Charles Nodrum Gallery
18 August – 7 September 2005
THE RECANTATION OF GALILEO GALILEI – 1633
I, Galileo Galilei, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei of Florence, aged 70 years, tried personally by this court, and kneeling before You, the most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors-General throughout the Christian Republic against heretical depravity, having before my eyes the Most Holy Gospels, and laying on them my own hands, I swear that I have always believed, I believe now, and with God?s help I will in future believe all which the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church doth hold, preach, and teach.
But since I, after having been admonished by this Holy office entirely to abandon the false opinion that the sun was the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the earth was not the centre of the same and that it moved, and that I was neither to hold, defend, nor teach in any manner whatever, either orally or in writing, the said false doctrine; and after having received notification that the said doctrine is contrary to Holy Writ, I did write and cause to be printed a book in which I treat of the said already condemned doctrine, and bring forward arguments of much efficacy in its favour, without arriving at any solution; I have been judged vehemently suspected of heresy, that is, of having held and believed that the sun is the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the earth is not the centre of the same, and that it does move.
Nevertheless, wishing to remove from the mind of Your Eminences and all faithful Christians this vehement suspicion reasonably conceived against me, I abjure with sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church. And I swear that for the future I will neither say nor assert in speaking or writing such things as may bring upon me similar suspicions; and if I know any heretics, or one suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor and Ordinary of the place in which I may be.
I also swear and promise to adopt and observe entirely all the penances which have been or may be by this Holy Office imposed on me. And if I contravene any of these said promises, protests, or oaths (which God forbid!) I submit myself to all the pains and penalties which by the Sacred Canons and other Decrees general and particular are against such offenders imposed and promulgated. So help me God and the Holy Gospels, which I touch with my own hands.
I, Galileo Galilei aforesaid, have abjured, sworn, and promised, and hold myself bound as above; and in token of the truth, with my own hand have subscribed the present schedule of my abjuration, and have recited it word by word. In Rome, at the Convent della Minerva, this 22nd day of June, 1633. I, Galileo Galilei, have abjured as above, with my own hand.
LEGEND HAS IT THAT AS GALILEO ROSE TO HIS FEET, HE UTTERED UNDER HIS BREATH,
EPPUR SI MUOVE (AND YET, IT MOVES).
IN 1992 GALILEO WAS FINALLY EXONERATED BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.