What is the real story behind Galileo’s condemnation?

Mr. Marasco,

Kari sent me your email. If you don’t mind, I would like to take the opportunity to show you some new information about the Galileo case that you may not have heard before. I don’t mean to slight your hard work, but I think you will see that each one of your assertions should be reevaluated in light of this new information. Incidentally, the Galileo Was Wrong conference we are sponsoring is for the purpose of showing that Galileo was, indeed, wrong about saying the earth moved, and that the Church was correct in condemning him and his moving earth theory as formally heretical in 1633. Please read my comments in the light they are given, and I hope that you can see a new perspective on this that is much better than our previous ones.

If you would like more information than what I give here in my responses to you, please feel free to visit our website at www.galileowaswrong.com

You can order the two volumes we wrote on the subject, which contains over 1000 pages of scientific and historical information.

God be with you.

Robert Sungenis


…Most have heard the allegation of how at one time the Catholic Church would torture, imprison or burn anyone who alleged that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Giordano Bruno and Galileo are most often cited as examples of this. The truth is that Bruno was executed as an unrepentant, obstinate heretic wholly apart from any sympathy with Copernicus. As for Galileo, it is the purpose of this work to shatter the mistaken conception most have of his relationship with The Catholic Church. This relativity is in two areas– astronomy( although Galileo is saying nothing new) and physics, which is the main occupation of his life( tower of Pisa etc). Einstien refers to Galileo as the father of modern physics.

…In breaking these conceptions, the actions of the Church will be shown to be above reproach. Galileo runs afoul of INQ on two seperate occaisions–1616 and 1633. He is censored both times in astronomical terms but this will be shown to be only symbolic in 1633. The first indictment is for demanding that Copernicanism be accepted as a Dogmatic Article of Faith

…What exactly IS ‘Copernicanism’? Osiander’s( he and Kepler are the two main Protestants who accept Earth revolves around the Sun and also the Gregorian Calendar) intro to the original De Revolutionibus describes the astronomical doctrine. These three parts are all given equal consideration by INQ.

1–Earth revolves around the Sun

2–Sun and not Earth is therefore fixed(stationary)

3–Sun and not Earth is therefore the center of the ‘World’( term used at that time to mean Universe)– upsetting the Biblical story of Earth at the center.

…This had been the theory of Copernicus previously in his book of 1543 so the doctrine had been around for at least 73 years before 1616. De Revolutionibus was not placed on the Index of Forbidden Books prior to the machinations of Galileo.

R. Sungenis: There is much more to the story that leads up to the banning of Copernicus’ 1543 work.

Georg Joachim Rheticus (a homosexual who eventually severed ties with Copernicus after having been double-crossed by him) was pushing heliocentrism with even more vigor than Copernicus. Rheticus’ works, including the earlier pro-Copernican work, Narratio prima, were all placed on the Index of Forbidden Books published between 1559-1593, with a subsequent suppression of Narratio ordered by the Inquisition in 1598. Spina, the Master of the Sacred Palace from 1542 until his death in 1547, sought to have Copernicus’ book banned, which was eventually carried out by his Dominican colleague Giovanimaria Tolosani, who died two years later in 1549. Apparently, Osiander’s “hypothetical” disclaimer did not persuade these particular censors. Similar to Copernicus’ effort to persuade Paul III, Tolosani wrote a detailed geocentric treatise in 1546, which he dedicated to Paul III and which included an endorsement from Spina. In it Tolosani vehemently rejected Copernicus’ universe and declared it an extreme danger to the faith precisely because of its attempt to deliteralize Sacred Scripture. As the 16th century reached the midway point, the staunchest anti-Copernican of the day was the Jesuit Christoph Clavius (d. 1612). He writes in his highly esteemed work: “We conclude, then, in accordance with the common doctrine of the astronomers and the philosophers, that the earth lacks any local motion, either rectilinear or circular, and that the heavens themselves revolve continually round it…. Holy Scripture is also in favor of this doctrine, stating in a great number of places that the earth is stationary. It also bears witness to the fact that the sun and the other heavenly bodies are in motion.”

Marasco: This condemnation is gradually lifted in 1758 and finally in 1835.

