Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 8 years ago

Galileo vs catholic church?

What attitude did Galileo want the catholic church to adopt with regard to science?

9 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), a Catholic clergyman and scientist theorized a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which placed the Sun at the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth (which, by the way, was wrong). This theory was widely accepted as a legitimate theory in the scientific world of the time. Tools like telescopes had not yet been invented to help prove the theory.

    Galileo (1564–1642) improved the telescope and was able to record astronomical observations that supported but did not prove Copernicus. In 1611, he made a triumphant visit to Rome, where Pope Paul V assured him of his support and good will.

    Galileo felt that he had to convince the world that heliocentricism was true without further evidence. If he had just stated that Copernicanism was a hypothesis, one superior to the Ptolemiaic (geocentric) system, until further proof could be found (as the scientific method requires) then he would not have gotten into trouble.

    Instead Galileo said that the scientific community and the Church either had to accept Copernicanism as a fact (even though it had not been proved) and reinterpret Scripture accordingly; or they had to condemn it. He allowed no middle room. It was Galileo's pride and arrogance that got him into trouble, not his science.

    By the way, the heliocentric theory that claimed the sun was the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth, was also incorrect. The sun is the center of the solar system but not the universe and the sun itself moves, it is not fixed.

    The Church quickly got over Galileo's excesses. Pope Benedict XIV granted an imprimatur (an official approval) to the first edition of the Complete Works of Galileo in 1741.

    “[Galileo] declared explicitly that the two truths, of faith and of science, can never contradict each other, 'Sacred Scripture and the natural world proceeding equally from the divine Word, the first as dictated by the Holy Spirit, the second as a very faithful executor of the commands of God', as he wrote in his letter to Father Benedetto Castelli on 21 December 1613. The Second Vatican Council says the same thing, even adopting similar language in its teaching: 'Methodical research, in all realms of knowledge, if it respects... moral norms, will never be genuinely opposed to faith: the reality of the world and of faith have their origin in the same God' (Gaudium et Spes, 36). Galileo sensed in his scientific research the presence of the Creator who, stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him, anticipating and assisting his intuitions”: John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (10 November 1979): Insegnamenti, II, 2 (1979), 1111-1112. From the Vatican website:

    For more information, see:



    + Galileo, Science, and the Church (1992) by Jerome J. Langford

    + The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (2009) by David Berlinski

    + Seven Lies About Catholic History (2010) by Diane Moczar

    With love in Christ

  • conlon
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Galileo Vs Church

  • Matt
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    He didn't want the Church to adopt any specific attitude. You seem to have no idea about Galileo or the Catholic Church.

    Here is a start just to get you excited to actually learn.

    The Catholic Church is the inventor of the hospital and the university and paid lots of astronomers to work on behalf of the Catholic Church looking at science.

    Source(s): Proud Roman Catholic
  • 8 years ago

    The Catholic Church told Galileo to teach his theories as theories rather than facts until they were independently verified. Galileo refused, so he was placed under house arrest. It was the best thing for him - he was very old and sick at the time.

    What people with an ax to grind against the Church fail to mention is that Galileo also went around telling everyone that comets were just optical illusions and weren't real. The Church simply wanted him to act like a true scientist.

    So, to answer your question, Galileo wanted the Church to throw away all concepts of true science and accept everything he said at face value with no independent investigation.

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  • 8 years ago

    Since there were many scientists who were members of the Catholic clergy - I'd hope that Galileo expected some support when it came to science - and he did get it. Galileo was not prevented from researching the heliocentric theory. He even had permission from the pope to write a work on the topic (he just couldn't advocate for it - just present arguments for and against it.). What he ended up doing in his writing was making fun of opponents of the Copernican theory and alienated a lot of important people. I guess he wanted unqualified support for his theory - the problem was that it turns out part of the theory is wrong. It was actually correct to question Galileo's theories because there were holes in them and inaccuracies.

    An interesting research article on the topic:

  • Nous
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Surely it was the other way round?!

    Galileo presented a theory of heliocentrism The theory that the sun is at the centre of our solar system. This is credited by science as the first theory of relativity!!

    Einsteins theories were:

    The Special theory of relativity.

    The General theory of relativity

    The Catholic Church was opposed to science and truth at that time and forced Galileo to recant his heliocentrism and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life to die a prisoner!

  • 8 years ago

    The Church did not have a problem with Galileo's science. It was when he said that anyone could interpret the Bible any way they wanted that he ran into a confrontation. The church knew that if anyone could interpret the bible any way they wanted, it would fracture the church. Now, centuries later, it has done just that. In the US alone, there are almost fifty thousand pieces of what used to be a united Christianity.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Galileo wanted the Church to admit certain things which could not yet be proved, using any known scientific instrument or equation of that time. Galileo was also later proved to be totally wrong on a number of things he claimed ... but could not prove ... to be true.

  • 8 years ago

    That the earth revolved around the sun... and that the earth was not the center of all creation. That the Catholic Church should recognize the error in the story of creation as making the earth the center of God's work and that all revolved around the earth.... when science was showing the opposite... and the church was in error.

    Source(s): Galileo's bio...
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