Skip to comments.Astronomer Copernicus reburied as hero in Poland
Posted on 05/22/2010 5:52:31 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
FROMBORK, Poland Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer whose findings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical, was reburied by Polish priests as a hero on Saturday, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
His burial in a tomb in the cathedral where he once served as a church canon and doctor indicates how far the church has come in making peace with the scientist whose revolutionary theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun helped usher in the modern scientific age.
Copernicus, who lived from 1473 to 1543, died as a little-known astronomer working in a remote part of northern Poland, far from Europe's centers of learning. He had spent years laboring in his free time developing his theory, which was later condemned as heretical by the church because it removed Earth and humanity from their central position in the universe.
His revolutionary model was based on complex mathematical calculations and his naked-eye observations of the heavens because the telescope had not yet been invented.
After his death, his remains rested in an unmarked grave beneath the floor of the cathedral in Frombork, on Poland's Baltic coast, the exact location unknown.
On Saturday, his remains were blessed with holy water by some of Poland's highest-ranking clerics before an honor guard ceremoniously carried his coffin through the imposing red brick cathedral and lowered it back into the same spot where part of his skull and other bones were found in 2005.
A black granite tombstone now identifies him as the founder of the heliocentric theory, but also a church canon, a cleric ranking below a priest. The tombstone is decorated with a model of the solar system, a golden sun encircled by six of the planets.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Well it’s about TIME!
Now he is back perhaps he can revert to his proper name - Kopernik.
Excitate Mojo, Let's play dominoes.
God is right even when the Church is wrong. Too bad He doesn't act to halt the wrong when it would yield the best result.
Yeah, yeah....I know, don't presume to know God.
If the exact location of his original grave was unknown, then how do they know now they are burying his remains?
“If the exact location of his original grave was unknown, then how do they know now they are burying his remains?”
1) They probably knew an approximate location within the cathedral.
2) His grave may have been marked on the inside or some identifying thing buried with him.
From the complete news report at the Yahoo! News link:
“In a later stage of the investigation, DNA taken from teeth and bones matched that from hairs found in one of his books, leading the scientists to conclude with great probability that they had finally found Copernicus.”
At the urging of a local bishop, scientists began searching in 2004 for the astronomer's remains and eventually turned up a skull and bones of a 70-year-old man the age Copernicus was when he died. A computer reconstruction made by forensic police based on the skull showed a broken nose and other features that resemble a self-portrait of Copernicus.
In a later stage of the investigation, DNA taken from teeth and bones matched that from hairs found in one of his books, leading the scientists to conclude with great probability that they had finally found Copernicus.
An enlargement of the plaque above his casket.
Not exactly. Earth was at the center of the Ptolemaic system, but the center was was least important part. Everything below the orbit of the moon was subject to decay and death. The Earth, at the center, was a vale of tears. But beyond the orbit of the moon were the spheres, each containing a globe of pure eternal light. And beyond the last sphere of the stars was the Empyrean. The Empyrean was the highest heaven, the abode of God and the angels. This was the central place in terms of its importance.
If you put the Sun at the center, that golden orb now becomes the realm of decay and death, the least important part of the universe. At the same time, you then elevate the Earth and man into the heavens, as if man is now a perfect, eternal being living among the angels. And if space now becomes infinite, where is the Empyean? Where is the abode of God?
The problem for the church was not that the Copernican system removed man from his central place in the universe. The problem is that it removed sinful man living in a fallen world and elevated man as a perfect creature living in an eternal heaven.
I thought it was Galileo that said the earth orbits the sun.
(and was persecuted by the church)
From further in the news story:
“The pageantry comes 18 years after the Vatican rehabilitated the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was persecuted in the Inquisition for carrying the Copernican Revolution forward.”
Thanks for the ping! Kopernik has been at rest for years. It is WE, who feel the guilt, that want him to rest where we can visit him and allow him to give us the blessings of intelligence, who mourn him now.
God knows who he is and has blessed him long before we knew who and what he was.
I missed that
(if anyone gets pissed at that....here are some Italian Jokes (is vaquero of Italian descent????)... How can you tell Alitalian Airline planes...look for the hair under the wings.... FIAT stands for Fix It Again Tony... IROC stands for Italian Retards out Cruising... )
the Underground translation presented by my classmate was "sono porque queste romani! The Romans are Pigs!
I am going to be sending my cousin Tony to visit you!
Napolitano and Calabrese maybe....
but I am no Roman
tell Tony to leave the gun and bring the cannolis
Doc Holliday: In vino veritas.
Johnny Ringo: Age quod agis.
Doc Holliday: Credat Judaeus apella, non ego.
Johnny Ringo: [pats his gun] Eventus stultorum magister.
Doc Holliday: [gives a Cheshire cat smile] In pace requiescat.
My Grandfather from Salerno warned me about Sicilians....
.....but I married one anyway...
A year after Copernicus completed his book on the movement of the earth around the sun, hia fellow-scholar Johann Widmannstetter delivered lectures in Rome outlining Copernicus' theory. Pope Clement VII and several Catholic cardinals heard the lectures -- they were scholars themselves ---and were favorably impressed.
