How about that?
The Vatican is recasting the most famous victim of its Inquisition as a man of faith, just in time for the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s telescope and the U.N.-designated International Year of Astronomy next year.
There’s even some discussion about naming him as the “patron” of the dialogue between faith and reason. Dialogue? What dialogue? Faith is the concept used by some humans to support their belief in anything for which there is no evidence. What dialogue can faith have with reason? Reason is what the brain does naturally. Faith is what happens when the brain’s reasoning ability is purposely shut off. This is so much baloney, it’s clear that the RC Church is trying to blow some more smoke up our nether regions.
As everyone knows, about 400 years ago, Galileo had the temerity to suggest, after consulting newly developed scientific instruments (i.e. the telescope), and using the reasoning ability of his brain, that the sun did not circle the Earth, as the Bible suggests, but just the reverse, the earth actually orbited the sun. The Earth was not the center of the then known universe, and by extension, man was not the focus of all creation. For this he was tried as a heretic, and thrown into prison. If he had not had at least some stature in the eyes of authorities, most likely he would have been killed, like all of the other victims of the Inquisition. Probably tortured first, too.
The Church has for years been striving to shed its reputation for being hostile to science, in part by producing top-notch research out of its own telescope.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.”
Mutual Incomprehension? WTF does that mean? That the Church didn’t understand Galileo, while at the same time, Galileo didn’t understand the church? That’s church-speak for “We fucked up, but we don’t want to admit it.” I’m sure Galileo understood church teaching at the time. To not understand it was to risk being burned at the stake. He was simply pointing out, politely I might add, that the Church was in error. It was the Church that didn’t comprehend science and reason, not the other way around.
Actually, incomprehension is really not a good word to describe the Church’s attitude. Willful ignorance is a better term. The science that Galileo espoused directly contradicted the dogma of the church, dogma that was necessary for the Church to retain its hold over its flock. The Church recognized that anything that directly contradicted church dogma was a threat to the very existence of the Church, and had to be quashed. And quashed it was. It’s the nature of the very concept of heresy.
It took the church about 350 years to finally own up to its stupidity, and now it wants to play nice with Galileo’s memory, by sucking up to science, despite the fact that religion is still the greatest enemy of reason that exists on this Earth. (You know. The one that revolves around the sun? Yeah, that one.) Are we to fall for this? This is the same church, led by the same pope that says, today, that homosexuality is as much of a threat to the survival of the human race as climate change. Are we supposed to trust his analysis?
The Galileo anniversary appears to be giving the Vatican new impetus to put the matter to rest. In doing so, Vatican officials are stressing Galileo’s faith as well as his science, to show the two are not mutually exclusive.
Of course Galileo appears to have had “faith” back then. They threw him in jail for his science. Do you think he would even hint at a loss of faith? Remember, this was at a time when to not have faith in Roman Catholic Europe was to risk torture and death. I suspect that if Galileo, and other renowned scientists who evidenced personal faith in their time such as Isaac Newton, had lived in today’s world, the church wouldn’t be embracing him for his ability to bridge the gap between faith and reason, it would be demonizing him for actually widening that gap.
Much like they did in 1633.