Galileo vs Roman Catholic Church and Leonardo Da Vinci vs Roman Catholic Church Essay

Galileo vs  Roman Catholic Church and Leonardo Da Vinci vs Roman Catholic Church

The disagreement between Galileo and the Catholic Church began back in the 17th century when Galileo began offering observations that supported Copernicus’s theory that the planet Earth was revolving around the sun rather then the sun revolving around the Earth. The church maintained that the scriptures indicated that the Earth was stationary. Everyone knew the Earth was stationary, it was an accepted fact. For thousands of years it had been accepted that the heavenly bodies all revolved around the stationary Earth. And then Copernicus came along and published his book with these heretical ideas on astronomy that stated that the Earth was revolving around the sun. Copernicus was so fearful of the consequences of his revolutionary theory that he waited until he was on his deathbed before he published his book. His ideas were so radical that the church didn’t feel too threatened, that is until Galileo built his telescope. Essentially, Galileo was slipping into trouble on three accounts.

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First, despite feeble objections to the contrary, he was teaching Copernican theory as fact rather than hypothesis. Second, the popularity of his writings brought an essentially “philosophical discussion” into the public arena, requiring some sort of Church response. Third, by elevating scientific conjecture to a theological level, he was raising the stakes enormously. Instead of merely philosophical disputation that many in the Church viewed more as an intellectual game, Galileo – an untrained layman – was now lecturing on Scriptural interpretation. Later, in 1613, Galileo discovered that the planet Venus showed phases like those of the Moon. Therefore, Venus orbited the Sun, rather than orbiting the Earth. The Roman Catholic Church first denounced Galileo in 1615. Fortunately, he was personally popular with the most powerful Church officials of his day. After wisely choosing to denounce his beliefs in a Copernican “sun-centered” universe, and promising he would never again teach it, Galileo was left alone by the Church for many years.

Leonardo was more a scholar than a philosopher, nevertheless his wholly naturalistic science implies a certain philosophy, which if it is neither the kind of paganism nor the materialism in which the Renaissance so often resulted cannot be called truly Christian. Either through prudence or through scorn of abstract ideas Leonardo seems to have avoided declaring himself on this subject. Nevertheless it is easy to see that the idea of miracles is repugnant to his imagination. He admits or would logically admit only an immanent Providence, a God who refrains from intervention in the universe like to God of Lucretius or the Stoics. It is also certain, and he does not conceal it, that he did not like the monks. However, as an artist, he accommodated himself perfectly to the Christian tradition. His art, though not at all mystic, is in its forms certainly less pagan than that of Raphael or even Michelangelo. He died a very Christian death.

In brief, Leonardo Da Vinci, never took on himself the wrath of Roman Catholic Church during his time, unlike Galileo, who later denounced his teaching. Da Vinci also invented the art of mirror writing, most people believe that it was devised for the Church to not find about his inventions. Leonardo was a scholar, in the field of art, music, and science. Though Galileo denounced his belief system due to the force of the Catholic Church, later in 1969 Pope John Paul II actually plaudit that Galileo was right. The Catholic Church has had many reforms to change its way in thinking to adapt to the changing world and the changing times. Though the Catholic Church is very strong against beliefs that pose a threat to its existence. At the same time its very tolerant towards scientific advancements in the changing world we live in.

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