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August 25, 2003

A false iconography

The head of the holy office formerly known as the Inquisition claims, contrary to popular opinion, Galileo was not persecuted:

The belief that the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo Galilei for pointing out that the earth goes round the sun was quite wrong, the new secretary of the Vatican's Doctrinal Congregation, Archbishop Angelo Amato, has claimed. Citing a letter recently discovered in the Vatican's archive, Archbishop Amato, who heads the body formerly known as the Holy Office or the Inquisition, said it proved that the church had treated him very well.

Galileo's difficulties have been attributed to Papal anxiety about the Reformation and a dispute over the interpretation of Psalm 104 for understanding dispositions among the firmament. It is not clear to me how one letter might effect the Papal apology offered to Galileo in 1992 as the investigation of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences always held that it was not the Church per se but misguided churchmen who were to blame.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 25, 2003 10:01 AM