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The charge was ignoring the implications of the Copernican theory. Previously the Inquisition had asked him not to teach Copernicus' theory as anything but a hypothesis (which it was at the time). In 1632 he was asked to come to Rome to answer for alleged breaching the contract with the Inquisition. Recently, scholarship has shown that the document on which Galileo's trial was based was a forgery planted in the Roman Curia by an unscrupulous official. In 1979, Pope John Paul II called for the formal exoneration of Galileo. For a more complete discussion and references please get the book Seven Lies about Catholic History.

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At the time the heliocentric model was still a theory and had not yet been proven. Many Church leaders agreed that Galileo was probably correct. However, he was teaching a theory as fact when it had not yet been proven as such. This is very analogous to the evolutionary theory today that causes so much disagreement and division. The Church agrees that evolution probably occurred but the theory has not yet been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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Galileo's model was a theory and he taught it as fact when, in fact, there was no proof at the time.

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Actually, Galileo had a large following among the Roman Curia, including the pope. However, Galileo got himself into trouble by teaching that the heliocentric (Sun-centered universe) theory was fact. However, at the time it was just a theory or hypothesis and Galileo even stated that he could not prove it. Had he changed his approach to the subject we never would have heard today of the controversy. Unfortunately, Galileo was not a humble person and had quite a temper and sarcastic manner and began to attack the Church in speech and his writing. Even his close friend the pope became the target of his rage. Of course, this did not endear him to the Church and he lost much of his standing with the Roman clergy.

AnswerGeocentric theories kept mankind, the deity's highest creation, at the center of the universe. Heliocentric theories displaced mankind from that position. This thought was abhorrent to the church. AnswerI don't think the Church was threatened by Galileo's observations. The Church had issues with Galileo's not complying with its restrictions on his teaching which, at that time, was only an unproved theory.
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9y ago
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11y ago

The Catholic Church neither was nor felt threatened by the scientific work of Galileo Galilei.

To begin with, that the Earth rotated around the Sun was brought forth almost two centuries before by the Catholic ecclesiastic Copernicus (priest or at least recipient of Minor Orders) who developed the first mathematically based system of planets going around the sun. In 1533, Johann Widmanstetter, secretary to Pope Clement VII, explained Copernicus' heliocentric system to the Pope and two cardinals. The Pope was so pleased that he gave Widmanstetter a valuable gift, and Copernicus was urged to publish his research both by bishop Guise and by cardinal Schonberg.

Second, Kepler (who was a protestant, a Lutheran) also supported heliocentrism...and he suffered no persecution for his open avowal of the sun-centered system. In fact, he was allowed as a Protestant to stay in Catholic Graz as a Professor (1595-1600) when other Protestants had been expelled!

Galileo's controversial work, published in 1633, had no proofs of a sun-centered system and his one "proof" based upon the tides was invalid. It ignored the correct elliptical orbits of planets published twenty five years earlier by Kepler. His "conflict" with the Catholic Church came when he wrote a booklet in which he made fun of the Pope, who was his friend, by having his arguments being uttered by a foolish character called Simplicio (literally "simpleton"). This was the root of his trouble.

Some have even said that after the "trial" Galileo was finished or simply gave up on scientific research. It was after the "trial" that Galileo did his most useful theoretical work, which was on dynamics.

Furthermore, Galielo had a strong Christian faith. He once wrote:

The material and spiritual world had the same origin from the Creator, and that the values of science do not substitute those of revealed truth. If we truly lived in the age of science, this would be evident to all.

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Actually, Galileo had a large following among the Roman Curia, including the pope. However, Galileo got himself into trouble by teaching that the heliocentric (Sun-centered universe) theory was fact. However, at the time it was just a theory or hypothesis and Galileo even stated that he could not prove it. Had he changed his approach to the subject we never would have heard today of the controversy. Unfortunately, Galileo was not a humble person and had quite a temper and sarcastic manner and began to attack the Church in speech and his writing. Even his close friend the pope became the target of his rage. Of course, this did not endear him to the Church and he lost much of his standing with the Roman clergy.

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The pope agreed that Galileo was probably correct in his sun-centered theory but told him, unless he could prove it, it was not to be taught as fact. Galileo could not prove it but continued to teach it as fact anyway.

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7y ago

The church taught that man was the center of the universe and Galileo challenged their teaching. The church was very powerful and to allow him to show that man wasn't the center of the universe was to allow science to take over and replace religion as a truth. The church was also being challenged from various sources as well. Michelangelo's Sistine painting challenged the church by showing man touching the hand of God. By doing this he is replacing the church as the only messenger of God and saying man can communicate with God himself. The church felt under threat and people like Galileo were easy targets.

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12y ago

What the Church opposed was that Galileo was teaching heliocentrism as a fact when it was just an unproven hypothesis at the time.

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11y ago

At the time, everyone thought that the Earth was the center of the solar system. Galileo thought AND proved that the Sun was the center of the solar system.

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9y ago

The Church thought that the Earth was the most important planet, and that it should be in the middle.

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Q: Why did the roman church oppose the ideas of Galileo?
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Actually, Galileo had a large following among the Roman Curia, including the pope. However, Galileo got himself into trouble by teaching that the heliocentric (Sun-centered universe) theory was fact. However, at the time it was just a theory or hypothesis and Galileo even stated that he could not prove it. Had he changed his approach to the subject we never would have heard today of the controversy. Unfortunately, Galileo was not a humble person and had quite a temper and sarcastic manner and began to attack the Church in speech and his writing. Even his close friend the pope became the target of his rage. Of course, this did not endear him to the Church and he lost much of his standing with the Roman clergy.


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