THE GALILEO AFFAIR – George Sims Johnston

No episode in the history of the Catholic Church is so  misunderstood as the condemnation of Galileo. It is, in  Newman’s phrase, the one stock argument used to show  that science and Catholic dogma are antagonistic. To  the popular mind, the Galileo affair is prima facie  evidence that the free pursuit of truth became possible  only after science “liberated” itself from the  theological shackles of the Middle Ages. The case makes  for such a neat morality play of enlightened science  versus dogmatic obscuratism that historians are seldom  tempted to correct the anti-Catholic “spin” that is  usually put on it. Even many intelligent Catholics  would prefer that the whole sorry affair be swept under  a rug

Since the Galileo case is one of the historical  bludgeons that are used to beat on the Church–the  other two being the Crusades and the Spanish  Inquisition–it is important that Catholics understand  exactly what happened between the Church and that very  great scientist. A close look at the facts puts to rout  almost every aspect of the reigning Galileo legend.

Read more at EWTN…

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