Galileo and Why He was Really Convicted of Heresy

By | August 29, 2019


On October 31, 1992, the Roman Catholic Church
admitted it had been wrong to condemn Galileo Galilei for promoting the Copernican astronomical
theory. After a 13 year investigation into the persecution
of Galileo that led to his official condemnation in 1633, Pope John Paul II rectified a wrong
that forced the Italian astronomer and physicist to live the last years of his life in exile,
and worse yet, to recant his proven discoveries to save his hide. Through his use of the telescope – a tool
he did not invent but greatly improved upon -Galileo proved the Copernican theory that
Sun, and not the Earth, was the center of the solar system. This scientific fact was in direct contradiction
to certain interpretations of scripture and was therefore considered heresy at the time. The relevant text included Psalm 104:5, “the
Lord set the Earth on its foundations; it can never be moved…” But Galileo had influential patrons such as
the Medicis and Barberinis, and Pope Urban VIII happened to be a member of the Barberini
family, as well as a close friend and great admirer of Galileo’s. Pope Urban VIII also, before being raised
to Pope, opposed a previous attempt at condemning Galileo in 1616. In the end, the Pope allowed Galileo to continue
his study into both the Ptolemaic and the Copernican theories, on the condition that
he drew no definitive conclusion that would contradict Church teachings. Instead, he was to merely present the cases
for and against both sides of the argument, staying neutral in the telling. Galileo agreed, but when he published “Dialogue
Concerning the Two Chief World Systems,” it was a ringing endorsement of Copernican
thought in direct defiance of the Pope’s order. However, Galileo, who was Catholic himself,
took the position that this was not in opposition to scripture because not every passage should
be taken literally, particularly ones dealing with lyrics to songs, a position shared by
many even among the clergy. He might have gotten away with this even still,
except for one little fact not often talked about. The Pope had requested that Galileo include
the Pope’s own thoughts on the matter. Galileo did this, but in such a way as to
make the Pope look the fool, incorporating his ideas into the arguments of “Simplicio,”
(with connotations of “simpleton” in the name) who defended the Geocentric view, often
with bumbling errors in the process. It’s not thought that Galileo intended to
make fun of the Pope in doing this. He was no fool himself and even explicitly
stated in the preface that “Simplicio” was in homage to the philosopher Simplicius. Nevertheless, Pope Urban VIII certainly felt
like he was being mocked in seeing some of his own words put into the mouth of Simplicio. Needless to say, making the Pope feel like
you were publicly calling him an idiot was not a good idea when you’re writing already
highly controversial scientific notions about the universe that is likely to antagonize
the Catholic church. Because of his perceived heresy, Galileo was
summoned to Rome to appear before the dreaded Inquisition. During his trial, Galileo fervently denied
that he had advocated for the Copernican view in his work, despite all evidence to the contrary. Despite threats of torture, he still held
onto his denial. Nevertheless, he was convicted of “suspected
heresy” and was required to “curse and detest” the Copernican viewpoint. Galileo was placed under house arrest in his
home near Florence until his death in 1642 at the age of 77 (though was permitted to
travel to Florence to see doctors). Beyond being under house arrest, his punishment
was relatively light compared to others who’d been convicted of heresy. He was, for a time, required to recite seven
psalms of penitence once per week, but Maria Celeste, his daughter, was eventually able
to convince the church to allow her to fulfill this punishment for him. With nothing better to do while confined to
his home, he wrote perhaps his most famous work, Two New Sciences, which more or less
summarized his life’s work. After several failures to get this new work
published, due to the prohibition on any of his writings, he finally found a publisher
in Holland willing to risk the Catholic church’s ire in publishing it. Since then, the Catholic Church has taken
several steps to reverse its stance against Galileo’s findings prior to the action in
1992. Galileo’s “Dialogue Concerning the Two
Chief World Systems” was stricken from the Index, a list of banned publications, in 1757. A preliminary report conducted in 1984 by
scientists, theologians, and historians surmised that Galileo had been falsely condemned. Pope John Paul II concluded that he had been
“imprudently opposed.” The leader of the investigation conducted
in 1992, Cardinal Paul Poupard, said, “We today know that Galileo was right in adopting
the Copernican astronomical theory,” a statement that would have put him at risk of being arrested,
and possibly executed, by his own Church just a few hundred years previously.

100 thoughts on “Galileo and Why He was Really Convicted of Heresy

  1. hugehappygrin Post author

    FYI(and it's a non-Catholic that knows this) the Black Pope(a name, he was Italian) was the Father-General of the Society of Jesus(Jesuits), and the bother of the pope.

