Pardoning Galileo

Pardoning Galileo May 30, 2014

Another cartoon from Once Upon a Saturday. Most of the cartoons in that series don't seem particularly funny to me, but occasionally they are, and manage to make a serious point as well.


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  • Galileo was never “excommunicated”.

    • Indeed, good point! He was censured and his teaching condemned, but he was not “excommunicated.”

    • Right, he was only convicted of heresy, forced to recant, and kept under house arrest for the rest of his life.

      • If you’re going to refer to history, it helps to get it right. And he wasn’t convicted of heresy either. He was found to be “vehemently suspect of heresy”. And yes, there was a difference.

        • I bow to your superior copy-and-past abilities, Tim. I amend my former statement:

          Right, he was only judged vehemently suspect of heresy, forced to abjure, and kept under house arrest for the rest of his life.

          • Yes, I “copied” it from my memory and “pasted” it by typing out words. It’s this strange thing called “knowing the facts and getting the details right”. It seems to elude many people when this topic comes up, for some odd reason …

          • … and so I amended my statement, as you so graciously pointed out the detail in error.

            Thank you, again, for your kind and humbly offered corrections, Tim.

          • You’re welcome.

  • David Evans

    According to what used to be the accepted rules of grammar, the caption says that the Pope was excommunicated. But I’m beginning to think that grammar is a lost cause.

  • arcseconds

    This seems bordering on slander, actually. Not only was Galileo not excommunicated, the cartoon implies that the Catholic church only stopped being geocentric in 1993. The Catholic church has been basically neutral on the matter since 1822, and Benedict XIV reversed much of the condemnation in 1757.

    Plus Darwin and evolution more generally have never been officially condemned by the Vatican. Is he there because a minority of protestants don’t care for him? What is this, guilty until proven innocent by unanimous decree of all christian sects?