Church 'risks new Galileo mistake'. Vatican official warns of 'preconceptions' towards science
- 2009-07-02 18:57Church 'risks new Galileo mistake'Vatican official warns of 'preconceptions' towards science(ANSA) - Vatican City, July 2 - The Catholic Church risks approaching modern science with the same prejudices that resulted in it rejecting the theories of Galileo, a Vatican official warned Thursday.
Presenting a new edition of documents relating to the trial of the 17th-century Italian astronomer found guilty of heresy for saying the earth orbits around the sun, Vatican Secret Archive Prefect Sergio Pagano said the Church risks the ''same preconceptions'' against stem-cell and genetic research and modern scientific discoveries.
''The Galileo case teaches science not to presume to teach the Church about faith and Holy Scripture, and teaches the Church at the same time to approach scientific problems - even those linked to the most modern research on stem cells, for example - with great humility and circumspection,'' Pagano said.
The Catholic Church is against stem call research, which currently results in the destruction of the embryo, because it considers foetuses human beings from the moment of conception.
Galileo (1564-1642) was among the most famous victims of the Roman Inquisition.
He was found guilty of heresy by the Catholic Church in 1633 for claiming the earth orbits the sun and was forced by the Inquisition to publicly recant.
The astronomer was formally rehabilitated by Pope John Paul II in 1992.
However, current pope Benedict XVI has had an uneasy relationship with scientists, who have not forgotten a remark he made while still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger about the trial of Galileo being ''reasonable and just''.