    Reply
  2. MrVvulf Post author

    So you're saying, even Galileo, smart as he was … "didn't expect the Inquisition"?

    Reply
  3. Max Wylde Post author

    For perhaps the first time, you got some things wrong here, and you're presenting things in a rather unfair tone. The problem is that there's so much that you failed to put in. For one, Galileo could not prove his theories at all, and anyone calling themselves a scientist who cannot prove his theories and then demands that everyone accept them is not a scientist, but a huckster. What's more, he was a complete jerk; if you disagreed with anything he postulated, even if you could prove he was wrong (Johannes Kepler), he'd call you every name in the book, ridicule and degrade you.

    The problem was that he did openly ridicule the Pope, a man who was his friend, all for what? A theory that he could not prove, and was actually wrong about!

    What was he wrong about? That A) the Sun is the center of the universe, and B) that the orbits of the planets were Circles, not Ellipses, which Kepler pointed out mathematically (but, Kepler at the time said even he could not prove this because he didn't have adequate technology to verify it – this would happen sometime in the 19th Century). Also, Galileo denounced the idea that the moon was responsible for the tides. Not very scientifically minded, wouldn't you say?

    Open defiance of Papal authority, which Galileo had done, is heresy; that's what he was convicted of. Not of promoting heliocentrism, which some Inquisitors did say was " All have said the stated proposition (heliocentrism) to be foolish and absurd in philosophy; and formally heretical…"

    However, it was the Pope himself who had Galileo publish his ideas. Why, if heliocentrism is heresy, would the Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ Himself, lead someone to commit a mortal sin? (Not just Galileo, but Copernicus too – the Pope had him publish his ideas, but unlike Galileo, Copernicus had the honesty to admit he couldn't prove anything. By the way, look up a guy named Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa – he postulated a heliocentric theory before Copernicus – and he's a Cardinal, which means a special kind of Bishop.)

    Because, you see, folks, priests can error; the Pope never gave such a teaching ex cathedra. There really is nothing contradictory about heliocentrism in Holy Scripture. The Church, the only Church Jesus Christ, Himself, founded, is filled with human beings, and they make mistakes.

    And at a time of the Protestant Revolt, where the Church was being torn apart by fell forces looking to loot for their own gain, having someone like Galileo openly defy the Pope the way he did was a very bad move.

    Reply
  4. Trevor H Post author

    Could just have watched Nest Entertainment's "Animated Hero Classics" Galileo.

    Reply
  5. lazyperson2000 Post author

    Could you do a video on how the internet could crash and the aftermath of such a thing? Thank you for making these videos (I've learned so much interesting information). 🙂

    Reply
  6. Rudolf Nemeth Post author

    Did you just butcher the pronunciation for Medici?? Pronounced, "Mediichi"… It's Italian not Mexican Spanish..

    Reply
  7. pablononescobar Post author

    Both are wrong, I am the center of the solar system, indeed the entire universe

    Reply
  8. Kurt Arbuckle Post author

    I love your channel, but you may have gotten this one wrong.

    G had an air tight case against heresy on Copernicanism. He had permission to do the book in writing from the Pope and stuck to the terms. Even if the Pope were embarrassed, there was nothing he could have done. In fact, quite to the contrary, the Pope’s affection for G probably saved his bacon.

    The Church did not really care that much about the sun. But it did care about the Eucharist. Turns out G was also an atomist and the Church considered that directly opposing the transmutation of wine and bread to the blood and body of Christ.

    Research indicates that the Pope was very concerned and talked to others about the problem. The Copernicus plea was a plea deal to the lesser charge. The agreement with the Pope on the book was never offered into evidence and the deal was struck the night before it was to have been offered. Had it been offered, the response would have been heresy for atomism, and that would have been the death sentence. It is inconceivable that the Pope did not approve this and probably pushed for it.

    Reply
  9. sailingsolar Post author

    Ooopsy poopsy! What does that tell thinking people about that bullshit catholic claim of "Infallibility". Stupid lying scum all along with everything that comes out that criminal organization collective mouth. Yours truly an Ex-catholic.

    Reply
  10. florance333 Post author

    There was a time when Europe was ruled by religion. It's called the Dark Age for a reason.

    Reply
  11. David Maurand Post author

    arg! 'MED-i-chee', …..not 'me-DEE-see'. This is Italian, not Spanish.

    Reply
  12. Chase Sepulvado Post author

    Lol how can you prove anything by looking at shiny balls in the sky much less the earth is not the center and unmoving like scripture states. Morons he was a heretic

    Reply
  13. Bradford Eaton Post author

    Galileo failed to heed a very basic lesson: don't crap in your own nest.

