Sunday, May 25, 2014

Heresies, Heretics and a Saint

Two short pieces from Eduardo Galeano's 'Children Of The Days' 


This day in the year 1543 marked the end of Nicolaus Copernicus' life.

  He died as the first copies of his book, which demonstrated that the earth moved around the sun, went into circulation.

  The Church condemned the book as 'false and altogether contrary to Holy Scripture', sent the priest Giordarno Bruno to the stake for spreading its ideas, and obliged Galileo Galilei to deny he had read and believed it.

  Three and a half centuries later, the Vatican repented of roasting Giordarno Bruno alive and announced it would erect a statue of Galileo in its gardens.

  God's embassy on earth takes its time to rectify things.

  But even as the Vatican pardoned these heresies, it beatified Cardinal Inquisitor Roberto Bellarmine - Saint Robert who art in heaven - the man who charged and sentenced Bruno and Galileo.


  In the year 325 in the city of Nicaea, Emperor Constantine I convened the first ecumenical council of Christendom. During the three months it sat, the three hundred bishops in attendance approved a creed vital for the struggle against heresy, and decided that the word 'heresy', from the Greek hairesis, which means 'choice', from then on would mean 'error'.

  In other words, whoever freely chooses to disobey the owners of the faith is wrong.

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