"Galileo and the Vatican” is the title of a new book that gathers together the documents of the commission created by Pope John Paul II on the famous Italian scientist and, according to Cardinal Paul Poupard who headed up the study group, seeks to debunk the black legend and other myths about this case.
Cardinal Poupard recalled that John Paul II publicly apologized about Galileo in October of 1992.“The Pope was concerned about clearing up a bad image of the Church in the eyes of the public, in which she was portrayed as the enemy of science. This is a myth, but myths pervade history and are not easily eliminated,” he said.
The 300-page book has been published in Spanish and Italian. It is not yet available in English. The Galileo case is one of the historical bludgeons that is used to beat on the Church — the other three being the Crusades, the Inquisition, and Pope Pius XII and the Jews. It is important that Catholics understand exactly what happened between the Church and the great scientist. Al took an extensive look at the facts of this case with Catholic writer and historian George Sim Johnston that put to rest almost every aspect of the reigning Galileo legend.