MYTHBUSTER: Science vs. the Catholic Church


Have you ever noticed how the ONLY evidence anyone can cite for the alleged hostility of the Catholic Church to science is the Galileo affair?  The RCC has been around for nearly 2,000 years.  You’d think if its hostility to science was such a big deal, there’s be more evidence, wouldn’t you?

The fact is that, while the Galileo thing was not a shining moment in my church’s history, it was also not the one-sided affair most people seem to think it was.  Galileo himself bears a great deal of the blame.  And he was never tortured or thrown into prison either.  His punishment for flipping the bird at the pope was house arrest in a country house near Florence.  He died peacefully in his own bed.  Poor baby.

In fact, until he gave up pure science and became obsessed with converting public opinion and trying to force the Roman Catholic hierarchy to espouse his theological ideas, Galileo was celebrated by leaders of the RCC, including the pope.  If he’d stuck with science and left theology to the theologians, he would never have gotten into trouble.


But no … he had to become his century’s version of Al Gore (not that Al Gore was ever in his life an actual scientist).  And, given how brutally hostile the scientific community is today toward so-called climate deniers and those who espouse Intelligent Design, I’m thinking the RCC in Galileo’s day had NOTHING on today’s secular scientists.

Plus, it’s not like Galileo was right about everything.  He believed, for example, that comets were exhalations of the atmosphere and tides were caused by the rotation of the Earth.  Ahem.  He also never dropped anything off the Tower of Pisa.

Pope (now Saint) John Paul II felt that the conflict between Galileo and the RCC ought never to have occurred, because faith and science, properly understood, can never be at odds. It’s in the Catechism:


The Galileo Affair <- Good article on the topic

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
The Galileo Affair is covered on pages 67-74.

Galileo’s Leaning Tower of Pisa Experiment <- Never happened

The 35 Lunar Craters Named For Jesuits

Catholic Catechism: Faith and Science


Filed under Catholic Church, History, Mythbusting, Science

6 responses to “MYTHBUSTER: Science vs. the Catholic Church

  1. We can thank anti-clerical Enlightenment in Western Europe for most of the myth, coupled with an English academic establishment fairly motivated to portray the Roman Church as ignorant and backward. Once you outlaw a church, it’s pretty easy to rewrite its history without any resistance or complaints.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      A lady at our parish left in a huff, telling me she could no longer attend a church that had so many sinners in it. I told her if she wanted a church that was free of sinners, she’d have to found one and then quit, because she belonged. Plus, she joined the Piskies … which denomination was founded by a sinner. So yeah. No.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My wife joined the Church precisely because it was full of sinners, and recognized itself as such. She has no tolerance for hypocrites who think they are sinless.

        Liked by 1 person

        • chrissythehyphenated

          I am a survivor of priest sexual abuse. I remain Catholic, not because it’s easy or comfortable for me, but because the doctrine is true and because I need the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. RandyW

    Yet, the Roman Catholic Church lied to Africans about condoms spreading HIV, despite all the scientific evidence that this is not the case; the RCC lied about birth control pills being abortifacients, despite all the scientific evidence that this is not the case; shall I continue? Or, are you willing to concede that the See agrees with science only when it is convenient?