“Galileo and the Vatican” was released by Marcianum Press and was co-authored by Mario Artigas, who died in 2006, and Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca. Artigas was a professor of the Philosophy of Science in Barcelona and at the University of Navarre, and Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, was a under-secretary at the Pontifical Council for Culture.
The 300-page book has been published in Spanish and Italian and includes an introduction by Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, the current President of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Archbishop Ravasi considers the work of the Commission on Galileo to be important for “leaving behind the vestiges of an unfortunate past, which led to tragic and reciprocal misunderstanding.”
Speaking to Notimex, Msgr. Sanchez de Toca explained that the main objective of the book is “to heal an open wound,” since despite the 17 years that have passed since the apology, “it seems every time like we are at the beginning.”
The judges of Galileo, he continued, in addition to the “obvious error” of believing that the Earth did not revolve, committed the mistake of entering a field outside their competence. “They thought the Copernicus system defended by Galileo with such vehemence endangered the faith of simple people and that it was their obligation to prevent it from being taught. This was an error and it is necessary that it be acknowledged,” the author said.
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On October 31, 1992, Pope John Paul II issued a declaration acknowledging the errors committed by the Church tribunal that judged the scientific positions of Galileo Galilei.