R. Sungenis: It was not even partially lifted in 1758. The Index allowed only general works on heliocentrism, and even they had to follow the previous stipulation of making their views hypothetical, as was Copernicus’ work in 1620. The specific works of Copernicus, Foscarini, Galileo, Zuniga, Kepler, were still banned in the 1758 Index.

The 1835 Index was issued in the reign of Gregory XVI upon a false claim of stellar parallax, but there is no specific authorization from Pope Gregory. Stellar parallax would not be discovered until three years later in 1838 by Bessell. Moreover, the Inquisition was without the Galileo records since 1814 when Napoleon had confiscated all of them and took them to France, and didn’t return them until 1845, so the Church had nothing to go by except its memory, which turned out to be faulty.

Marasco: Copernicus himself had been employed by the Church in the ongoing process of the re-organisation of the Calendar as early as 1520 and the idea that Earth revolves around the Sun is an essential part of his Pruthenic Tables, the reckonings of which are used in the Gregorian Calendar of 1582– this is still in use today as we draw near to 2012. Aside from the Pope it is the name of the Jesuit Clavius who is most associated with the re-organisation.

R. Sungenis: Actually the Tables would work the same if the sun were revolving around the earth, since the geometry is exactly the same if both systems use the same circular paths. The problem is, the Tables were never really accurate since Copernicus could never get his circular system to work correctly. He never bettered what Ptolemy had produced. As for Clavius, he was the staunchest critic of the Copernican system.

Marasco: …Copernicus had doubts about his own theory. This is why De Revolutionibus was not published in his lifetime. These doubts were correct as science has now shown the Sun to be in motion– it is flying through space (and not around the Earth) at about 40,000 mph.

R. Sungenis: That is a matter of interpretation depending on how one measures the ether drift or the red shift, and the system of triangulation one uses. Moreover, science hasn’t proven that the sun is either moving at 40K mph or that it is not revolving around the earth. As to the former, the ether drift could be moving against the sun as opposed to the sun moving against it. As for the latter, there is no experiment ever performed which shows the sun is not revolving around the earth. All of them have been discredited, for they cannot distinguish between a rotating earth in a fixed universe or a fixed earth in a rotating universe, since all the kinematics and forces are exactly the same.

Marasco: Therefore Galileo’s 2nd ’dogmatic article of faith’– the ancient Pythagorean idea of a fixed Sun– has been shown to be erronious. It should be self-evident to the reader at this time that the third ’daf’ of the lunatic Galileo, the Sun being the center of the Universe is also mistaken (although there are cults today who do believe this). The state of scientific knowledge at the time did not allow for a conception that Earth and Sun are BOTH in motion. It is this controversy that leads to the conception of the Solar system being realised in the early 18th Century.

R. Sungenis: Not exactly. The Church based its decision on the fact that Scripture and the Fathers said the earth did not move, period. Since that was the case, then the only way one could explain the seasons was to understand that the sun had to go around the earth. Trying to demystify the Galileo issue by saying that it was just a case of not understanding relative motion is neither truthful nor accurate. The Church condemned heliocentrism because Galileo claimed the earth moved.

Marasco: …Cardinal Bellarmine agreed that Copernicus spoke hypothetically, which is correct as there was no scientific proof of anything at the time. It is Newton’s theory of Gravity along with James Bradley in 1725 that proves Earth around Sun.

R. Sungenis: Not true. Newton merely taught that of two bodies in motion in a closed system, the smaller body will seem to revolve around the larger since the center of mass is closer to the larger. But all physicists since Newton have agreed that in an open system of many moving bodies (including the trillions of stars in the universe), all of them will revolve around the center of mass, and they admit that the center of mass could be the earth, as did Newton. The center of mass will remain motionless, since it has no inertia.

As for Bradley, he also did not prove the Earth goes around the sun. Bradley discovered stellar aberration, and stellar aberration can be explained by the movement of the stars against a fixed earth or a moving earth against fixed stars. The same is true for stellar parallax. Hence, both of these so-called proofs for heliocentrism have been discredited.

Marasco: The later experiment of Focault’s Pendulum proves that Earth rotates on an axis.

