Re: To JMS

 Posted on 1/2/2005 by to

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>Note that I didn't say the church didn't condemn Galileo, only that in
>doing so it did not (could not) use the Pope's infallibility argument, as
>the topic on hand was not germane to it. Faith, Doctrine and Morals have
>well defined boundaries

Your logic doesn't parse. They went after Galileo (and Copernicus and others)
because the church MADE these issues matters of faith. The distinction (one
might say excuse) you are making now, with hindsight, is one that the church of
that time would not support.

Galileo was not arrested for bad science. He wasn't arrested for littering.
He was arrested for HERESY.

Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or
religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary,
to the catholic or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by
extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as

So the church of that time considered the place of the Sun and Earth in the
heavens so thoroughly a matter of faith and doctrine, because the notion of man
as the center of the universe was central to their faith, that that in order to
preserve the morals of the time, they arrested Galileo and would have likely
executed him if not for his high profile and position...and had he not recanted
and spent the last ten years of his life under house arrest.

The church DID consider these to be matters of faith, so I don't understand how
you can say now, well, they weren't. If a leader is infallible on matters of
faith, then should he not know what is faith and what is not so he can know
when he is being infallible and when he is not?

But in any event, to say that the arrest of Galileo had nothing to do with
matters of faith is ludicrous on the face of it, and totally inconsistent with
history. Or, more simply, it just ain't true.

The church maintained that these were matters of faith worth murdering and
imprisoning over until the day came when they were proven, conclusively, to be
wrong...then they said, well, those weren't *really* matters of faith, we wuz
just funnin' ya. The whole Papal Inquisition, the trials, the torture, that
was just a goof.

Come on.

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