Friday, August 11, 2006
Galileo and the Catholic Church

St. Robert Bellarmine as well as Pope Urban VIII, welcomed Galileo’s research and even presented him with medals and gifts. They wholeheartedly welcomed his hypothesis; however, when Galileo began to promote it as truth without providing concrete evidence, trouble arose with the Catholic Church. The notion that the Church censured Galileo because he taught heliocentricism (the revolution of the earth around the sun) is false. He was censured because he advanced a theory as fact without providing scientific proof. It was not until later that sufficient proof was provided in order to justify his theory.

Even if the Church did make a mistake with science, it does not alter any part of our Faith. The Pope is only infallible in matters of morals and ethics, not science or math as the First Vatican Council explicitly declared. The Catholic Church is never opposed to science. Science can help us understand better both God the Creator and the created world, a world our God created out of nothingness.

There are many who likewise fail to understand what the Church truly teaches about evolution.

3 comment(s):

del_button August 11, 2006 at 2:39 PM
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information, Moneybags. I didn't know that Vatican I decreed that the Church is infallible only in the arenas of faith. Is Vatican I also the council that decreed the infalliblity of the Pope when he speaks ex cathedra?

del_button August 11, 2006 at 2:43 PM
Larry007 said...

Good Job! Too many people, including the press, do not look enough to what was happening at the time of Gallileo. There are even TV programs on Cable that just present Gallileo's dilema and life simply as that the Catholic church was against science (as if it never pursued an understanding of science - lumping it with some present day christian organizations that seem to dismiss science in certain areas - Evolution, etc.)

People forget that the Roman Catholic church has helped contribute many things to the western world. They are so busy admiring other religions or cultures (Eastern, African, Moslem) that the only way to lift another idea up is to tear down your own - Western Culture, Roman Catholic church, USA.

The prejudice against the Roman Catholic Church has lessened in this country but people are still skittish if we think of having another Roman Catholic presidential candidate (there are more Roman Catholics in the USA political system and government).

The Roman Catholic church has such a tradition of faith, intellectual thought and logic which helps hold the bible, the magisterium and our traditions toether. We all don't always agree on things (women priest issues these days) and the faithful or clergy do not always act in Godly ways or with the best interst of the faithful or the poor at heart (child abuse scandal) but those do not take away from the place and power of the church and its members to bring the presence of God thru his grace into the world.

Gallileo was a badly handled incident but he did not have to be so arrogant. The church has much more to consider than the speculations of one man or a way of thinking even if the church thinks they are on to something. It must consider the welfare of the news to the people and how to best way to integrate any new facts. Gallileo thinks of himself - the church things of many more people. Thank God!

del_button August 11, 2006 at 4:02 PM
Matthew said...


That was a typo. I meant to say "The Pope" not "The Church" in relation to Vatican I.

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