Roman Catholics: Galileo: A Great Spirit

Three and a half centuries ago, the Vatican's Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office forbade the Italian Astronomer Galileo Galilei to "hold or defend" the Copernican theory, which Galileo's telescopes had verified, that the earth revolves around the sun rather than vice versa. Galileo stayed silent 16 years, then reasserted his view more strongly than ever in his Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems. In one of the world's most famous trials, the Roman Inquisition charged Galileo with heresy, threatened him with torture, and forced him to recant. His Dialogue was placed on the Index of Prohibited...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!