Cardinal Nikolaus von Schönberg wrote to him that "everybody" held him in high regard because of his "new cosmology." He continued, "I entreat you, most learned sir, unless I inconvenience you, to communicate this discovery of yours to scholars, and at the earliest possible moment to send me your writings on the sphere of the universe together with the tables and whatever else you have that is relevant to this subject ..."
Copernicus subsequently dedicated his masterpiece to Pope Paul III.
As to his burial --- after his death in 1473, he was buried in the Frauenburg (Frombork) Cathedral itself. Does any think that indicates he died in disgrace?
BTW, Galileo didn't die in disgrace, either: he died reconciled to his old friend Pope Urban, and was buried inside the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. Interesting info on that here: See #3 and #4 (Link).
But as Chesterton wrote 100 years ago, "Any stick is good enough to hit the Catholic Church with..." (Sigh.)
But anyway, DogByte, I love that Matejko painting!
“BTW, Galileo didn’t die in disgrace, either: he died reconciled to his old friend Pope Urban, and was buried inside the Church of Santa Croce in Florence.”
Which was - ever so briefly - my parish! Dante’s tomb is also there (but his body is in Ravenna if I remember correctly!).
So you lived in Florence! Lucky guy!
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Thanks DogByte6RER, kevindavis, and cajuncow! We also wouldn't have Orbit gum if it weren't for him. ;')
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The Church says that the Earth is flat, but I know that it is round. For I have seen the shadow on the moon and I have more faith in the Shadow than in the Church.
This story is a regurgitated liberal myth which I suppose is standard for the MSM.
It should be “Father Copernicus”, he was a priest.
His theory was lock stock and barrel a product of of the Catholic Church.
“His reputation was such that as early as 1514 the Lateran Council, convoked by Leo X, asked through Bishop Paul of Fossombrone, for his opinion on the reform of the ecclesiastical calendar. His answer was, that the length of the year and of the months and the motions of the sun and moon were not yet sufficiently known to attempt a reform. The incident, however, spurred him on as he himself writes to Paul III, to make more accurate observations; and these actually served, seventy years later, as a basis for the working out of the Gregorian calendar.”
He was funded (including the funds for publishing) by other Catholic clergy.
Also, he was quite famous during his lifetime and his theory was positively received at the Vatican and negatively received in Wittenberg.
His theory was never considered heresy. His book went on the list of forbidden books because of nine sentences which did not have the required provisional language (something which is now standard for scientific theories) . Once those were changed De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium was republished.
Both Copernik and Galileo had their work, ideas and revelations condemned/banned by the CC. To say otherwise is sickening.
Religious Objections to Copernicus by Prof. Richard W. Pogge, January 2, 2005
The specific response one of the most important contemporaries of Copernicus, Martin Luther, is telling. The quote below is actually in response to the publication of the brief Commentariolus, which appeared a decade before De Revolutionibus. It comes from Luther's Tablebook (Tischreden), or record of dinner-table conversations:
"There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he must needs invent something special, and the way he does it must needs be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth."
The scriptural passage to which Luther refers is Joshua 10:10-15. Elsewhere Luther refers to Copernicus as "a fool who went against Holy Writ". It is this latter quote that usually makes it into the textbooks.
Despite these more dramatic objections, overall the initial response to Copernicus was somewhat ambivalent. The full implications of his revolutionary ideas only began to sink in over the decades following the publication and slow dissemination of De Revolutionibus. Luther's sarcastic comments aside, Copernicus' ideas were seriously discussed in Lutheran as well as Catholic universities during subsequent years, both for and against (though mostly against at first). While in detail Copernicus' system used more circles than Ptolemy's, it did not use the equant, which was mathematically more challenging to use in practice. As a consequence, mathematically speaking the Copernican system was relatively easier to use. Indeed, computations based on the Copernican system were used to create accurate tables of planetary positions (the Prutenic Tables computed by Erasmus Reinhold), and Copernical computations were used in part of the Gregorian Calendar Reform of the 1570s. At issue at the time was whether one viewed Copernicus' Sun-centered system as merely a convenient computational artifice, or whether the Sun and not the Earth really was at the center. Copernicus clearly believed in the latter, but this conviction was muted by Osiander's preface to De Revolutionibus that suggested otherwise.
In many ways the initial cautious ambivalence of Catholic authorities is unsurprising. Copernicus was a loyal Catholic and a canon of Frauenberg Cathedral, making him a relatively minor member of the Catholic hierarchy. He had followed all of the proper procedures required to secure formal permission from Church authorities to publish his book, and he even dedicated it to the reigning Pope at the time (Paul III). That their response was ambivalent is not to say that the Church did not take the matter seriously, or fail to study it. By all accounts the Church did both. However, in the 16th century the Catholic Church found itself beset by many radical ideas, a number of which were direct and unambiguous frontal assaults upon its spiritual and political authority in Europe. So long as Copernicus' ideas remained a mathematical argument (in Latin) among scholars and did nothing to threaten either the beliefs of the common man or the Church's ultimate authority in such matters, the Church had no need to respond.
