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Compass -

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Nearly 400 years after being tried by the Roman Catholic Inquisition, Galileo again faces charges
of heresy. Leading scientists, scholars, barristers, politicians and churchmen take part in a
unique performance event staged by the University of NSW and filmed by Compass. With exclusive
interviews and behind the scenes coverage, this Compass special brings the drama and highlights of
the re-trial together in a one hour television special. Galileo was found guilty of supporting the
Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not vice versa. His trial was
considered the defining moment in the relationship between religion and science, authority and free
thought. How will Galileo be judged 400 years later?

Story

To inquire about obtaining a copy of this program please contact ABC Program Sales 1300 650 587 or
progsales@abc.net.au

Geraldine Doogue - "The Host"

Hello, and welcome to a very special edition of Compass. We're about to travel 400 years back in
time to a defining moment in the stormy relationship between religion and science. Back to the
trial of Galileo, an Italian philosopher, astronomer and scientist, convicted of heresy for
publishing ideas that changed the way we think about the universe.

Now, was he convicted justly? That's the question. Well an extraordinary array of churchmen,
scientists, historians, lawyers and philosophers have assembled here at the University of NSW to
retry Galileo.

Msgr Tony Doherty - "The Pope" Pope Urban VIII

I feel a little bit ambivalent and anxious about playing the Pope. Having the weight of the history
of the Roman Catholic Church on these rather bony shoulders of mine.

Bob Carr - "The Nobleman" Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo de Medici

I have been asked to play it because of the clear similarities between me and any one of the
Medicis, especially the more successful ones. Those who've held power longest.

Dr Charley Lineweaver - "The Astronomer-Priest" Christopher Clavius

A lot of people are interested in this conflict between church and state or between personal
freedom and authority. And I think that's an eternal theme that we as people will always have with
us.

Dr Paul Collins - "The Cardinal" Roberto Bellarmine

People like the Pope, the Catholic Church, the Protestant Churches. People found themselves in this
position of change. And we're in exactly the same place now.

Dr Fred Watson - "The Accused" Galileo Galilei

Perhaps the jury and indeed the audience tonight could find me not guilty. But I am prepared for
anything.

Judge Assoc.

All please stand for her honour Judge Julie McCrossin.

Julie McCrossin - "The Judge"

Well ladies and gentlemen first my thank you for the one moment of dignity in my entire 55 years.
So thank you for standing as I entered.

Who is appearing in this matter?

Anna Katzmann - "The Prosecution"

May it please the court, I appear with my learned friend Dr Slezak for the prosecution.

Judge

Anna Katzmann SC, ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution counsel this evening. Is President of the
NSW Bar Association.

Julian Burnside - "The Defence"

May it please the court, I appear with my learned friend Professor Finocchiaro for the defence.

Judge

Julian Burnside QC the defence counsel is a barrister based in Melbourne, a city to our south. He's
come all the way from Melbourne.

Judge Assoc.

Will the accused please stand up.

Host

As Galileo tonight we have astronomer Fred Watson, from the Anglo-Australian Observatory.

Now what really brought Galileo to the attention of the Inquisition is a book he published in 1632,
The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. The Church alleged that this book revealed
Galileo continued to hold and defend the revolutionary ideas of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus;
that the sun - not the earth - was at the centre of the universe. Galileo was warned not to hold
these views.

Judge

Let me read the charges. Galileo Galilei you stand charged that you were guilty of vehement
suspicion of heresy in that in The Dialogue Concerning Two World Systems you denied the authority
of Scripture. How do you plead?

Galileo

Not guilty.

Judge

And you are further charged that you are guilty of vehement suspicion of heresy in that in your
publication you did ignore the warning issued by Cardinal Bellarmine on the 26th February, on the
26th May 1616, that the Copernican opinion is contrary to the Holy Scripture and cannot be held or
defended.

What do you plead?

Galileo

Even more not guilty.

Prosecution

Before I call my first witness I tender a bundle of the accused writings from 1597 to 1632.

