Galileo and the Catholic church?

I recently read a comment from a semi famous celebrity making a point that so and so never admits to being wrong just as the Catholic church never admitted to being wrong in the Galileo incident? I hear comments like this a lot but I confess I don’t understand the whole Galileo thing?:shrug:

Can someone help by explaining in simple English what this Galileo incident is? Why is Galileo drawn like a gun by so many anti-catholics and what exactly is their point? I’ve tried to loo up some info on him but it is all so confusing and there are so many conflicting stories? What is it about GAlileo that makes him such a seemingly handy weapon for anti-catholics to refer to? In simple terms what is their point?

Also, where can I find a true unbiased account of what this whole Galileo thing was about? Is there a true history account sans some hidden agenda???:shrug:

Let me explain it the way I was told years ago. Galileo found out that the Earth rotated around the Sun whereas the Church said the Sun and all the heavenly bodies rotated around the Earth. That statement of fact by Galileo to the Church was a Heresy so that was what caused the Galieo incidents.

Here’s a good summary both of what happened and why so many Protestants consider this the ‘smoking gun’ against Catholicism.

Galileo came to Rome to see Pope Paul V (1605-1621). The pope, weary of controversy, turned the matter over to the Holy Office, which issued a condemnation of Galileo’s theory in 1616. Things returned to relative quiet for a time, until Galileo forced another showdown.

At Galileo’s request, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit—one of the most important Catholic theologians of the day—issued a certificate that, although it forbade Galileo to hold or defend the heliocentric theory, did not prevent him from conjecturing it. When Galileo met with the new pope, Urban VIII, in 1623, he received permission from his longtime friend to write a work on heliocentrism, but the new pontiff cautioned him not to advocate the new position, only to present arguments for and against it. When Galileo wrote the Dialogue on the Two World Systems, he used an argument the pope had offered, and placed it in the mouth of his character Simplicio. Galileo, perhaps inadvertently, made fun of the pope, a result that could only have disastrous consequences. Urban felt mocked and could not believe how his friend could disgrace him publicly. Galileo had mocked the very person he needed as a benefactor. He also alienated his long-time supporters, the Jesuits, with attacks on one of their astronomers. The result was the infamous trial, which is still heralded as the final separation of science and religion.

Very good outline Corki!

As far as the present state between the Catholic Church and science, it is far better, though not fully healed. The Catholic Church leaves science in the hands of scientists. The Church takes a stand, however, anytime a scientist ventures into the realm of metaphysics and tries to explain away God. The Church does teach infallibly that science should confirm the Christian belief that there was a beginning to the universe, and that the universe is not eternal. With the advent of relativity and the big bang theory, it appears this has been confirmed.

Catholics should never fear to unite the faith with reason. As both our faith and the universe come from God they can never pose opposing positions.

Galileo could not prove his theory. The problem wasn’t that the Church was against it, it was that Galileo was trying to pass off an unproven theory as a fact. It would take until the 1800s until the theory was made a law by secular science. Look this up by simple google-ing, development of heliocentrism.

number 2, it directly contradicts the Bible,
Sun moves:

Judges 5:31 … but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might…

The Earth is stable:

1 Chronicles 16:30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.

The Sky is a solid thing, spread over the Earth

Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?

The Earth is on a foundation and doesn’t move:

Hebrews 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Suggestive of a flat Earth:

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him

The Church was not willing to disregard the Bible for a hypothesis.

Catholics weren’t the only ones who did not agree with Galileo. Protestants rejected his works as well. However the Church’s condemnation of Galileo is often exaggerated.

Quoted from Wikipedia: (use the links given on the site if you wish for actual info)
The decree of 1616
The Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina prompted the papal authorities to decide whether heliocentrism was acceptable. Galileo was summoned to Rome to defend his position. The Church accepted the use of heliocentrism as a calculating device, but opposed it as a literal description of the solar system. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine himself considered that Galileo’s model made “excellent good sense” on the ground of mathematical simplicity; that is, as a hypothesis (see above). And he said:
“If there were a real proof that the Sun is in the center of the universe, that the Earth is in the third sphere, and that the Sun does not go round the Earth but the Earth round the Sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and we should rather have to say that we did not understand them than declare an opinion false which has been proved to be true. But I do not think there is any such proof since none has been shown to me.”
—Koestler (1959), p. 447–448
Bellarmine supported a ban on the teaching of the idea as anything but hypothesis. In 1616 he delivered to Galileo the papal command not to “hold or defend” the heliocentric idea.[59] The Vatican files suggest that Galileo was forbidden to teach heliocentrism in any way whatsoever, but whether this ban was known to Galileo is a matter of dispute.[60]

I believe this link will basically cover what I just said more easily

I always liked this scene in Brecht’s Life of Galileo in which a monk attempts to explain to Galileo that despite his observations being correct, the Church was right to suppress them:

It also hasn’t been mentioned yet that the Catholic Church has stated publicly that it has completely vindicated Galileo and asked forgiveness for its incorrect judgement.

here is a good podcast focusing on all matters of Faith and Science:
He did one about Galileo a while back and here is a direct link to it

I’m sure many of the things have already been discussed on here (it’s been a while since I listened to this particular episode) but my memory tells me it provided an interesting and thorough explanation of the whole affair with Galileo

Ah, yes. Galileo. He is one leg of the tripod upon which rests the program of anti-Catholic historical misinformation. The other two legs are, of course, the Crusades and the Inquisition.

All three are used to attack the Church, most often by people who have little to know actual historical knowledge but are simply parroting the “common knowledge” in order to bolster their poor opinion of the Church.

If you go to the Catholic Education Resource Center’s website, they have a dozen articles on Galileo that help to put things in perspective:

They also have articles on the Crusades and the Inquisition for when you (inevitably) encounter those arguments as well.

There is no need to whitewash things. Certain members of the Church do not come out smelling like roses in these historical happenings. But there is quite a bit of exaggeration and misinformation that needs to be corrected and clarified.

Here’s a book, Galileo’s Daughter, by Dava Sobel, recounting Galileo’s relationship with his nun-daughter via over a hundred letters written to him. Galileo loved the Church as did his daughter and even though under house arrest was more than comfortable residing in the Vatican. Galileo was the first pop star. His snarky attitude engendered enemies needlessly. His daughter took the name “Suor/Sister Maria Celeste” in a lovely homage to the passion she shared with her dad. God bless Galileo Galilei and Suor Maria Celeste and all fathers who love their “unplanned” children and the grateful children who love them.

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