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Posted: 4/13/2002 7:22:45 PM EDT
"The reason produced for condemning the opinion that the earth moves and the sun stands still is that in many places in the Bible one may read that the sun moves and the earth stands still. Since the Bible cannot err, it follows as a necessary consequence that anyone takes an erroneous and heretical position who maintains that the sun in inherently motionless and the earth movable. With regard to this argument, I think in the first place that it is very pious to say and prudent to affirm that the Holy Bible can never speak untruth—whenever its true meaning is understood. But I believe that nobody will deny that it is often very abstruse, and may say things which are quite different from what its bare words signify. Hence in expounding the Bible if one were always to confine oneself to the unadorned grammatical meaning, one might fall into error. Not only contradictions and propositions far from true might thus be made to appear in the Bible, but even grave heresies and follies. Thus it would be necessary to assign to God feet, hands and eyes, as well as corporeal and human affections, such as anger, repentance, hatred and sometimes even the forgetting of things past and ignorance of those to come. These propositions uttered by the Holy Ghost were set down in that manner by the sacred scribes in order to accommodate them to the capacities of the common people, who are rude and unlearned. For the sake of those who deserve to be separated from the herd, it is necessary that wise expositors should produce the true senses of such passages, together with the special reasons for which they were set down in these words. This doctrine is so widespread and so definite with all theologians that it would be superfluous to adduce evidence for it.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:23:17 PM EDT
THE BIBLE’S AUDIENCE Hence I think that I may reasonably conclude that whenever the Bible has occasion to speak of any, physical conclusion (especially those which are very abstruse and hard to understand), the rule has been observed of avoiding confusion in the minds of the common people which would render them contumacious toward the higher mysteries. Now the Bible, merely to condescend to popular capacity, has not hesitated to obscure some very important pronouncements, attributing to God himself some qualities extremely remote from (and even contrary to) His essence. Who, then, would positively declare that this principle has been set aside, and the Bible has confined itself rigorously to the bare and restricted sense of its words, when speaking but casually of the earth, of water, of the sun, or of any other created thing? Especially in view of the fact that these things in no way concern the primary purpose of the sacred writings, which is the service of God and the salvation of souls—matters infinitely beyond the comprehension of the common people. This being granted, I think that in discussions of physical problems we ought to begin not from the authority of scriptural passages, but from sense-experiences and necessary demonstrations; for the Holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word, the former as the dictate of the Holy Ghost and the latter as the observant executrix of God’s commands. It is necessary for the Bible, in order to be accommodated to the understanding of every man, to speak many things which appear to differ from the absolute truth so far as the meaning of the words is concerned. But Nature, on the other hand, is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed upon her, or cares a whit whether her abstruse reasons and methods of operation are understandable to men. For that reason it appears that nothing physical which sense-experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called in question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages which may have some different meaning beneath their words. For the Bible is not chained in every expression to conditions as strict as those which govern all physical effects; nor is God any less excellently revealed in Nature’s actions than in sacred statements of the Bible. Perhaps this is what Tertullian meant by these words. ‘We conclude that God is known first through Nature, and then again, more particularly, by doctrine; by Nature in His words, and by doctrine in His revealed word. From this I do not mean to infer that we need not have an extraordinary esteem for the passages of holy Scripture. On the contrary, having arrived at any certainties in physics, we ought to utilize these as the most appropriate aids in the true exposition of the Bible and in the investigation of those meanings which are necessarily contained therein, for these must be concordant with demonstrated truths. I should judge that the authority of the Bible was designed to persuade men of those articles and propositions which, surpassing all human reasoning: could not be made credible by science: or by any other means than through the very mouth of the Holy Spirit.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:23:58 PM EDT
THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE Yet even in those propositions which are not matters of faith: this authority ought to be preferred over that of all human writings which are supported only by bare assertions or probable arguments, and not set forth in a demonstrative way. This I hold to be necessary and proper to the same extent that divine wisdom surpasses all human judgement and conjecture. But I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reason: and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by some other means to give us a knowledge which we can attain by them. He would not require us to deny sense and reason in physical matters which are set before our eyes and minds by direct experience or necessary demonstrations. This must be especially true in those sciences of which but the faintest trace (and that consisting of conclusions) is to be found in the Bible. Of astronomy: for instance: so little is found that none of the planets except Venus are so much as mentioned: and this only once or twice under the name of Lucifer. If the sacred scribes had any intention of teaching people certain arrangements and motions of the heavenly bodies: or had they wished us to derive such knowledge from the Bible: then in my opinion they would not have spoken of these matters so sparingly in comparison with the infinite number of admirable conclusions which are demonstrated in that science. Far from pretending to teach us the constitution and motions of the heavens and the stars, with their shapes: magnitudes: and distances, the authors of the Bible intentionally forebore to speak of these things: though all were quite well known to them....
