Page 4, 5th September 2003

5th September 2003
Page 4
Page 4, 5th September 2003 — Vatican

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Locations: Rome, Lourdes, Washington


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Church was kind to Galileo

Tim. CHURCH made a mistake when it pressured Galileo Galilci to repudiate his finding that the Earth revolves around the sun, hut it did not persecute or torture the 17thcentury astronomer, a Vatican official has said.

Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said it was an oversimplification to view Galileo as a symbol of human freedom and progress against a dogmatic and immobile Church.

He said: "The reality is very different from such far-fetched perceptions.Archbishop Amato made the comments in light of a letter revealing that Church officials acting on behalf of Pope Urban VIII wanted a speedy end to the Inquisition's heresy trial because they were worried about Galileo's poor health.

The letter was uncovered in 2001 by historian Francesco Beretta in the archives of the doctrinal congregation, but only recently attracted media attention in Italy. The doctrinal congregation was founded in the 16th century as the Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, and Galileo's trial was held there.

Written by the Inquisition commissioner, Dominican Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, to Cardinal Francesco Barbeiini April 22, 1633, the letter expressed anxiety over Galileo's poor health during his trial in Rome and suggested the process be wrapped up quickly.

Priests' retreat postponed

THE HEAVY schedule for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate has prompted the Congregation for Clergy to postpone an international retreat for priests.

The October 11-15 retreat in Lourdes, France, also coincided with events relating to Mother Teresa's beatification in St Peter's Square, which the Pope will preside over on October 19.

To make it easier for cardinals, bishops and priests to attend the Rome events, the Congregation for Clergy "has thought it opportune to postpone the Totus Tuus retreat until another significant occasion presents itself," the clicastery said in a statement.

Cardinal: Pope no mole

PRESS REPORI S that the future Pope Paul VI was a mole for the CIA are exaggerated, according to an Italian cardinal.

The Italian newspaper, II Corriere della Sera published an article claiming that the then Mgr Giovanni Battista Montan,

an aide in the Vatican Secretariat of State and one of Pope Pius XII's closest collaborators, was a "point of reference for the secret services of the United States" beginning in 1944.

Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, 79, who began to work in the Secretariat of State in 1953, said that the conclusions in the article by journalist, Ennio Carreto, contain "elements that are not real".

The article, based on research carried out in Washington's National Archives, took its idea from Pius XLI's audience in July 1944, a month after the liberation of Rome, granted to William Donovan, director of the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Gays cannot make 'family'

GAY COUPLES cannot be considered as a "family", the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Archbishop Renato Martino said this week.

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