Let’s all look through all of the telescopes!
“Galileo’s discovery of the telescope in 1609 enabled him to confirm his beliefs in the Copernican system and emboldened him to make public arguments in its favor. Through a telescope set in his garden behind his house, Galileo saw the Milky Way, the valleys and mountains of the moon, and–especially relevant to his thinking about the Copernican system–four moons orbiting around Jupiter like a miniature planetary system. Galileo, a good Catholic, offered “infinite thanks to God for being so kind as to make me alone the first observer of marvels kept hidden in obscurity for all previous centuries.”
Galileo expected the telescope to make quickly believers in the Copernican system out of all educated persons, but he was disappointed. He expressed his discouragement in a 1610 letter to Kepler: “My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?” It became apparent that the Copernican theory had its enemies. (2) Pope Urban VIII was Galileo’s Pope. Urban’s personal feelings of anger and frustration were the driving force behind the extraordinary proceedings. Urban recognized just how seriously Galileo’s new Science challenged established church doctrine. Worse, Galileo had declared that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics, not in biblical terms (3)
Two of The Vatican’s Judges at Galileo’s trial, Cesare Cremonini and Giulio Libri, even refused to look into Galileo’s telescope! (3, 4)
Pope Francis, this week, spoke before The United States Congress, (5) The General Assembly of The United Nations. He Joined with clerics of every Religion including Jewish, Muslims, Sikh and others at The 9/11 Memorial.(6 )
Pope Francis’ message: Our task is not to build walls but to build bridges!‘
Pope Francis: “From the defence of human life to food insecurity, from religious freedom to economic development is a far-reaching reflection on the need to establish right relationships between people; we are one human family.”
Peace, Pope Benedict insists, is not a naïve, utopian dream, but rather it reflects the deepest longing of the human heart.” We must work hard to build a new World Order based on Truth, freedom, love and justice.”
Pope Francis’ message spells out many practical concerns including a looming food crisis, the need for new models of development and financial practise based on people, not just profits, and the right to work as a fundamental good for individuals, families and societies. There’s also a strong focus on defending the right to life, upholding traditional family values and the need for religious freedom.
The Pope’s remarks in Philadelphia concerning Religious Freedom: “I take this opportunity to thank all those, of whatever religion, who have sought to serve the God of peace by building cities of brotherly love, by caring for our neighbors in need, by defending the dignity of God’s gift of life in all its stages, by defending the cause of the poor and the immigrant. All too often, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard. In this witness, which frequently encounters powerful resistance, you remind American democracy of the ideals for which it was founded, and that society is weakened whenever and wherever injustice prevails.”
Pope Benedict concludes his message with a call for “a pedagogy of peace based on pardon and reconciliation.”
The author of this essay urges, now in the Trials of The Twenty-first Century, let us not repeat the failure of Galileo’s Trial. Do not emulate Cesare Cremonini and Giulio Libri. Be willing to look through The Pope’s Telescope. One does not need to agree on every point. We should consider his offerings. Let us Be bridge builders as well as Pope Francis is.
I also heard: Freedom of Religion includes Freedom from Religion.
Charles Clanton Rogers September 26, 2015
(1) Most Famous Scientists and Inventors in History scienceimages.org
(2) Santillana, Giorgio. The Crime of Galileo (1978).
(3) Ten cardinals sat in judgment of Galileo. Pope Urban VIII was not present in person, but he was there in spirit, for his personal feelings of anger and frustration were the driving force behind the extraordinary proceedings. Urban recognized just how seriously Galileo’s new science challenged established church doctrine. Worse, Galileo had declared that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics, not in biblical terms. Hal Hellman, The Washington Post, Wednesday, September 9, 1998; Page H01
(4) Galileo did not name the philosophers concerned, but Galileo scholars have identified two of them as Cesare Cremonini and Giulio Libri (Drake, 1978, pp.162, 165; Sharratt, 1994, p.87). Hal Hellman
(5) Pope’s Message to Congress: Have Compassion For The Most Vulnerable Among Us
(6) 9/11 Memorial service on September 25, 2015