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:24:28 PM EDT
HOW ONE GOES TO HEAVEN From these things it follows as a necessary consequence that: since the Holy Ghost did not intend to teach us whether heaven moves or stands still: whether its shape is spherical or like a discus or extended in a plane: nor whether the earth is located at its center or off to one side, then so much the less was it intended to settle for us any other conclusion of the same kind. And the motion or rest of the earth and the sun is so closely linked with the things just named, that without a determination of the one, neither side can be taken in the other matters. Now if the Holy Spirit has purposely neglected to teach us propositions of this sort as irrelevant to the highest goal (that is, to our salvation), how can anyone affirm that it is obligatory to take sides on them, and that one belief is required by faith, while the other side is erroneous? Can an opinion be heretical and yet have no concern with the salvation of souls? Can the Holy Ghost be asserted not to have intended teaching us something that does concern our salvation? I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree: ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how heaven goes.’ To command that the very professors of astronomy themselves see to the refutation of their own observations and proofs as mere fallacies and sophisms is to enjoin something that lies beyond any possibility of accomplishment. For this would amount to commanding that they must not see what they see and must not understand what they know, and that in searching they must find the opposite of what they actually encounter. Before this could be done they would have to be taught how to make one mental faculty command another, and the inferior powers the superior, so that the imagination and the will might be forced to believe the opposite of what the intellect understands. I am referring at all times to merely physical propositions, and not to supernatural things which are matters of faith....
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:25:29 PM EDT
SUPPRESSING THE TRUTH If in order to banish the opinion [of Copernicus] in question from the world it were sufficient to stop the mouth of a single man—as perhaps those men persuade themselves who, measuring the minds of others by their own, think it impossible that this doctrine should be able to continue to find adherents — then that would be very easily done. But things stand otherwise. To carry out such a decision it would be necessary not only to prohibit the book of Copernicus and the writings of other authors who follow the same opinion, but to ban the whole science of astronomy. Furthermore, it would be necessary to forbid men to look at the heavens, in order that they might not see Mars and Venus sometimes quite near the earth and sometimes very distant, the variation being so great that Venus is forty times and Mars sixty times as large at one time as another. And it would be necessary to prevent Venus being seen round at one time and forked at another, with very thin horns; as well as many other sensory observations which can never be reconciled with the Ptolemaic system in any way, but are very strong arguments for the Copernican.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:26:10 PM EDT
And to ban Copernicus now that his doctrine is daily reinforced by many new observations and by the learned applying themselves to the reading of his book, after this opinion has been allowed and tolerated for those many years during which it was less followed and less confirmed, would seem in my judgement to be a contravention of truth, and an attempt to hide and suppress her the more as she revealed herself the more clearly and plainly. Not to abolish and censure his whole book, but only to condemn as erroneous this particular proposition, would (if I aip not mistaken) be a still greater detriment to the minds of men, since it would afford them occasion to see a proposition proved that it was heresy to believe. And to prohibit the whole science would be but to censure a hundred passages of holy Scripture which teach us that the glory and greatness of Almighty God are marvelously discerned in all his works and divinely read in the open book of heaven. For let no one believe that reading the lofty concepts written in that book leads to nothing further than the mere seeing of the splendor of the sun and the stars and their rising and setting, which is as far as the eyes of brutes and the vulgar can penetrate. Within its pages are couched mysteries so profound and concepts so sublime that the vigils, labors, and studies of hundreds upon hundreds of the most acute minds have still not pierced them, even after continual investigations for thousands of years.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:26:43 PM EDT
The Church sentences Galileo (1633) We by the grace of God, cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Inquisitors General, by the Holy Apostolic see specially deputed, against heretical depravity throughout the whole Christian Republic. Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were in the year 1615 denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by many, that the sun is the centre of the world and immovable, and that the earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion; for having disciples to whom you taught the same doctrine; for holding correspondence with certain mathematicians of Germany concerning the same; for having printed certain letters, entitled “On the Solar Spots,” wherein you developed the same doctrine as true; and for replying to the objections from the Holy Scriptures, which from time to time were urged against it, by glossing the said Scriptures according to your own meaning: and whereas there was thereupon produced the copy of a document in the form of a letter, purporting to be written by you to one formerly your disciple, and in this diverse propositions are set forth, following the hypothesis of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture: This Holy Tribunal being therefore desirous of proceeding against the disorder and mischief thence resulting, which went on increasing to the prejudice of the Holy Faith, by command of his Holiness and of the most eminent Lords Cardinals of this supreme and universal Inquisition, the two propositions of the stability of the sun and the motion of the earth were by the theological “Qualifiers’s qualified as follows: The proposition that the sun is the centre of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to the Holy Scripture. The proposition that the earth is not the centre of the world and immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal motion, is equally absurd and false philosophically, and theologically considered, at least erroneous in faith.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:27:28 PM EDT
