Languages
Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Pope praises Galileo's astronomy

Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican's St Peter's Basilica (11/12/2008)
Pope Benedict had been accused of condoning the heresy charge

Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to 17th-Century astronomer Galileo Galilei, whose scientific theories once drew the wrath of the Catholic Church.

The Pope was speaking at events marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo's earliest observations with a telescope.

He said an understanding of the laws of nature could stimulate appreciation of God's work.

In 1992, Pope John Paul said the church's denunciation of Galileo's work had been a tragic error.

Galileo used his scientific methods to demonstrate that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around.

His view directly challenged the church's view at the time - that the Earth was static and at the centre of the universe.

Galileo was accused of heresy in 1633 and forced to publicly recant his theories.

He lived the rest of his life under house arrest at his villa in the hills outside Florence.

Pope Benedict had been criticised in the past for appearing to condone the heresy verdict against Galileo.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Vatican says aliens could exist
13 May 08 |  Europe

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific