Following the ever-developing story of one Galileo Galilei, condemned as a heretic in 1633, one might very well conclude that it’s not that Catholic church is reactionary and backwards, it is just very very slow and meticulous:
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.
You go, church!