No Fear of New Things?
VATICAN CITY — October 20, 2014
Pope Francis on Sunday, as he beatified Pope Paul VI who implemented the Second Vatican Council’s vast changes, called on the church to adapt to “changing conditions of society.”
“God is not afraid of new things,” Francis pointedly said during the beatification Mass.
Maybe God isn’t afraid of new things, but the Church certainly is.
The Catholic Church has fought virtually every scientific advance in history with censure, excommunication, imprisonment, torture and execution.
In one of its most reprehensible actions, the Church imprisoned Galileo for heresy, namely that of having held the opinions that the Earth is not at the center of the universe and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions.
He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition. On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life.
His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.
The Church formally and publicly apologized to Galileo in 1992, 376 years after the Inquisition’s injunction “…to abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or from discussing it… to abandon completely… the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing…”
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