R. Sungenis: No, in reality, the Foucault Pendulum merely proved that there was a force causing the swinging bob to shift the plane of its motion but it didn’t prove where the force came from. Since Foucault’s time, modern science has discovered that the shift to the bob can come from a rotating universe around a fixed earth just as well as a rotating earth in a fixed universe. The centrifugal, Coriolis and Euler forces are exactly the same.

Marasco: …Galileo was not speaking hypothetically and this is what caused INQ to take notice. He would refer to those who disagreed with him as idiots and the like: his manner was abraisive and he was a know it all. As far as other astronomical observations, he was incorrect about ellipses, comets and tides while deserving credit for the moons of Jupiter and sunspots which show the Sun to be rotating on an axis.

R. Sungenis: Actually, Galileo was not the first to discover moons on Jupiter. There were at least two others who did so before him. Moreover, it wasn’t necessarily Galileo’s abrasive manner that led to his conviction. That is a myth created by those looking for some credible reason why Pope Urban VIII became Galileo’s worst enemy. Galileo went behind the Church and received an imprimatur from Cardinal Ricardi by subterfuge in 1631. In 1616 Galileo was given an injunction by Pope Paul V never again to deal with the subject of cosmology. When Pope Urban found out about Galileo’s clandestine activities, he summoned him to Rome in 1632, and this began what led to his trial in 1633 where both he and his view of cosmology were condemned. The concept that the sun was in the center of the earth-sun system was called a “formal heresy,” and the idea that the earth moved was called “erroneous in faith.”

Marasco: …The way INQ deals with the idea that the Earth may not be the physical center of the World (Universe) is to settle on the idea of an A-Centric as opposed to a geo or helio-centric conception. In other words, the Earth is the center of the Universe in a spiritual sense which is not necessarily respective of its physical location.

R. Sungenis: No, the Church never even discussed whether the spiritual sense was relevant, much less use it to understand the Galileo issue. The Church was dealing only with the physical sense when it condemned heliocentrism in 1616 and 1633. An acentric universe came with Einstein in the theory of Special Relativity. But Special Relativity was invented precisely to escape the dozen or so experiments performed between 1818 and 1904 which showed the earth was standing still in space.

Marasco…All this means that science can be reconciled with Scripture and the Tradition (Deposit of Faith) of Holy Church– to say otherwise is heretical. Without any specific verse saying the Sun revolves around Earth, there is no law forbidding an interpretation of the Bible that says Earth revolves around the Sun.

R. Sungenis: Yes, it is definitely heretical to say science cannot be reconciled with Scripture and Tradition, but we can only reconcile with science what science has proven to be true, not what science theorizes, for theories change every few decades in science. As for Scripture’s testimony, there are numerous passages that say the sun moves; none that say the sun is motionless; many that say the earth does not move; and none that say the earth moves. Moreover, one cannot use “acentrism” to allow himself to be non-committal on these passages, for acentrism does not answer how the four seasons can be produced. Only a central earth or a central sun can be the cause of the four seasons.

Marasco: Otherwise the Gregorian Calendar would have to be denied.

R. Sungenis: As I said, Copernicus’ model worked no better than Ptolemy’s. The reason is that Copernicus was simply copying the model of the Greek Aristarchus who used perfect circles for his revolutions. As such, both heliocentric models were off by the same degrees as Ptolemy’s. The Gregorian calendar was adjusted despite Copernicus’ failed model.

Marasco: It is the fixed Sun in the center of the Universe that are the problems with Copernicanism– not Earth moving around the Sun.

R. Sungenis: No, it is because Copernicus used perfect circles for orbits. Kepler improved on Copernicus’ model, but it still didn’t get things perfect, since the orbits are not perfect ellipses either. They are very complicated. Moreover, Kelper admitted that if the same ellipses were applied to Brahe’s geocentric model, it would have worked just as well as Kepler’s.

Marasco: It is amusing that Luther, Calvin, Bacon, King James et al believed the Sun to revolve around Earth– so much for Sola Scriptura. Was the belligerant attack on the Church by Galileo the act of a provacateur? According to von Pastor, some suspected him of attacking Rome as an agent of Paolo Sarpi( the Italian Luther).