THE VATICAN’S PREVIOUS ORDER But whereas it was desired at that time to deal leniently with you, it was decreed at the Holy Congregation held before his Holiness on the 25th February, 1616, that his Eminence the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine should order you to abandon altogether the said false doctrine, and, in the event of your refusal, that an injunction should be imposed upon you by the Commissary of the Holy Office, to give up the said doctrine, and not to teach it to others, nor to defend it, nor even discuss it; and failing your acquiescence in this injunction, that you should be imprisoned. And in execution of this decree, on the following day, at the Palace, and in the presence of his Eminence, the said Lord Cardinal Bellarmine, after being gently admonished by the said Lord Cardinal, the command was intimated to you by the Father Commissary of the Holy Office for the time before a notary and witnesses, that you were altogether to abandon the said false opinion, and not in future to defend or teach it in any way whatsoever, neither verbally nor in writing; and upon your promising to obey you were dismissed. And in order that a doctrine so pernicious might be wholly rooted out and not insinuate itself further to the grave prejudice of Catholic truth, a decree was issued by the Holy Congregation of the Index, prohibiting the books which treat of this doctrine, and declaring the doctrine itself to be false and wholly contrary to sacred and divine Scripture.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:28:19 PM EDT
A MOST GRIEVOUS ERROR And whereas a book appeared here recently, printed last year at Florence, the title of which shows that you were the author, this title being: “Dialogue of Galileo Galilci on the Two Principal Systems of the World, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican”; and whereas the Holy Congregation was afterwards informed that through the publication of the said book, the false opinion of the motion of the earth and the stability of the sun was daily gaining ground; the said book was taken into careful consideration, and in it there was discovered a patent violation of the aforesaid injunction that had been imposed upon you, for in this book you have defended the said opinion previously condemned and to your face declared to be so, although in the said book you strive by various devices to produce the impression that you leave it undecided, and in express terms as probable: which however is a most grievous error, as an opinion can in no wise be probable which has been declared’and defined to be contrary to Divine Scripture: Therefore by our order you were cited before this Holy Office, where, being examined upon your oath, you acknowledged the book to be written and published by you. You confessed that you began to write the said book about ten or twelve years ago, after the command had been imposed upon you as above; that you requested licence to print it, without however intimating to those who granted you this licence that you had been commanded not to hold, defend, or teach in any way whatever the doctrine in question.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:29:03 PM EDT
THE FALSE SIDE You likewise confessed that the writing of the said book is in various places drawn up in such a form that the reader might fancy that the arguments brought forward on the false side are rather calculated by their cogency to compel conviction than to be easy of refutation; excusing yourself for having fallen into an error, as you alleged, so foreign to your intention, by the fact that you had written in dialogue, and by the natural complacency that every man feels in regard to his own subtleties, and in showing himself more clever than the generality of men, in devising, even on behalf of false propositions, ingenious and plausible arguments. And a suitable term having been assigned to you to prepare your defence, you produced a certificate in the handwriting of his Eminence the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine, procured by you, as you asserted, in order to defend yourself against the calumnies of your enemies, who gave out that you had abjured and had been punished by the Holy Office; in which certificate it is declared that you had not abjured and had not been punished, but merely that the declaration made by his Holiness and published by the Holy Congregation of the Index, had been announced to you, wherein it is declared that the doctrine of the motion of the earth and the stability of the sun is contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and therefore cannot be defended or held. And as in this certificate there is no mention of the two articles of the injunction, namely, the order not “to teach” and “in any way,” you represented that we ought to believe that in the course of fourteen or sixteen years you had lost all memory of them; and that this was why you said nothing of the injunction when you requested permission to print your book. And all this you urged not by way of excuse for your error, but that it might be set down to a vainglorious ambition rather than to malice. But this certificate produced by you in your defence has only aggravated your delinquency, since although it is there stated that the said opinion is contrary to Holy Scripture, you have nevertheless dared to discuss and defend it and to argue its probability; nor does the licence artfully and cunningly extorted by you avail you anything, since you did not notify the command imposed upon you.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:29:57 PM EDT
