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Does the Pope Believe the Earth is Flat??

Old 01-15-08, 05:18 PM
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Does the Pope Believe the Earth is Flat??

and the Center of the Universe??

He had to cancel an appearance in Italy over remarks he made in 1990 supporting the trial and conviction of Galileo for heresy for teaching the earth was round, and sun revolved around it. It boggles my mind that the Pope could say anything other than "Many sorries. The Church really screwed the pooch on that one."

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe...=ib_topstories
Galileo protest halts pope's visit

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI has canceled a planned visit to a prestigious Italian university after a protest by academics and students attacked his views on Galileo, the Vatican confirmed Tuesday.

A student walks past a banner reading: "Against the Papacy" and "No Pope" at La Sapienza University.

The pope had been due to give a speech at La Sapienza university in Rome Thursday to open its academic year.

However, the visit drew criticism from academics at the university who signed a letter demanding that the trip be called off. Separately, students protested outside the university, carrying banners insisting the university is a lay institution and the pope is not welcome.

"Given the events of the past days regarding the visit of the Holy Father to La Sapienza university upon the rector's invitation, which was scheduled to take place Thursday, January 17, it was decided to postpone the event," the Vatican said in a short written statement.

Father Ciro Benedettini, a spokesman for the Vatican, confirmed to CNN the academic protests had prompted the cancellation.

In the letter, academics -- pointing to a speech the pope gave at the same university as a cardinal in 1990 -- claimed he condones the 1633 trial and conviction of the scientist Galileo for heresy.

The astronomer had argued that the Earth revolved around the Sun, in contradiction to church teachings at the time, and he was forced to renounce his findings publicly.

In comments made 15 years ago when he was still a cardinal, Pope Benedict is reported to have called the trial "reasonable and just."

During his speech, the pope -- then Cardinal Ratzinger -- quoted an Austrian philosopher Paul Feyerabend, saying, "At the time of Galileo, the church remained more loyal (or faithful) to reason than Galileo himself.


Andreas Srova, a physics professor at the university, said it would have been inappropriate for the pope to appear for the inauguration.

Srova, who signed the protest letter and is the author of a book detailing the 1633 trial, said he is "very satisfied" that the Vatican decided to cancel the trip.

"We have no objections to the pope visiting at any other time when there can be exchanges of opinion, but not at the inauguration," he said. "It was a mistake to ask him to come at this time."

CNN's Rome bureau chief Alessio Vinci said it was quite extraordinary for the pope to cancel the visit just because of the objections of the students and professors. It Is especially surprising, he said, given that this is the same pope that made a controversial visit to Turkey last year.

Pope Benedict went to the predominantly Muslim country despite strained relations between the Vatican and the Islamic world following a lecture the pope gave at a German university in which he made unflattering comments about the Islamic faith.
Newsflash to CNN: 1990 was 18 years ago, but who's counting.
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Old 01-15-08, 05:25 PM
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Sorry, but "was reported to have said" is kind of lame. I'd be interested in the actual text of what he said, in context, before I'd have an opinion.
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Old 01-15-08, 05:34 PM
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It feels like it may be taken out of context. I know that is a long time ago, but I expect this is something I would have heard about before now. Even when he was first Popified (sp?).
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Old 01-15-08, 05:38 PM
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Sounds like he believes in the church rather than in a flat earth
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Old 01-15-08, 05:41 PM
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This seems to me to be a reasonable summary of the conflict between Galileo and the Church:

http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/1999/1999-3.html

A relevent passage from there:

"An understanding of the theological dimensions of the encounter between Galileo and the Inquisition requires that we keep in mind this question concerning the scientific knowledge of the motion of the Earth. All sides in the controversy were committed to the Aristotelian ideal of scientific knowledge. Remember, Cardinal Bellarmino told Galileo that if there were a demonstration for the motion of the Earth, then the Bible would have to be interpreted accordingly. The cardinal has simply reaffirmed traditional Catholic teaching that the truths of science and the truths of faith cannot contradict one another. Whether we turn to Augustine in the 4th century or Aquinas in the 13th, we can discover the common Catholic commitment to the harmony between reason and revelation. Furthermore, both Augustine and Aquinas warned against using the Bible as an encyclopedia of natural science. Galileo liked to quote the remarks of Cardinal Baronius: Scripture teaches you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go."
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Old 01-15-08, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
Sorry, but "was reported to have said" is kind of lame. I'd be interested in the actual text of what he said, in context, before I'd have an opinion.
http://ncrcafe.org/node/1541

(In part; don't know what was left out):

John L Allen Jr Daily Column
Ratzinger's 1990 remarks on Galileo
Posted on Jan 14, 2008 10:00am CST.

