Just joined, not Catholic. While searching for information on Galielo’s conflict with the Catholic Church, I happened across the article on this web site (The Galileo Controversy).
I note that it tends to mislead one into believing the Catholic Church bore no culpability in Galileo’s imprisonment and forced “confession”:
In the end, Galileo recanted his heliocentric teachings, but it was not—as is commonly supposed—under torture nor after a harsh imprisonment. Galileo was, in fact, treated surprisingly well.
The article does not complete the story, conveniently leaving out that Galileo recanted so he would not be tortured.
A few paragraphs further down the article states:
The records demonstrate that Galileo could not be tortured because of regulations laid down in The Directory for Inquisitors (Nicholas Eymeric, 1595). This was the official guide of the Holy Office, the Church office charged with dealing with such matters, and was followed to the letter.
Gee, do you think Galileo was fully apprised of the Church’s inability to torture him (and does the Church deny they tortured…kind of like redefining water boarding so that it’s "magically no longer torture, but something else)?
Partially answered here (partial answers seem to be de rigueur on catholic.com):
Had Galileo been tortured, Nicolini would have reported it to his king. While instruments of torture may have been present during Galileo’s recantation (this was the custom of the legal system in Europe at that time), they definitely were not used.
Might that have been because they succeeded in getting Galileo to recant by threat of torture? The article would seem more credible if it acknowledged such.
Finally, I note that the article avoids naming actual persons that forced Galileo into such a predicament.
Although three of the ten cardinals who judged Galileo refused to sign the verdict, his works were eventually condemned.
Can we hear a little about who the other seven cardinals were who did sign the verdict (guilty!)? Reading the article, one comes away with this gossamer glow that nothing really happened. “Hey, Galileo wasn’t tortured, nothing really happened!”
Fortunately, other sites provide an answer to some important missing facts:
In 1633 Galileo was formally interrogated for 18 days and on April 30 Galileo confesses that he may have made the Copernican case in the Dialogue too strong and offers to refute it in his next book. Unmoved, the Pope decides that Galileo should be imprisoned indefinitely. Soon after, with a formal threat of torture, Galileo is examined by the Inquisition and sentenced to prison and religious penances, the sentence is signed by 6 of the 10 inquisitors. In a formal ceremony at a the church of Santa Maria Sofia Minerva, Galileo abjures his errors. He is then put in house arrest in Sienna. After these tribulations he begins writing his Discourse on Two New Sciences.
I realize this kind of thing might be what some need in order to validate their faith, but it leaves the rest of us bewildered. Even though this was a long time ago, but it might be seen as an important characterization of the site’s objectivity in general.