R. Sungenis: Once you understand the real issue you don’t need to speculate like this anymore. The Church made it clear that the Fathers, the Tradition and Scripture all taught geocentrism. That, and that only, was the issue at stake.

Marasco: …The Sun being in motion while not going around Earth raises the question of where it may be going. Is the Sun in turn revolving around another larger star?– some say Alcyone in a 26,000 yr cycle. The precession cycle of the Earth’s axis is also 26 k Yrs. This would of course contradict the Biblical story, but one thing we know is that the Sun is in motion. Chances are it is going around something.

R. Sungenis: Once again, a rotating universe around an Earth-Sun system would create the same drift measurements if the same system were moving toward Alcyone, Draco or Leo or any other system.

Marasco: …Some researchers think there may be a Photonic Band enveloping the Alcyonic system which our Solar system slams into every 13,000 yrs or so for a period of 1080 yrs( Prada thinks 2160)— http://www.luisprada.com/Protected/the_photonic_belt.htm === http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jan/02/science/sci-extinction2

…David Icke has a chapter somewhere on the Photonic Band and it’s possible relationship with Dec 21, 2012. In it he says Earth may physically strike the PB at that time. He has backed off of that recently and now thinks the event may just be a general spiritual awakening.

R. Sungenis: I can’t give any credibility to these speculations.


…After a closer look then, it is found that no original thinking of Galileo is on trial in 1616 as the dispute is over the pre-existing doctrine of Copernicanism. What is the controversy over Galileo later? Why is he in even more trouble with INQ in 1633? A pretext is made that the Imprimateur for the Dialogues of 1632 was obtained fraudulently, but as the decision on Copernicanism had already been rendered it is likely that something more serious had motivated the Holy Office by 1633; it is the contents of Galileo’s Assayer( Il Saggiatore), published in 1623.

R. Sungenis: Galileo’s imprimatur WAS obtained fraudulently, since the 1616 records show that Galileo was given a legal injunction not to dabble in cosmology any longer. As it stands, he started work on his new book, The Dialogue of the Two Great World Systems, also in 1623 (after Bellarmine died and when he was good friends with Cardinal Barberini, who later became Pope Urban VIII).

Marasco: …The source of what follows is the work of Pietro Redondi(non-Catholic)– Galileo Heretic, published by Einstien’s Princeton Univ and translated by the anti-Catholic judaic Raymond Rosenthal. Catholics will of course not agree with more than a few conclusions reached in the book , but it does seem to be an accurate historical account of the events which lead to 1633.

…As cited previously, Galileo was primarily a physicist, not an astronomer. The great majority of his achievements come in this area. In the Assayer it is evident that Galileo holds the same atomic materialist physical theories as Pythagoras, Epicurus and Einstien. Pythagoras believed everything could be explained by a physical quantity– hence the term Quantum Physics. This theory is of course at odds with the Qualitative Physics of Aristotle which has been reconciled to the Roman Church by St Thomas.

…Urban VIII wrote the intro to Il Saggiatore apparently without understanding the nature of it’s contents; he was quite well known for being a liberal Pope. It is the physical views held in the Assayer that motivates Spain’s Cardinal Borgia to confront the Pope and bring him to his senses. Galileo’s quantum, atomist theories amount to an attack on the Doctrine Of The Real Presence in the Eucharist.

…From Fr Parsons Some Lies And Errors Of History pg 86

” To such a Tribunal a denunciation was made that Galileo or his deciples had asserted God is an accident and not a substance– a personal being; that miracles are not miracles at all. Then the Pontiff declared that for the termination of the scandal, Galileo should be cited and admonished by the Sacred Congregation.”

…An attack on the Eucharist using atomist physical theories is nothing new as this was used by Wycliff, Luther, Calvin etc. This is what the ‘Reformation’ was all about. The Real Galileo has been found.

R. Sungenis: Redondi, like every other Catholic, is trying to find an answer why the Church condemned Galileo, but he, like everyone else, has the answer under his nose but doesn’t see it. It had nothing to do with Galileo’s atomism. The subject didn’t even come up for discussion in either 1616 or 1633 or thereafter. The records are crystal clear that the trial only concerned Galileo’s insistence that the earth moved around the sun.

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