Note: Recently a group of professors and students from Rome's La Sapienza University, including the entire physics faculty, wrote a letter protesting Pope Benedict XVI's scheduled Jan. 17 lecture to open the academic year. They cited comments from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1990 on the Galileo case. Those comments are presented here.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
“The Crisis of Faith in Science”
March 15, 1990, Parma
Extracts taken from A Turning Point for Europe? The Church and Modernity in the Europe of Upheavals, Paoline Editions, 1992, pp. 76-79. English translation by NCR.

* * *
In the last decade, creation’s resistance to allowing itself to be manipulated by humanity has emerged as a new element in the overall cultural situation. The question of the limits of science, and the criteria which it must observe, has become unavoidable.

Particularly emblematic of this change of intellectual climate, it seems to me, is the different way in which the Galileo case is seen.

This episode, which was little considered in the 18th century, was elevated to a myth of the Enlightenment in the century that followed. Galileo appeared as a victim of that medieval obscurantism that endures in the Church. Good and evil were sharply distinguished. On the one hand, we find the Inquisition: a power that incarnates superstition, the adversary of freedom and conscience. On the other, there’s natural science represented by Galileo: the force of progress and liberation of humanity from the chains of ignorance that kept it impotent in the face of nature. The star of modernity shines in the dark night of medieval obscurity.

Today, things have changed.

According to [Ernst] Bloch, the heliocentric system – just like the geocentric – is based upon presuppositions that can’t be empirically demonstrated. Among these, an important role is played by the affirmation of the existence of an absolute space; that’s an opinion that, in any event, has been cancelled by the Theory of Relativity. Bloch writes, in his own words: ‘From the moment that, with the abolition of the presupposition of an empty and immobile space, movement is no longer produced towards something, but there’s only a relative movement of bodies among themselves, and therefore the measurement of that [movement] depends to a great extent on the choice of a body to serve as a point of reference, in this case is it not merely the complexity of calculations that renders the [geocentric] hypothesis impractical? Then as now, one can suppose the earth to be fixed and the sun as mobile.”

Curiously, it was precisely Bloch, with his Romantic Marxism, who was among the first to openly oppose the [Galileo] myth, offering a new interpretation of what happened: The advantage of the heliocentric system over the geocentric, he suggested, does not consist in a greater correspondence to objective truth, but solely in the fact that it offers us greater ease of calculation. To this point, Bloch follows solely a modern conception of natural science. What is surprising, however, is the conclusion he draws: “Once the relativity of movement is taken for granted, an ancient human and Christian system of reference has no right to interference in astronomic calculations and their heliocentric simplification; however, it has the right to remain faithful to its method of preserving the earth in relation to human dignity, and to order the world with regard to what will happen and what has happened in the world.”

If both the spheres of conscience are once again clearly distinguished among themselves under their respective methodological profiles, recognizing both their limits and their respective rights, then the synthetic judgment of the agnostic-skeptic philosopher P. Feyerabend appears much more drastic. He writes: “The church at the time of Galileo was much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself, and also took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo’s doctrine. Its verdict against Gaileo was rational and just, and revisionism can be legitimized solely for motives of political opportunism.”

From the point of view of the concrete consequences of the turning point Galileo represents, however, C.F. Von Weizsacker takes another step forward, when he identifies a “very direct path” that leads from Galileo to the atomic bomb.

To my great surprise, in a recent interview on the Galileo case, I was not asked a question like, ‘Why did the Church try to get in the way of the development of modern science?’, but rather exactly the opposite, that is: ‘Why didn’t the church take a more clear position against the disasters that would inevitably follow, once Galileo had opened Pandora’s box?’

