Galileo Toned Down His Heretical Words, Long-Lost Letter Proves (But the Church Persecuted Him Anyway)

The long-lost letter from Galileo Galilei, dated Dec. 21, 1613, dealt with to Padre Benedetto Castelli. The letter was discovered in the Royal Society archives.

Credit: copyright The Royal Society

Did Galileo Galilei truly state all those awful things that the Vatican stated he did, in his well-known 1613 letter about a sun-centered planetary system– and in stating so, breached church teaching? Or did the Catholic church modify his words to make him look bad, so they could more quickly state him an apostate? A long-lost letter that just recently emerged from a library archive in the U.K. might lastly put this concern to rest.

The discovery clarifies claims that Galileo made when he came under fire for recommending that the church stay with faith and avoid of science, the journal Nature just recently reported.

Inning accordance with Galileo, when inquisition authorities provided a copy of his letter as proof of heresy, the words had actually been altered to make them appear more inflammatory. Galileo even produced another copy of the letter with much less incendiary language, to show that he was being railroaded. [Science and the Catholic Church: A Turbulent History]

However the freshly found file informs a various story.

Found in the Royal Society library by a checking out historian from Italy in August, the newly found letter had actually suffered for centuries after being submitted under the incorrect date, inning accordance with Nature. It seems an initial draft of the letter, which Galileo initially sent out to his pal Benedetto Castelli in 1613, and it’s signed with “G.G.”– Galileo’s initials.

In the letter, Galileo condemned the Catholic Church’s analyses of astronomy; those arguments were utilized versus him when the inquisition brought him to trial– and convicted him– in 1633.

The second page of the 1613 Galileo letter.

The 2nd page of the 1613 Galileo letter.

Credit: copyright The Royal Society

The brand-new file consists of various corrections, in an effort to soothe language that may be thought about heretical, Nature reported. Words that Galileo initially put to paper that were roughly important of the church were later on erased and remedied, recommending that he self-edited to make his declarations less offending to the church’s eyes, inning accordance with Nature.

For instance, one passage described particular Scriptural claims as “incorrect”; the description was later on erased and modified to check out “look various from the fact.”

If the file is exactly what it seems, Galileo’s initial word options were even more objectionable than the variation that was sent out to the Vatican, which he declared was a “scams” distributed “under the cape of passion and charity,” in a 1615 letter to a good friend and cleric called Piero Dini.

A description and analysis of the letter will be released in the Royal Society journal Notes and Records, Nature reported.

Initial short article on Live Science