Wednesday, January 15, 2014

450 years after his birth, Galileo still remembered

'He was a devout Catholic' – Vatican astronomer
A painting of Galileo Galilei, who died in 1642.

Galileo Galilei was an Italian scientist who publicly defended his belief that the solar system was heliocentric – that the earth revolved around the sun.

He was eventually tried by the Holy Office of the Catholic Church and the case is a landmark for science vs. religion.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, the Coordinator for Public Relations of the Vatican Observatory, recently told Vatican Radio:
“When Pope Urban VIII criticized Galileo, it wasn’t from the point of view of being a Pope, but from the point of view of being a professional philosopher, who had studied the stuff as much as Galileo had!”
Yet, Galileo was:
"A devout Catholic. He obeyed what the Church asked him to do. Even though in retrospect we can look back and realize what the Church asked was unreasonable, he did it. His two daughters were both nuns; he never married their mom, but that’s a different issue!”
Read the full article here.

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