Everyone knows that Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician who played a major role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance and who ran into conflict with the Church.
It is safe to say that much of what “everyone knows” about Galileo is woefully incomplete and usually completely wrong… and yet, the truth doesn’t always make the Church look any better!
In terms of faith and science, we’ve divided the Galileo discussion into two categories. First, we try to give a better historical perspective on what actually happened during the twenty years when Galileo was active. Second, we look into the theological arguments that Galileo evoked, centered around the reaction of St. Robert Bellarmine, who was perhaps the leading theologian of his day and who played a direct role in the Galileo Affair.