Good heavens: Vatican rehabilitating Galileo





VATICAN CITY — Galileo Galilei is going from heretic to hero.

The Vatican is recasting the most famous victim of its Inquisition as a man of faith, just in time for the 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope and the U.N.-designated International Year of Astronomy next year.

Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to the Italian astronomer and physicist Sunday, saying he and other scientists had helped the faithful better understand and "contemplate with gratitude the Lord's works."

In May, several Vatican officials will participate in an international conference to re-examine the Galileo affair, and top Vatican officials are now saying Galileo should be named the "patron" of the dialogue between faith and reason...

The Church has for years been striving to shed its reputation for being hostile to science, in part by producing top-notch research out of its own telescope...

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi told Vatican Radio that Galileo "could become for some the ideal patron for a dialogue between science and faith."


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