Galileo And The Scientific Revolution: Cardinal Bellarmine

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In the sixteenth century, the Scientific Revolution began to take hold of Europe. People began to look at life from a secular point of view rather than religious, and this shook the once firm foundation of power the Catholic Church held. The Scientific Revolution was fueled by many new age thinkers and scientists, one such being Galileo. He challenged the preexisting ideas imposed by the Catholic Church and presented his theories in hopes the world come together in a convergence of science and religion. His want for a more scientific view of the world brought about many enemies in the Catholic Church, but no one was more against Galileo’s theory than Cardinal Bellarmine. In 1614, in the midst of the Scientific Revolution, Galileo wrote a…show more content…
Cardinal Bellarmine wrote a letter to Paolo Foscarini the following year to discuss how the Catholic Church felt about Galileo’s heliocentric theory. The Church refuted his ideas and felt threatened by the new age of technology. Bellarmine’s letter consisted of three arguments. The first attacked Galileo’s comment concerning the proper understanding of the Bible. He writes, “…without a doubt you would have found it most difficult if you had attempted to explain all the passages which you yourself have cited.” He is trying to explain to Foscarini that Galileo’s argument is null and void for no one can explain everything. In Bellarmine’s second argument, he directly comes out and states “the common agreement of the holy Fathers…in explaining literally that the sun is in the heavens and stands immobile in the center of the universe.” Those responsible for speaking the word of the Lord to the people have concluded that the geocentric theory of the universe is correct. Bellarmine’s third and final argument states: “…if there were a true demonstration that the sun was in the center of the universe and the earth in the third sphere, and that the sun did not travel around the earth but the earth circled the sun, then it would be necessary...[to explain] the passages of Scripture which seemed contrary…we would…have to say we that we did not understand…[rather] than to say…show more content…
However, Galileo had the upper hand of the two for his ideas would weaken the word of the Church, and in return weaken Cardinal Bellarmine. The heliocentric theory proposed by Galileo challenged the Catholic Church because it proved parts of the Bible wrong. If the Bible could be wrong, then what makes the church so right? This questioning of power pushed the Scientific Revolution, but weakened the power of the Church. An untruthful scripture meant made many people question their own beliefs for there was no secure, all truth knowing book anymore. It was all up to interpretation of the individual, and the individual thinking is what changes society. The Church no longer had complete, unadulterated power over Europe. People began to question why and how, and they looked to means outside of religion to discover their

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