W W W  World Wide Web Witness Inc.  Home Page    Contents Page for Bulletins
 What is New



The Reformation, Rome and Galileo

There is no commission for omission.


Galileo was condemned by the Roman Catholic body for what they found to be his unacceptable views on the earth's astronomical position.

In case any should be confused, let us link to extensive*1 historical document, from which the flavour may be noted, that from several judicial cardinals. But before this, let us simply note that on June 22, 1633, the Church of Rome exposed its decision.

We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you,
the said Galileo ...
have  rendered yourself vehemently suspected
by this Holy Office of heresy,
that is, of having believed and held the doctrine
(which is false and contrary to the holy and Divine Scriptures)
that the sun is the centre of the world, and
that it does not move from east to west,
and that the earth does move, and
is not the centre of the world."

The order also came:

"We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office
during Our will and pleasure ..."

Commuted to house arrest, this was yet the decree.

It does not suggest understanding either of the falsely appealed to Bible, which makes no such declaration or imputation, or application of any knowledge to the contrary which any  of that body in Rome, might have had. The point was that this was the authoritarian structure and this was its confused, misled, erroneous application to scientist Galileo and despite various complex movements in the body posing as "teacher" contrary to  Matthew 23:8-10, this was the outcome. Tracing this or that part of the preliminaries does not constitute the end of the matter, which from the beginning was marred by the false teaching posturing of Rome, as such. The fallen judgment stands as example of prostitution of truth to man's violence. Seeing better now does not remove the failed judgmentalism then or its basis (cf. SMR pp. 1032-188H).

But why bring this up now ? It is not only because Romanism is now seeking to depart from this,  its fallen, forlorn failure, not just sad for Galileo, but because an account of part of these things by the eminent creationist and author, Dr Sarfati may create the impression that nothing so shameless as this had actually happened.

On this matter, and its correlatives, see:

Lord of Longsuffering ...Ch. 2; and with it,
Department of Bible
... Vol. 3, Ch. 1, Vol. 11, Ch. 6
... Ch. 3,



Dr Sarfati in his articles has helped to remove one misconception held by some, concerning Romanism versus science in the Galileo case, but his words leave the danger of accentuating another.

It is amazing how often prominent men in spiritual affairs err or enable error despite much splendid work. Luther is famed for his fall-out with the Jews, Calvin for his 'decretum horribile' which he erroneously finds in predestination, so making his system inaccurate to its testimony concerning the mercy of God, while Wesley leaves his system inadequate in dealing with the certainty of salvation, so leaving it short, while giving better testimony to the mercy of God than Calvin, taken in isolation. Augustine put forth two different views on predestination, and while brilliant, was not always reliable (cf. Predestination and Freewill, esp. Section 2).

It is always possible in emphasising some one feature to leave impression in the vacancy about it, that enables new error.

After the solemnisation

of the mass by authoritarian Rome (Lateran Council 1215), idolatrising a material object its heretical misuse of Christ's definition - in memory of Me,

and its frenzied setting itself above its former brethren, daring to use the pomp of the triple tiara (together with the claims of Unam Sanctam*2 (Pope Boniface VIII, 1302), a very dogma of pride as well as of total contrariety to Christ (Matthew 23:8-10 - YOU are all brethren, ONE is your teacher/master, CHRIST):

there is no way that Romanist body could be regarded as the Christian Church, or even part of it.

It showed far more contrariety to Christ, far sooner, but these are readily citable. There was no longer any possibility of regarding the murderers of Waldensians much earlier by papal arms, with a profane indulgence. It could not be so regarded, or conceived, which tortured, slew, murdered, expropriated from massed victims, rupturing much of the body of Christ, casting away many attesting soundly the Lord, while itself aborting His word.

In its self-maintaining and assertive laws, it was incapable of confusion*3 with the Christian Church. It was this world's church and it is used this world's methods, not accidentally or incidentally but systematically. Small wonder, since for example, Innocent III is credited with the statement that bludgeons with horror.

Said he at his coronation service, in 1198:

"You see what manner of servant it is which the Lord
has set over His people, no other than vice-regent of Christ ...
He stands in the midst between God and man;
below God, above man; less than God, more than man."

This inflation must eventually burst, and so Rome has lost much of its power, and is due to lose the rest (as in Revelation 18-19 cf. SMR pp. 946ff.).

The Inquisition (of one crusade of which he preached in favour) was in one respect, merely a horrendous physical application of that papal insurgency. The arrogant elevation of the Bishop of Rome's place beyond all human place, if applied to the incarnation, would have prevented it, for there are no half measures.  Christ lowered Himself to the form of a slave, suffering even to death, and did not remain somewhere stratospheric in His humiliation.

