Galileo Sees the Light

The following are excerpted portions from the "Sentence of the Tribunal of the Supreme Inquisition against Galileo Galilei, given the 22nd day of June of the year 1633":

It being the case that thou, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei, a Florentine, now aged 70, wast denounced in this Holy Office in 1615: "That thou heldest as true the false doctrine taught by many, that the Sun was the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth moved, and had also a diurnal motion:

That on this same matter thou didst hold a correspondence with certain German mathematicians... "That the Sun is the centre of the universe and doth not move from his place is a proposition absurd and false in philosophy, and formerly heretical; being expressly contrary to Holy Writ: That the Earth is not the centre of the universe nor immoveable, but that it moves, even with a diurnal motion, is likewise a proposition absurd and false in philosophy, and considered in theology ad minus erroneous in faith... "Invoking then the Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of His most glorious Mother Mary, ever Virgin, for this Our definite sentence, the which sitting pro tribunali, by the counsel and opinion of the Reverent Masters of theology and doctors of both laws, Our Counsellors, we present in these writings, in the cause and causes currently before Us, between the magnificent Carlo Sinceri, doctor of both laws, procurator fiscal of this Holy Office on the one part, and thou Galileo Galilei, guilty, here present, confessed and judged, on the other part:

We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare, that thou, the said Galileo, by the things deduced during this trial, and by thee confessed as above, hast rendered thyself vehemently suspected of heresy by this Holy Office, that is, of having believed and held a doctrine which is false, and contrary to the Holy Scriptures, to wit: that the Sun is the centre of the universe, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the Earth moves and is not the centre of the universe: and that an opinion may be held and defended as probable after having been declared and defined as contrary to Holy Scripture; and in consequence thou hast incurred all the censures and penalties of the Sacred Canons, and other Decrees both general and particular, against such offenders imposed and promulgated.

From the which We are content that thou shouldst be absolved, if, first of all, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, thou dost before Us abjure, curse, and detest the above-mentioned errors and heresies and any other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church, after the manner that We shall require of thee.

And to the end that this thy grave error and transgression remain not entirely unpunished, and that thou mayst be more cautious in the future, and an example to others to abstain from and avoid similar offences, "We order that by a public edict the book of DIALOGUES OF GALILEO GALILEI be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms, reserving to Ourselves the faculty of moderating, changing, or taking from, all other or part of the above-mentioned pains and penalties.

And thus We say, pronounce, declare, order, condemn, and reserve in this and in any other better way and form which by right We can and ought. Ita pronunciamus nos Cardinalis infrascripti.

F. Cardinalis de Asculo. G. Cardinalis Bentivolius D. Cardinalis de Cremona. A. Cardinalis S. Honuphri. B. Cardinalis Gypsius. F. Cardinalis Verospius. M. Cardinalis Ginettus


I, Galileo Galilei, son f the late Vincenzio Galilei of Florence, aged 70 years, tried personally by this court, and kneeling before You, the most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors-General throughout the Christian Republic against heretical depravity, having before my eyes the Most Holy Gospels, and laying on them my own hands; I swear that I have always believed, I believe now, and with Godís help I will in future believe all which the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church doth hold, preach, and teach.

But since I, after having been admonished by this Holy Office entirely to abandon the false opinion that the Sun was the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth was not the centre of the same and that it moved, and that I was neither to hold, defend, nor teach in any manner whatever, either orally or in writing, the said false doctrine; and after having received a notification that the said doctrine is contrary to Holy Writ, I did write and cause to be printed a book in which I treat of the said already condemned doctrine, and bring forward arguments of much efficacy in its favour, without arriving at any solution:

I have been judged vehemently suspected of heresy, that is, of having held and believed that the Sun is the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth is not the centre of the same, and that it does move. Nevertheless, wishing to remove from the minds of your Eminences and all faithful Christians this vehement suspicion reasonably conceived against me, I abjure with sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church. And I swear that for the future I will neither say nor assert in speaking or writing such things as may bring upon me similar suspicion; and if I know any heretic, or one suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor and Ordinary of the place in which I may be.

I also swear and promise to adopt and observe entirely all the penances which have been or may be by this Holy Office imposed on me. And if I contravene any of these said promises, protests, or oaths, (which God forbid!) I submit myself to all the pains and penalties which by the Sacred Canons and other Decrees general and particular are against such offenders imposed and promulgated. So help me God and the Holy Gospels, which I touch with my own hands. I Galileo Galilei aforesaid have abjured, sworn, and promised, and hold myself bound as above; and in token of the truth, with my own hand have subscribed the present schedule of my abjuration, and have recited it word by word.

In Rome, at the Convent della Minerva, this 22nd day of June, 1633. I, GALILEO GALILEI, have abjured as above, with my own hand.

This is one reason why I am not a Catholic, or, a Protestant for that matter. I never have been very fond of sitting down with a closed mind and learning from people who claim to know everything. Galileo must have shaken his head after he walked away from the eminent Cardinals who apparently thought that they knew all of the mysteries of the universe. He eventually published the truth anyway. The Bible clearly said that the earth was hung upon nothing. There was no reason to believe that references to the sun rising and setting required a literal interpretation anymore than the dragon of the book of Revelation should be taken literally. The Bible referres to the "circle" of the earth so it would seem to be obvious that either the sun made a circle around the earth or the earth rotated. Anyway, the point is that the dogmatic interpretation of that which is open to interpretation often leads to absurdity. The church that called itself "the pillar and ground of the truth" was now persecuting someone for telling them the truth. Unfortunately that has often been the history of religion.

Now the tables have been turned and persons who dare to question the established Popes and cardinals of science are ridiculed. I have no particular affection for the Gaia hypothesis put forth by James Lovelock, but I do admire his research, which I believe is largely based upon many truths of nature. Of course he was ridiculed because of the spiritual implications of his theory even though he didnít necessarily make that association. His mistake in their eyes was to dare to even hint that there was a balancing force in nature that oversaw and directed the whole. He replied to the criticism at one point by saying: "Fortunately for me I was brought up in that school of science that believes in reading the books after rather than before the experiment."

That is the same school that I attended. I find it ironic that creationists are constantly accused of reading their Bible and then trying to make the facts fit while at the same time the established doctrine of todayís science is that everything must fit into the preconceived idea of materialistic evolution. No fact, no law, no observation nor any logic is allowed to contravene the dogma of evolution. It is now necessary to read evolution dogma and then subject all experiments and evidence to her. I think the reasons for this are rather clear. What has happened is that the Un-God of atheists is now the established god of science in exactly the same way that the god of false religion was established in the days of Galileo. It didnít matter if the truth suffered when Galileo was persecuted for bringing forth new facts and evidence, and likewise today the evidence does not matter. The important thing is to protect the false god of evolution and naturalism.

I wonder what would happen if there were more people like Martin Luther around? His boldness even caused a transformation in the Catholic church when they were forced to confront the obvious truths of corruption in doctrine and among the established hierarchy. What would it be like if students started to actually think on their own without reading the "Bible" of modern subjective science first? What would happen if students were encouraged to experiment first and then write a book instead of reading the book first and then forcing the experiments to fit? Galileo pretended to believe a lie, but the truth that he uncovered in his experiments was factual nevertheless. What reputable scientist will now rise up who has known the truth all along and like Luther nail his thesis to the door of ignorance decked with undeserved respectability? Is there a Galileo out there anywhere?

© 2003 by Raymond F. Hendrix. All rights reserved.