Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer who was admonished for his views on heliocentrism, an astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun at the center of the Solar System. This was in opposition to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center and that all heavenly bodies, including the sun, revolved around the Earth. In the Christian world prior to Galileo's conflict with the Church, the majority of educated people subscribed to the geocentric view. The Inquisition concluded that his theory could only be supported as a possibility, not as an established fact, and was found to be "vehemently suspect of heresy". Galileo was forced to recant, his scientific work was placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and he spent the rest of his life under house arrest. In 1992, Pope John Paul II issued a declaration acknowledging the errors committed by the Catholic Church tribunal that judged his scientific positions.
|5. A Short Guide to Catholic Church History|