“It was urged that Galileo’s teaching was inconsistent with the doctrine of the Real Presence…: ‘The opinion of the earth’s motion is of all heresies the most abominable, the most pernicious, the most scandalous, the immovability of the earth is thrice sacred; argument against the immortality of the soul, the existence of God, and the incarnation, should be tolerated sooner than an argument to prove that the earth moves” and so on. “By such cries of ‘tally-ho’ the theologians had stirred each other’s blood, and they were now all ready for the hunt after one old man, enfeebled by illness and in process of going blind. Galileo was once more summoned to Rome to appear before the Inquisition… When he reached Rome he was thrown into the prisons of the Inquisition, and threatened with torture if he did not recant. The Inquisition, ‘invoking the most holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ and of His most glorious Virgin Mother Mary’, decreed that Galileo should not incur the penalties provided for heresy, ‘provided that with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, in Our presence, you adjure, curse and detest the said errors and heresies’. Nevertheless, in spite of recantation and penitence, ‘We condemn you to the formal prison of this Holy Office for a period determinable at Our pleasure” (Bertrand Russell: Religion & Science, pp 39-40).

“This fool”, said Luther of Copernicus, “wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth” (Paul N. Siegel: Religion and Power Across the World, , page 7).

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