    Reply
  14. panthar1 Post author

    Like any history video, there is a lot of details that are often missed. I read a book on this a while back, and I recall that he had a decree from the pope to publish his works. It was only when a new pope arrived that the decree was not accepted by the church and problems arose with the church. Plus there was other factors as other commenters have pointed out.

    Reply
  15. S Rune Post author

    Thank you Simon for all the great videos. It is a time well spent.

    Reply
  16. Emp United Post author

    the church tried to keep the knowledge of the ancient alive when most of Europe was in a constant state of war and anarchy following the fall of Rome. When Chaarlmage United much of Europe their was a resurgence of advancement because Europe for the first time was politically stable in 4 centuries. When his Empire fell that stagnated as the chaos returned and much of Europe for the rest of the middle ages was on a slow rebuilding as newly 7 centuries of war and conflict do not equal time for advancement. You need a stable society for that and Europe didn't truly stabilize until the 14 century… before getting hit by the black death. It's only by the Renaissance could Europe be back on track because the large term chaos had finally subsidized.

    You tend to forget a massive political power simply falling into anarchy does not equal to advancement and keep in mind it isn't till 1/3 of Europe is killed that a need to better teach the lowers class (who before the fall of Rome tended to be illiterate and stayed that way long until the early modern day) how to read.

    Also the papacy was only used by the rulers to get what they wanted. France straight up Stole the Papacy crowned there own pope and moved it to a French city in late 1200s. What they did should have been impossible it was outright hersey but they did and got away with it because the churches power was really paper thin.

    Europe in the middle ages wasn't ruled by a oppressive religious institution. It was a chaotic mess, a power vacuum that kept descending into anarchy when it tried to pull itself out. Your be surprised how many kingdom's where born and destroyed in the span of a century or so if you looked up history, how unstable the kingdoms where and how weak the church really was in the realms outside of Rome.

    Reply
  17. Todd Starbuck Post author

    Better: Galileo and the Real Reason He Was Convicted of Heresy.
    Betterer: The Real Reason Galileo Was Convicted of Heresy

    Reply
  18. mustang6172 Post author

    Galileo argued the planets revolve around points of empty space, and that those points of empty space revolve around the sun. This was the only way he could explain the retrograde motion of planets. Not too bright.

    Kepler discovered orbits are actually elliptical, thus proving Copernicus.

    Reply
  19. David O'Banion Post author

    The moral of this while thing is "Don't Fight The Powers That Be On Their Own Ground."

    Reply
  20. Jack Burnsbaby Post author

    lo… just proves “consensus” is pseudoscience

    Reply
  21. Daremo Ten Post author

    I had hoped for some additional words on the provenance of E pur si muove. I don't think it's something that needs it's own video, but is still really interesting.

    Reply
  22. Ernest Bywater Post author

    When there's a conflict between the Church's Doctrine and the Scriptures or the Truth, the Church Leadership will always rule on the side of the Church Doctrine set by earlier Church Leaders no matter how wrong the Doctrine is. This is because to say earlier leaders made mistakes is to imply they can make mistakes as well. A reversal only comes about after a gigantic amount of pressure is placed on the Church Leaders and they see no other option available to them without losing all of the power they have.

    Reply
  23. Parbruek Post author

    This video omits the actual reason Galileo was convicted, like almost every other account. Galileo deserved the conviction, because he couldn't prove that the earth moved. I.E. he was arguing for a specific interpretation of scripture from science before the science existed. It was actually Kepler's work that finished Galileo's argument. Galileo thought that the solar tide was a reflection of the lunar tide occuring within the Mediterranean. As a result, his argument that the earth was mobile as seen from the tides was rather foolish.

    Reply
  24. Prairielander Post author

    Why won't theism just die? All the gods on earth were created by man and are therefore not real. People need to stop following them.

    Reply
  25. Mass Debater Post author

    didnt know you could be convected of something other than bieng stupid enough to not check the spelling of the intro title

    Reply
  26. luke lee Post author

    The Vatican doesn't deserve any credit for overturning the conviction of Galileo. It was hundreds of years after Galileo was proven right.

    Reply
  27. Roger Fusselman Post author

    Screw the Church for persecuting Galileo. You'd think God's spokesman — which is what the Pope is supposed to be — could take a little ribbing. I wouldn't conceptualize his woes as his fault. Not that that's what you're doing here, but it could be taken taken that way.

    Reply
  28. Austin Lucas Post author

    0:47 The scripture mentioned says "The earth is set in its foundations; it cannot be moved." I suppose people then had no idea what it meant.

    Reply
  29. BlackEpyon Post author

    So, in the end, he was still convicted, and the church still couldn't bear to hear a word said against it. Yet one more reason to hate religion.

    Reply
  30. DuelScreen Post author

    CORRECTION: There is no biblical scripture that stated the Earth was the center of the universe. The ancient writers had no concept of a modern solar system so this belief that the Earth must be the center was an interpretation. Interpretations, being human endeavours, are often wrong but this in no way applies to scripture.

    Please be more careful in your language in the future. Also, maybe read the scriptures to see what they contain for yourself.

    Reply
  31. jinkypooh Post author

    Well done.
    Honest presentation and decent research,
    Nice

    Reply
  32. Cern Green Post author

    And even today, great educated people like Neil DeGrass Tyson continue to propagate the story of how Galileo was a "martyr for Science" standing up against the anti-scientific Church. Kudos to "Today I Found Out" for clearing up the historical aspects of the non-scientific aspects of the conflict between Galileo and the Pope.

    Reply
  33. PerrinPansy Post author

    I'm actually dissapointed that there was no new info in this video for me.

    Reply
  34. Asha Lee Post author

    it took the church 359 years to confess to it's own wrongdoing. this is why i have no faith. well.. one of the reason's anyway.

    Reply
  35. welshpete12 Post author

    As always interesting and informative . Thank you for posting !

    Reply
  36. klondike444 Post author

    4:25 on-screen text: "summorized" . Don't you have proofreaders, or even a spell-checker?

    Reply
  37. tom k Post author

    Man, the more I learn about my previous religion the more I am glad I realized it was all bullshit.

    Reply
  38. Steven Smiseck Post author

    Nicely done summary. Enjoyed it. Since so many are focused on your pronunciation of “Medici”, I thought I’d thank you for the correct pronunciation of “err.” 😉

    Reply
  39. Jennifer Rivera Post author

    So, he wasn't convicted because the Church is backward, ignorant, or anti-science, but because he was an arrogant, disrespectful, little punk with no respect for his own patrons (and wrong because the solar system is elliptical, not circular).

    Reply
  40. DutchDread Post author

    There certainly is a lesson to be learned here, don't be religious.

    Reply
  41. Rkk O'Tilley Post author

    I member one time , my grampa was playin the jug an granny was playin the spoons an uncle Rico would twang away on the jews harp , me an lil sister would just sit there wonderin wth

    Reply
  42. SoCali Post author

    Religion is so horrible. I'll be glad when people stop believing in these fairy tales.

    Reply
  43. Lalmuanpuia Mizo Post author

    Science contradicts every God including biblical one. Interpreting scripture to fit any new discovery is the only option left now

    Reply
  44. Steven Wiederholt Post author

    Galileo got into trouble with the Church mainly because he was, well A Jerk.

    Reply
  45. Raphael Quaglio Post author

    I have read the bible many times and nowhere does it describe the orbit of the celestial bodies other than to state that the Sun rises and sets in a "circuit". But it was not trying to literally describe the relative movements of the Earth and Sun. For all practical purposes the Sun appears to be moving while the Earth appears to be stationary. The authors of the bible didn't give two shits about science. It was the pagan Romans and Greeks who gave us mathematics and natural philosophy.

    Reply
  46. OJ Black Post author

    "Thunderbolts and lightning very very frightening me"
    -Galileo

    Reply
  47. Today I Found Out Post author

    Now that you know about Galileo's story check out this video and find out about Dr. William Brydon and the Massacre of Elphinstone's Army:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH0s2fHOHwQ

    Reply
  48. KarasekUS Post author

    This is BS. Here, watch and learn: youtu.be/hlE7xvc4LoY .

    Reply
  49. Mark T. Post author

    2:24 You mean, Simplicio condemned the heliocentric view (the Copernican view). Simplicio believed in a geocentric universe, like everyone else except Galileo.

    Reply
  50. Robin de Roos Post author

    thats why i still cant forgive the crimes of the catholic church… though the current pope seems nice enough, my opinion still remains: repent mother(maria)fucker!

    Reply
  51. Emmanuel Post author

    That's false, Galileo proved no such thing. He thought that he proved it because he didn't have enough knowledge. Anyone who goes into space without a fisheye lens can see that it is flat and if you can stand in one spot hovering in space in a balloon, you can see the sun getting closer and bigger. If the sun was the center, it wouldn't change size with altitude.

