as is constantly stated , either tortured or blinded by his persecutors , though in 1637, five years before his death, he became totally blind , or that he was refused burial in consecrated ground. On the contrary, although the pope (Urban VIII) did not allow a monument to be erected over his tomb, he sent his special blessing to the dying man, who was interred not only in consecrated ground, but within the church of Santa Croce at Florence.

(src:Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909)

Catholic revisionism... ah, it has such a particular taste. Sorry for the long quote, I'd like the church had a less boring writing style too :)
The Catholic Church placed any and all books advocating Heliocentrism on their list of Forbidden Books from 1664 to 1742. How can they possibly claim they weren't against heliocentrism?
nasher168 said:
The Catholic Church placed any and all books advocating Heliocentrism on their list of Forbidden Books from 1664 to 1742. How can they possibly claim they weren't against heliocentrism?
Blaming scientists - well, philosophers - and protestants, of course.

Here more or less the story (not history). I've heard many variants, but more or less they go like: The church promoted heliocentrism at the very beginning. Once protestants and scholars started refuting Galileo's claims, it was clear that Galileo was spreading lies. It was untenable, they say, for scientists like Bacon, and for protestant (using scriptural literalism) and catholic (using science and common sense) theologists (here comes the emphasis that BOTH agreed, as if that meant something). But scientists and protestants had no moral authority to prevent him from doing so: the Church had. So it was the task of the church to stop the heretic view. If scientists had done his work and accepted the truth that Galileo showed, and if protestants... well, protestants were not protestants (y'know, heretical heathens), then the Church hadn't had to condemn such a relevant figure... Of course, there were some rotten clergymen with wrong motivations, real hate against Galileo, but that was never ever the position of the Church. Have I mentioned that the Popes loved Galileo?

Somewhere in there usually is the argument that the issue with the Holy Inquisition was just a friendly talk; they called him to ask him some questions, he agreed, he publicly and voluntarily acknowledged that his model was wrong... Not that there were torture, threatens or something like that, right? No one has ever being killed by the Inquisition because of heliocentrism! What? Giordano Bruno? Who is him?

By the way, you may NOT want to check the entry on Bruno >:)
arg-fallbackName=")O( Hytegia )O("/>
Wasn't the entire point of the book "Angels & Demons" the fact that the Catholic Church were revisionists and would do anything to change the flow of information in their favor - including making the REAL antagonist the epic hero, granting him Sainthood because he foiled a plot that he'd personally set up?


Angels & Demons is not so Fictitious as it would seem, I suppose.
)O( Hytegia )O( said:
Wasn't the entire point of the book "Angels & Demons" the fact that the Catholic Church were revisionists and would do anything to change the flow of information in their favor - including making the REAL antagonist the epic hero, granting him Sainthood because he foiled a plot that he'd personally set up?


Angels & Demons is not so Fictitious as it would seem, I suppose.

I think the point of Angel & Demons was to make Dan Brown more cash
John Paul II publicly apologized to Galileo in 1992 and put up a statue of him outside the vatican.

Pope Palpatine still thought he had deserved it.