It would be absurd, on the basis of these affirmations, to construct a hurried apologetics. The faith does not grow from resentment and the rejection of rationality, but from its fundamental affirmation and from being inscribed in a still greater form of reason …

Here, I wished to recall a symptomatic case that illustrates the extent to which modernity’s doubts about itself have grown today in science and technology.
It seems to me that there is a grave misunderstanding of relativity theory in there too. Or maybe when I drive on the interstate, I'm stationary and the road (and the Earth) is moving at 70 mph under me. But then, every driver could make that claim. I'm not sure how the Earth moves all those different ways at all those different speeds relative to every driver on the planet.

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Old 01-15-08, 06:01 PM
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Somebody needs to call Superman and tell him he forgot to set time back to "forward" again.
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Old 01-15-08, 06:08 PM
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Obviously, I am looking at this with modern hindsight, but I have to disagree with this:
Curiously, it was precisely Bloch, with his Romantic Marxism, who was among the first to openly oppose the [Galileo] myth, offering a new interpretation of what happened: The advantage of the heliocentric system over the geocentric, he suggested, does not consist in a greater correspondence to objective truth, but solely in the fact that it offers us greater ease of calculation.
Attempts to calculate planetary positions in the geocentric model require mathematical gymnastic of such proportion (epicycle upon epicycle) that it is fairly obvious that the "theory" underlying those computations is deeply flawed.

Kepler's laws of motion account for the main motions of each planet in the heliocentic model and the gravitational interactions (minor forces the planets exert on each other) account for the rest, with a little help from relativity in the case of Mercury. The underlying theory is plausible and simple on its face, not absurd.

Galileo got a bum rap. If the Pope can't admit it, then I'm not sure I buy the notion that the Church follows reason, and Biblical teaching has to be interpretted to agree with science.
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Old 01-15-08, 07:04 PM
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Does the Pope believe the earth is flat? No, because Ferdinand Magellan wrote him a letter saying it wasn't flat.

Didn't the Catholic Church, not that long ago, finally agree that Galileo was right?

Galileo was proven correct by one of our astronauts on the moon when he dropped a feather and a hammer at the same time.
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Old 01-15-08, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Galileo got a bum rap. If the Pope can't admit it, then I'm not sure I buy the notion that the Church follows reason, and Biblical teaching has to be interpretted to agree with science.
On the face of it, I agree with you 100%. But I will say that what many try to do is make Biblical teaching agree with what science believes rather than what it proves. Probably just an issue of semantics, however.

I don't know of any religious person who would disagree with the idea that all truth is God's truth, if that doesn't muddy it up even more.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Does the Pope believe the earth is flat? No, because Ferdinand Magellan wrote him a letter saying it wasn't flat.

Didn't the Catholic Church, not that long ago, finally agree that Galileo was right?

Galileo was proven correct by one of our astronauts on the moon when he dropped a feather and a hammer at the same time.
I think I remember something happening in the Church last year WRT Galileo. Actually, I couldn't find anything, but I did find a quote from Pope John Paul II.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_affair
Originally Posted by John Paul II
Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world's structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture....

– Pope John Paul II, L'Osservatore Romano N. 44 (1264) - 4th November,1992
So far I'm not a big fan of Pope Benedict I will admit. They say he's a transitional Pope though.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
So far I'm not a big fan of Pope Benedict I will admit. They say he's a transitional Pope though.
Transitioning to what?
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Old 01-15-08, 08:49 PM
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Maximus Dirt Collectus.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Transitioning to what?
He's a Pope who fills the gap between a Pope who many consider a great Pope like John Paul II and the next great Pope to follow after Benedict's term is up. It's one of the reasons for electing such an old Pope. He won't be around that long. I've also heard the concept referred to as a caretaker Pope.

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Old 01-15-08, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
and the Center of the Universe??

He had to cancel an appearance in Italy over remarks he made in 1990 supporting the trial and conviction of Galileo for heresy for teaching the earth was round, and sun revolved around it. It boggles my mind that the Pope could say anything other than "Many sorries. The Church really screwed the pooch on that one."

