Tuesday, January 15, 2008

heliocentrism: everything old is new again

Inquisition (1633)

That the sun is the center of the world and motionless is a proposition which is philosophically absurd and false, and formally heretical, for being explicitly contrary to Holy Scripture;

That the earth is neither the center of the world nor motionless but moves even with diurnal motion is philosophically equally absurd and false, and theologically at least erroneous in the Faith.

- excerpt from the Inquisitorial Sentence of Galileo, 22nd June, 1633 (source)

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (1990)

“At the time of Galileo the Church remained much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself. The process against Galileo was reasonable and just. ”

- excerpt from a speech in Parma, Italy, 15th March, 1990 (source) quoting Paul Feyerabend

Pope John Paul II (1992)

"Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world's structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture...."

– Pope John Paul II, L'Osservatore Romano N. 44 (1264) - 4th November,1992 (source)

Pope Benedict XVI (2008)

Stay tuned.

Additional commentary: Storm over Rome: Physicists against Pope Ratzinger

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