Monday 22 December 2008

A bit late, Benedict

ABC News tells us that Pope Benedict has paid tribute to the work of the 17th century astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was convicted of heresy by the Catholic Church in 1633. This is only 375 years late, good on you, Catholics!
Around the time of his discoveries, when his peers were congratulating him on discoveries such as proof the earth goes around the sun, not the sun round the earth. Discoveries that would lead to Galileo being called "The father of modern Science" in our own time. At that time, good religous folk took the following actions.
  • 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.
  • 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
I wonder what issue the "Unchanging and Everlasting Catholic Faith" will be back flipping on next? Birth control when food riots start? Having a net worth of billions while people starve? I predict stem cell research gets it's apology 375 years after a future pope travels to a more secular country to receive lifesaving treatment.

Originally posted by Nathan Dunn

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