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe...=ib_topstories


Newsflash to CNN: 1990 was 18 years ago, but who's counting.
But that's 15 years The World Is Flat Idiot Time. The Earth Is Round Time is 18 years.
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Old 01-15-08, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockmjd23
It would be funny if Benedict lived till he's 100. He is in better health at age 80 than his predecessor was.
He very well might.
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Old 01-16-08, 05:19 AM
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The idea that the Earth is a sphere and that the Earth is the center of the universe are different ideas that do not necessarily preclude one other. e.g. Tycho Brahe, another one of history's great astronomers, believed that the world was a sphere, but that the sun rotated around the Earth.
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Old 01-16-08, 08:54 AM
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The article pretty clearly says the Pope thinks Galileo got a fair trial. The trial's conclusion was that the solar system is geocentric. If you think the trial was fair, you have to erroneously believe that, so I assume the Pope does.
(Obviously, I believe the solar system is heliocentric and the Earth is just another dirtball whirling around it. Apparently, the only dirtball that has any signs of life, though.)

I was also asking if he is enough of a fool to believe it is flat, since the article doesn't say.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
If you think the trial was fair, you have to erroneously believe that, so I assume the Pope does.
Just because a trial is fair and follows procedures correctly doesn't mean the "correct" outcome is reached. [cough]OJ[/cough]
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Old 01-16-08, 09:02 AM
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How long was Paul pope?

Some believe there was a conspiracy involved in his sudden departure from this earthly existence.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
How long was Paul pope?
10 years, from 757-767.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:10 AM
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Not that Paul - the 20th Century Paul.

Wasn't that his name - the one before John Paul?
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Old 01-16-08, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AGuyNamedMike
Just because a trial is fair and follows procedures correctly doesn't mean the "correct" outcome is reached. [cough]OJ[/cough]
Well, it was hardly "reasonable and just." And certainly the "logic" used represented a "triumph" of faith over reason, and it has to be taken as an error of the Church's theologians. From the quote, Pope John Paul II clearly recognized that. The current Pope didn't in 1990 and hasn't recanted his "scientifc heresy."
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Old 01-16-08, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Not that Paul - the 20th Century Paul.

Wasn't that his name - the one before John Paul?
Paul VI
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Old 01-16-08, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Not that Paul - the 20th Century Paul.

Wasn't that his name - the one before John Paul?
John Paul I - 1978
Originally Posted by Wiki
Death

John Paul's sudden death, only 33 days after his election, caused worldwide shock. The cause of death as officially reported by the Vatican was "possibly associated to a myocardial infarction" (a common form of heart attack). However, a degree of uncertainty accompanies this diagnosis because an autopsy was not performed and thus it is not possible to prove a posteriori that heart failure was the cause of death. This uncertainty, coupled with the untimely death, has led to a number of conspiracy theories about the pope's death, although historically speaking, it would have been more unusual if an autopsy had been performed, given that they are not typically performed on Popes. The Pope's body was embalmed within fourteen hours of his death.

In addition, Vatican healthcare had been notoriously poor for some of his predecessors. Pope Paul VI's poor healthcare is generally agreed to have hastened the approach of his death. There is no evidence to suggest that the standard of Vatican health care had improved by Pope John Paul I's 33-day reign. Nor, given his apparent lack of heart problems (as attested to by his own doctor, who flatly contradicted the rumours that came from the Vatican in the aftermath of the pope's death) was there any apparent immediate requirement for a review of medical services. In contrast, John Paul I's successor, Pope John Paul II, always had access to excellent medical services, a fact that saved his life after the assassination attempt made upon him in 1981.

Wild rumours spread. One rumour claimed that a visiting prelate had recently died from drinking "poisoned coffee" prepared for the pope. A visiting prelate actually had died some days earlier, but there was no evidence of any poison. Another unsubstantiated rumour described the Pope's plans to dismiss senior Vatican officials over allegations of corruption. The suddenness of his embalming raised suspicions that it had been done to prevent an autopsy. The Vatican insisted that a papal autopsy was prohibited under Vatican law. However one source (the diary of Agostino Chigi) reports that an autopsy was carried out on the remains of Pope Pius VIII in 1830.

On November 11, 2006, the first part of his beatification process concluded at the Belluno cathedral.
Oh and wenders on Pope Paul...
Originally Posted by wendersfan
10 years, from 757-767.
Coming strong with the obscure history.

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