Truly God, He was truly man (cf. Matthew 20:28, Philippians 2). He did not even have a place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). He did not direct nations, but with abhorrence left any such temptation (Matthew 4) and was judged Himself, by the Roman Governor. Moreover, as He declared, "the servant is not greater than his master!" (John 13:16).

This Romanist error so clear in Innocent III, is parallel in its renegade resurgency with the separation of Samaria in Israel, from Judah; and in this, they set up an utterly provocative (to God) golden calf, idolatrous left-over from Egypt, in denial of their separation and calling. The Lord's abomination of it was made clear in prophecy as is the call much later, to come out of Romanism (Revelation 18:4-6), the parallel New Testament feature, in the dramatic time of destructive events in the day of eschatological ashes (Rev. 18-19).

Like the separated Israel, vis--vis Judah, for both things were far from perfect, this endured a time; but this folly found in initial heights in the 10 tribes of Israel,  became at last irreparable (cf. II Chronicles 36). Therefore the destruction of this northern kingdom became certain, for heart repentance would not come, and so they were in scattered lands with scattered hearts. To try to regard them as the continuing nation THEN, was to ignore both central idolatry, featured and focussed in the calf just like the mass*4, elevating things to the position of God, with neither warrant nor will nor word, but against all.

To try to regard them as the continuing nation was to ignore both  idolatry and its centrality in the religious culture, involving barefaced elevation of objects to the position of God. As in the Old, so in the New Testament situation, as with Samaria, so has it been with Rome. The Roman Catholic body does the same, and in the volition of Matthew 23:8-10, a transgression inserted into the unhappy fiasco, it also trifles with the personal payload (Hebrews 9:12-28). The Church of England was not very wrong in its prayer book of  1562, concerning the phenomenon of mass, to characterise it as it did.

XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross

The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world,
both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin,
but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which
it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick
and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt,
were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.

The Protestant Reformation, for something like 400 years, attested the same exposure, at such strenuous labour and such cost, correcting the error and codifying its  follies, denouncing its shame that whole nations began to shudder out of sleep.  Their divorce from what had divorced from God stopped the shambles of this return to  political paganism, and "damnable heresies" as foretold by Peter in II Peter 2. Light from the Bible awakened many.

To be sure making this restoration a substitute for the original was a temptation; but the Reformation  corrected a tremendous folly.

Therefore in this setting, for Dr Sarfati to omit the end of the matter of the Romanist dire and drastic, evil and tempestuous judgment on Galileo, when Romanism was parading nonsense as basis for their action, becomes a significant error, one which must be avoided, whether it occur by implication or directly. In fact, it was by the very same Cardinal who become personable at first (though in the process demeaning biblical teaching as such), who led the prosecution, sent on the summary charge to examine  Galileo for heresy and to condemn his view.

This for Rome was far from remedying this misdirected papal-powered act: to pursue the victim, they not being willing to understand, but given to condemn him on those grounds, using their power to be activistically assertive and arcane. It in fact underlines the totalitarian authoritarianism of the Rome-first movement, which in one aspect even resembles the corpus of Communism, just one in much ruling over all, despite all the talk. With Rome, that one master and father, it is not defined as Christ or His Father. This erratic Roman act is no ground for altering the membership of the church, to include a self-made isolate for all the worldly appeal, under the headship of the pope, as if it could be squashed into cohesion, that of Christ  with the body of its own sequestration, control and government by an admitted sinner.

With Romanism, the final resolution was Romanist against God and His truth, the same treasonable usurpation of power over His body, over the Church of Christ, and the same type of persecution in gruesome ways over centuries, as a corrupted culture led. Then it led specifically to clipping the wings of major Reformers, like Huss, Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer, expressed in their torturous deaths, this oft-repeated majoring in murder becoming an abomination to the body of the Lord.


Teams do not slaughter one another, let alone with armies. Rememberers do not re-enact a scene and slay those who refuse to make this transformative invention into a dogma. Nor do they more recently assert that in Vatican II, they affirm the preceding doctrines, omitting nothing..

Remember Innocent III: In inauguration as Pope, he found himself floating in a special place, in terms of importance, "set midway between God and man, below God but above man, less than God but more than man, judging all other men, but himself judged by none." Christ became incarnate. Papacy looks rather higher.

Sadly, it is another religion.






*1  See this link.



See  The Bull 'Unam Sanctam', SMR p. 903, also, Bettenson,
Documents of the Christian Church, 159ff..



See SMR Bk 3, Ch. 10, p. 1056ff., The Great Divide Ch. 6.



See SMR pp. 1086ff..