And whereas it appeared to us that you had not stated the full truth with regard to your intention, we thought it necessary to subject you to a rigorous examination, at which (without prejudice, however, to the matters confessed by you, and set forth as above, with regard to your said intention) you answered like a good Catholic. Therefore, having seen and maturely considered the merits of this your cause, together with your confessions and excuses above mentioned, and all that ought justly to be seen and considered, we have arrived at the underwritten final sentence against you: Invoking, therefore, the most holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ and of His most glorious Mother, and ever Virgin Mary, by this our final sentence, which sitting in judgment, with the counsel and advice of the Reverend Masters of sacred theology and Doctors of both Laws, our assessors, we deliver in these writings, in the cause and causes presently before us between the magnificent Carlo Sinceri, Doctor of both Laws, Proctor Fiscal of this Holy Office, of the one part, and you Galileo Galilei, the defendant, here present, tried and confessed as above, of the other part,—we say, pronounce, sentence, declare, that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in process, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine—which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures—that the sun is the centre of the world and does not move from east to west, and that the earth moves and is not the centre of the world; and that an opinion may be held and defended as probable after it has been declared and defined to be contrary to Holy Scripture; and that consequently you have incurred all the censures and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents. From which we are content that you be absolved, provided that first, with a sincere heart, and unfeigned faith, you. abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and every other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church in the form to be prescribed by us. And in order that this your grave and pernicious error and transgression may not remain altogether unpunished, and that you may be more cautious for the future, and an example to others, that they may abstain from similar delinquencies—we ordain that the book of the “Dialogues of Galileo Galilei” be prohibited by public edict. We condemn you to the formal prison of this Holy Office during our pleasure, and by way of salutary penance, we enjoin that for three years to come, you repeat once a week the seven penitential Psalms. Reserving to ourselves full liberty to moderate, commute, or take off, in whole or in part, the aforesaid penalties and penance. And so we say, pronounce, sentence, declare, ordain, condemn and reserve, in this and any other better way and form which we can and may lawfully employ.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 8:18:50 PM EDT
One of the very first actions taken by JPII upon becoming Pope was to direct the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to conduct a thorough re-examination of the Church's actions against Galileo. As a result, the Catholic Church has since removed the verdict of heresy against Galileo. But thanks anyway for the stroll down history lane. [;)]
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 8:57:05 PM EDT
Jesus, He knows me... and He knows I'm right. Been talking to Jesus all my life... Talk to Him less. Listen to Him more. Perhaps the truth may yet reach you.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 9:16:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Crock: Talk to Him less. Listen to Him more. Perhaps the truth may yet reach you.
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What a crock. . . . . . . . Sorry had to do it.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 9:21:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: One of the very first actions taken by JPII upon becoming Pope was to direct the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to conduct a thorough re-examination of the Church's actions against Galileo. As a result, the Catholic Church has since removed the verdict of heresy against Galileo. But thanks anyway for the stroll down history lane. [;)] And he became Pope in 1978. Assuming it was his VERY first action that would mean it only took 345 years. Pretty progressive for the Catholic Church. Of course up to this point to be a good Catholic you had to believe the Galileo was WRONG and the Earth was in fact the center of the universe.
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Link Posted: 4/13/2002 10:56:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: One of the very first actions taken by JPII upon becoming Pope was to direct the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to conduct a thorough re-examination of the Church's actions against Galileo. As a result, the Catholic Church has since removed the verdict of heresy against Galileo. But thanks anyway for the stroll down history lane. [;)]
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And he became Pope in 1978. Assuming it was his VERY first action that would mean it only took 345 years. Pretty progressive for the Catholic Church. Of course up to this point to be a good Catholic you had to believe the Galileo was WRONG and the Earth was in fact the center of the universe.
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Yes, JPII ordered the re-examination in 1979. Yes, it certainly did take a looooooooong time. No, being a good Catholic did not mean you had to believe the earth was the center of the solar system. Many good Catholics since Galileo's time have looked through telescopes without incurring the wrath of excommunication even though the Inquisition thought telescopes were the Devil's instrument of illusion. The Church has progressed immensely since the 1600's. Even went as far as to state "there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation" back in the 1950s and has openly stated that much of the theory of evolution has been rigorously supported by widespread scientific evidence. Catholicism is interested in science, but it is much more interested in those facets of humanity that science can not detect or measure, where science is blind. Like in the value of faith, the significance of a human life, and our relationship to each other and to God.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 11:39:01 PM EDT
Steyr, part of Galileo's problem was that he had made a lot of enemies. He was part con man, part ass, and the rest genius. Very few people that considered themselves learned believed in the Ptolemaic system. Very few people. The big problem was one of timing, and War and politics. Can you guess what had happened just 37 years earlier and still was not resolved? The German people lost 2/3 of thier population over a much more important issue.
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