    Reply
  52. Jamal69 Jackson Post author

    The Catholic church still remains to this day, one of the most if not the MOST abhorrent, deceitful, corrupt and despicable religious organizations in the world. Filled with pompous opulence, unimaginable wealth and a massive amount of pedophiles at every corner… in spite of most of my family and many other good people belonging to that church, I am convinced that this church is the work of the devil… which leads to damnation, and I would never in a million years form part of it. I will stick to the narrow path instead 🙂.

    Reply
  53. CrazyBear65 Post author

    The same Catholic church that was responsible for the Spanish Inquisition, the crusades, torture and death all over the planet… The same Catholic church that denies their priests pussy, but lets them get away with molesting little boys…

    Reply
  54. Serai3 Post author

    I'm starting to think the mispronunciations are deliberate? Who doesn't know how to pronounce "Medici", for gods' sakes?

    Reply
  55. Happy Life Post author

    The Bible never contradicted anything Galileo said….. -.- The Verse he gave doesn’t mean what they said, it simple means that the earth will never change because God has set the foundations.. that’s it .. how silly ?

    Reply
  56. Jorge Ramos Post author

    Benedetto Castelli told him that if Galileo provided evidence as proof of the Copernican theory they were willing to reinterpret scripture. But Galileo could not comply successfully because his “evidence” was not accurate.

    Reply
  57. Luke Skycrawler Post author

    So the pope appologized for condemning a scientist for dissagreeing with the religious belives of the church? I think he should rather appologize for all the wiches and scientists that they tortured and burned in the name of God, and early realize that God… might not be… who you think he is.

    Reply
  58. Evan Anderson Post author

    I had no idea just how incredibly ballsy he was

    Reply
  59. Evan Tomiko Post author

    Everything that was knowledge in science for the good of evolving humankind was heresy for the church or witchcraft. The church hold humanity's evolution for ages.

    Reply
  60. Golden Fantasy Post author

    Poor Galileo it's not right to take away someone's freedom, God allowed everyone to do what they wish evil or good.

    Reply
  61. void-cat the game-citizen Post author

    So it took the catholic church over 120 years to remove the ban on the viewpoint and then another 170 years to admit they were wrong? Bravo church, bravo.

    Reply
  62. MuchLowerThanThat Post author

    Relativity, anyone?.. };-)
    Brainwashing is so brainwashing.

    Reply
  63. nenabunena Post author

    galileo was never tortured and was in fact given a nice room with a personal valet during his trial

    Reply
  64. Troll Mario Post author

    So all this happened cause the pope got butthurt from his self insert?

    Reply
  65. Sam Grig Post author

    I was in an Atheist Facebook group years ago and there was an Atheist in there who used to be a Jesuit and claimed that Galileo got in trouble because he refused to back up his claim with evidence, and that Pope Urban did nothing wrong in this matter. I told him it was bullshit, and he lost his shit. Looks like this video proves me right.

    Reply
  66. Ron E Post author

    This video is so dead wrong in so many supposed facts about the Galileo affair. Galileo was dead wrong is still dead wrong today! The Church though, taken aback by later supposed scientific discoveries affirming Galileo's findings….never ever "un-condemned" Galileo!

    As a matter of fact…EVERY single argument Galileo used for his defense ….we now know today are blatantly false!!

    The Church formally condemned Galileo and his findings asserting that the Earth in fact does not move and any notion that it does with regard to it's position in the universe is a formal heresy. Any notion as well that the Sun is the center of the universe and does not move is also formally condemned and is still dogma today!!

    This video is totally BS and without any merit whatsoever! 👎🏼

    Genesis 1:1 👍🏻

    Reply
  67. ShadowZZZ Post author

    Religion. Holding back scientific progress since 0 BC

    Reply
  68. APACHE NATIVE TRIBE WE LIVE !! Post author

    Slow down when you speak.

    Reply
  69. Idea phase Post author

    I had a history book in my hands at one time that tought that gallileo was also convicted… On top of these charges that I do not deny… That because he theorised the sun was the center… That the earth was indeed round. And that this was the biggest reason he was convicted for heresy.

    Reply
  70. Idea phase Post author

    Of course this would have been the roman cathlic age were freemasons would have DOMINATED this era.

    Reply
  71. R. Connor Post author

    So what you're saying is that it was a slander case blown out of proportion and had almost nothing to do with his actual science but the presentation that he used

    Reply
  72. Horny Toads Post author

    his daughter must have had a lot of influence with the pope if u know what i mean, she must have repented behind closed doors alone with the pope to have her father off the hook! Daughter! sigh

    Reply
  73. Horny Toads Post author

    Bruno was the real hero who was burned back in 1600

    Reply
  74. Tom Zeman Post author

    The wheel in the sky stopped turnin when the fool on the hill saw the world spinnin round

    Reply

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