Even as Galileo's discoveries resonated across Europe, his conflict with the Catholic Church was becoming more open. In his letters to Benedetto Castelli in 1613 and to Christine of Lorraine in 1615, Galileo championed the autonomy of science with respect to faith. In December 1614, from the pulpit of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, the Dominican Tommaso Caccini denounced the Copernican system as heretical. On February 24, 1616, the Roman Church condemned the heliocentric hypothesis; on March 5, it decreed the suspension of Copernicus's work until it was corrected. Cardinal Bellarmino warned Galileo to abandon the Copernican hypothesis. The election of Pope Urban VIII in 1623 raised new hopes for Galileo, who believed he would be able to resume the battle in defense of the new astronomy. These hopes induced him to publish an openly Copernican work, the Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems, in 1632. The book was banned and, in January 1633, Galileo was summoned to Rome by the Tribunal of the Inquisition. The trial ended on June 22, 1633. Galileo was sentenced to life imprisonment and forced to abjure his former beliefs.
Last update 24/gen/2008