By the beginning of the 17th century, however, the Church found it could no longer treat these ideas with silence.
Lecture 16: The Starry Messenger by Prof. Richard W. Pogge, 10/4/2007
Galileo faced two specific charges:
Publicly humiliated and threatened with torture, Galileo had no choice but to admit guilt, and "abjure, curse and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies..."
Despite this, in 1636 he finished "The Two New Sciences" describing his experiments in mechanics.
On Christmas Day of that same year, Isaac Newton was born in Woolsthorpe England.
In 1992, 350 years later, Pope John Paul II officially declared Galileo innocent.
Daffy is my favorite duck. :’)
Galileo made the claim but he could not prove it; from his observations, all he could prove is that not all objects orbit Earth. Copernicus did the math to actually prove that the planets orbit the Sun.
Polish Army soldiers stand beside the coffin with the remains of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, in the catherdral in Frombork, northern Poland, Saturday, May 22, 2010.
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
Nevertheless, it makes me sad, Deadrock, that you have chosen to argue by means of insult ("Catholic Church propaganda... sickening") rather than by means of evidence. I still am convinced that it's by the sharing of evidence that we can get a more adequate understanding of the history of science.
Do you think Arthur Koestler and Thomas Huxley were Catholic propagandists? No? If not, then perhaps you would do well to look further into what they wrote about the Galileo controversy, for it is not the neat little morality-play you may be familiar with, framed by many who ignore (or are perhaps unaware of) large chunks the record.
For it was Arthur Koestler, a secular Jew, a defender of intellectual freedom and opponent of every sort of intellectual fraud, who, in his remarkable history of astronomy The Sleepwalkers, began his section on Galileo thusly:
The personality of Galileo, as it emerges from works of popular science, has ever less relation to historic fact than Canon Koppernigks [Copernicus]. He appears.in rationalist mythography as the Maid of Orleans of Science, the St. George who slew the dragon of the Inquisition. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the fame of this outstanding genius rests mostly on discoveries he never made, and on feats he never performed. Contrary to statements in even recent outlines of science, Galileo did not invent the telescope; nor the microscope; nor the thermometer; nor the pendulum clock. He did not discover the law of inertia; nor the parallelogram of forces or motions; not the sun spots. He made no contribution to theoretical astronomy; he did not throw down weights from the leaning tower of Pisa and did not prove the truth of the Copernican system. He was not tortured by the Inquisition, did not languish in its dungeons, did not say 'eppur si muove'; and he was not a martyr of science.
(The Sleepwalkers, p. 358).
Koestler accurately notes that both Bellarmine and Urban parted from Galileo expressly because of the way he presented his ideas as absolute truths, and his failure to support his ideas appropriately, as hypotheses, with adequate mathematical proofs.
And it was the Victorian biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, (surely you know of him, and he was no friend of the Catholic Church), who investigated the documentary history of the Galileo case and reached the conclusion that, as to the science of the matter, Bellarmine had the better of the argument.
None of this is to defend the trial and sentencing of Galileo by Church courts, whose conclusions were wrong-headed. (The sentence was a compromise. Galileo was judged to be vehemently suspect of heresy, placed under house arrest, required to pray the seven penitential psalms every week for three years, and required to abjure his teachings that the sun was "immovable" and "the center of the Universe" -- neither of which are, by the way, accurate.) He was not found guilty of maliciously violating the prior order or of formal heresy.)
The evidence, rather, suggests to me that
It fits into what I intended to say as my conclusion: that I see "The Galileo Affair" much as Koestler and Huxley do, as a drama in which pride and miscomprehension played a major part on both sides (the fallible Pope Urban and the fallible Galileo), and which was later rather cartoonishly exploited as an exhibit in the Punch & Judy Museum of Intellectual History.
A couple of sources (off the tips of my fallible fingers):
Johnston, George Sim. The Galileo Affair. (Princeton, NJ: Scepter Press)
In goodwill, and hoping always for a fruitful reading of history....
Frombork seems a nice little town. Guess there's nothing much to do there, though, other than unlock the secrets of the Solar System.
thanks for the clarification on Galileo
That is the CC specialty and it would not exist without it.
What next? Pope Alessandro VI was a peaceful pope and his son Borgia was a misunderstood baker.
And in a 100 years, CC followers will be all denying that there was ever pedophile priests.
Let he is without sin cast the first stone.
I just did.
From your profile:
"My argument with the Catholic Church (CC) vis-à-vis its direct and indirect support of a perpetual expanding government, which in turn has a direct and indirect effect on birth rates (clashing with its admirable stance on abortion), should not be construed (as some on FR may infer) that I somehow disregard all and anything good and positive the CC does for ordinary people living their ordinary lives."
It looks like your argument with the Catholic Church goes beyond the above. It's time to be a bit more honest.
So you’re without sin? LOL