Galileo’s Recanting (22/6/1633)


Portrait, attributed to Murillo, of Galileo gazing at the words “E pur si muove” scratched on the wall of his prison cell



Today marks the anniversary of the day the Inquisition condemned Galileo Galilei in 1633.

By the end of his trial, the Italian astronomer and physicist was forced to recant his own scientific findings as “abjured, cursed and detested,” and to proclaim that the Earth did not revolve around the sun.
This renunciation, which led to his house arrest for eight years before his death in 1642 at the age of 77, caused him great personal anguish but saved him from being burned at the stake.

Legend has it that as Galileo rose from kneeling before his inquisitors, he muttered the rebellious phrase “e pur, si muove” — ” and yet it moves“..”

It was only in 1992 that Pope John Paul II officially declared that Galileo was right.






29 thoughts on “Galileo’s Recanting (22/6/1633)

      1. Yes, definitely. It is fascinating to me that it took the Church so long to recognize him. His theories had obviously been accepted for hundreds of years! And that the idea of the earth revolving around the sun was such a “threat”. Interesting…

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  1. I’m tempted to say “better late than never,” but it would be too lame a statement. So much of the Inquisitions ended up serving the Adversary.

    I am glad Galileo recanted, in that it added years to his life. I hope he found peace in the knowledge that his understanding of the scientific truth in this matter would one day be completely vindicated.

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  2. Galileo knew he was all of us, he merely said the words so he could work and live longer. He was a genius and a creative soul who changed our view of the universe and the earth. Go Galileo!

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  3. Galileo was never at risk of being burned at the stake. The Inquisition only went to the most damning punishment in rare cases, but Galileo was not even facing a formal charge of heresy. Inquisition law also prevented anyone who was old from being tortured, as well as sick or a religious cleric. Galileo was all three. I would suggest editing this post to remove this (if not adding a disclaimer that this never happened) because the myths about the Galileo trial are sadly all too common.

    Liked by 1 person

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