His only crime was to claim that planet Earth revolved around the Sun. That was enough cause for the Catholic Church to persecute Galileo. The Vatican condemned Galileo in 1633 for his putatively subversive views, and threatened the scientist with a burning at the stake. Galileo took back his statement, but still lived under house arrest for the rest of his life. It took 359 years and the leadership of Pope John Paul II (left) to recognize the wrong. On October 31, 1992, he formally apologized for the "Galileo Case" in the first of many famous apologies during his papacy.
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