Galileo Galilei published his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, the Copernican and the Ptolemaic in early 1632. It reflected his view that the stars didn't work by some process beyond the ken of man, but instead by the same system of physics which drove every earthly pendulum and pulley. Response from the Pope was almost immediate, that he should buy back all copies of the book and come to Rome for trial.

Since the Catholic censors had passed the dialogue for publishing, the Inquisition had to show that Galileo had deliberately tricked the censors. In 1616 Galileo had consulted with Cardinal Bellarmine about his theories. He was told that he couldn't hold or defend the ideas of Copernicus, but that he could discuss them as pure speculation, and signed a document to that effect. During the 1633 trial, the Inquisition claimed that they had a document saying that Galileo had agreed not to hold or defend Copernicus' ideas, and also agreed that he may not teach it in any way whatsoever. Further, the Inquisition was the final law in the matter, so they didn't have to produce that document for the court.

Instead of any formal end to the trial, the court decision was made by the Congregation of the Holy Office, controlled by the Pope. Galileo would be shown the articles of torture with the suggestion that they would be used, and be forced to recant. He was shown around the dungeon twice, and his imagination did the rest. Galileo submitted this letter to the Inquisition on June 2, 1633, and was exiled from Florence to Arcetri for the remainder of his life.

          I, Galileo Galilei, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, arraigned personally before this tribunal, and kneeling before you, most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors general against heretical depravity throughout the whole Christian Republic, having before my eyes and touching with my hands, the holy Gospels -- swear that I have always believed, do now believe, and by God's help will for the future believe, all that is held, preached, and taught by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church. But whereas -- after an injunction had been judicially intimated to me by this Holy Office, to the effect that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the sun is the centre of the world, and moves, and that I must not hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine was contrary to Holy Scripture -- I wrote and printed a book in which I discuss this doctrine already condemned, and adduce arguments of great cogency in its favour, without presenting any solution of these; and for this cause I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the sun is the centre of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the centre and moves.
          Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this strong suspicion, reasonably conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church; and I swear that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me; but that I should know any heretic, or person suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor and ordinary of the place where I may be. Further, I swear and promise to fulfill and observe in their integrity all penances that have been, or that shall be, imposed upon me by this Holy Office. And, in the event of my contravening (which God forbid!) any of these my promises, protestations, and oaths, I submit myself to all the pains and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents. So help me God, and these His holy Gospels, which I touch with my hands.
          I, the said Galileo Galilei, have abjured, sworn, promised, and bound myself as above; and in witness of the truth thereof I have with my own hand subscribed the present document of my abjuration, and recited it word for word at Rome, in the Convent of Minerva, this twenty-second day of June, 1633

                    I, Galileo Galilei, have abjured as above with my own hand.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.