What exactly was the dispute between Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church?

And what did the Church retract or apologize for back in 1992?

The common understanding of Galileo’s conflict with the Roman Catholic church is that he was prosecuted for believing that the Earth revolves around the Sun. But in a couple of articles, I’ve seen comments that suggested it was a bit more technical than that, based on church canons, and not so much the particular heliocentric view he supported as a question of obedience to the church.

Could someone explain:

a) exactly what the dispute and the proceedings were between Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church?, and

b) the exact nature of the comments that the Church made in 1992?


In regards to part (a), it should be added that Galileo’s Dialogue on the Chief Two World Systems, in which he made his most open declaration in support of a heliocentric universe, painted a bit of an insulting picture of the Catholic church’s position, and implicitly, the Pope.

Try here and here and here for some answers.

Hell, he gave the person arguing the Church’s position (i.e., the Pope’s position, even the Pope’s very own words) Siimplicio.

I don’t think a translation is really necessary. :wink:

In short, he was punished more for being an overbearing dick who lost his political support at precisely the worst time to lose it, than he was for discussing the Copernican position.