Judge

Thank you and we accept these documents.

Defence

Before your honour gets too carried away with the excitement of the occasion, the first two
documents cannot be received. They predate the warning.

Judge

Thank you.

Prosecution

It is plain your honour that the purpose of them is to show what the accused position has always
been.

Judge

I intend to accept them because you're from Melbourne.

Defence

Fair enough.

Host

As you can tell, this is no ordinary trial. But whatever the result, Fred Watson will return home
tonight, a free man. For Galileo in 1633 there was much more at stake...literally.

At the age of 68, Galileo Galilei stood to lose everything; even his life. Only 30 years earlier,
the Roman Inquisition sentenced another astronomer, the Dominican priest - Giordano Bruno to burn
at the stake for heresies - including his belief that the earth moved around the sun, an idea also
explored by Galileo.

Dr Charley Lineweaver - Astrophysicist

Well Galileo was not only a clever man, he had something to be clever about. And that is he did
observations. He took the very crude design of a telescope and made it better, and was one of the
first people if not the first person to take that telescope and look up at the sky. He saw sun
spots, for example, and craters on the moon, he saw the phases of Venus and the Medician stars
which are now known as the Galilean moons which orbits Jupiter.

Dr Paul Collins - Church Historian & Writer

For people in the past the notion of the universe was inconceivable. The notion of the universe was
inconceivable. It was beyond them. And this is where you have to see Galileo's extraordinary
radicalism. And Copernicus before him, they are suggesting that this world is not the centre of
everything, that we humans might not be quite so important.

Host

The idea that the earth was the centre of the whole universe dated back to the Greek philosopher
Aristotle, whose ideas fitted neatly with Biblical teachings. This geocentric view was later
supported by the celebrated Egyption astronomer Pthlomy and went largely unchallenged for nearly
two thousand years.

Collins

Galileo is one of those people who changed our view of the world. But Galileo also was a pompous
ass. Galileo also was a thoroughly difficult person to deal with. You know let's be honest about
it, the man wasn't a saint.

Judge

Ms Katzmann you can call your first witness.

Prosecution

Yes I call his eminence Cardinal Robert Bellermine.

Host

Cardinal Roberto Bellarmine, our first witness tonight, is a saint, canonized 300 years after his
death.

Judge

He is played tonight by Dr Paul Collins, a former Catholic priest, a distinguished broadcaster,
author and church historian. And I might say a man highly unlikely to ever be made a saint.

Indeed as many of you will know he is one I think of only two people in Australia who in real life
was investigated by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, a direct descendant of the
inquisition for a book he wrote entitled Papal Power.

Ms Katzmann ...

Prosecution

What is your position?

Cardinal

My job essentially is to adhere to and to uphold the beliefs and the procedures of the Holy Roman
church. I suppose I would be seen as a literalist in my interpretation of Holy Scripture. Whatever
is written I believe is a matter of faith and cannot be denied.

Prosecution

And who is to determine whether the text of the Scripture should be taken literally or otherwise?

Cardinal

We believe that the Scripture is not to be interpreted by the individual, but by the tradition of
the church and by the fathers of the church specifically the bishops and ultimately the Pope.

Prosecution

What does the bible say in summary about the respective positions of the sun and the earth?

Cardinal

It is clear from many texts in the bible that the earth is at the centre of the universe. It's a
very dangerous thing to talk about the earth revolving with great speed around the sun, because it
upsets many people. It upsets, well it upsets the Aristotelian the philosophers. It upsets the
ordinary faithful.

Prosecution

On the 26 February 1616 acting as a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Inquisition did you ask the accused
to attend your home?

Cardinal

Yes I did and he did attend and we sat in the garden. It was a very informal meeting. At this
meeting we discussed his work and I warned him to abandon his Copernican views.

Prosecution

I have no further questions of this witness.

Judge

Thank you very much Ms Katzmann. Mr Burnside?

Defence

You've been speaking to the press about this case, haven't you?

Cardinal

Not that I recall

Defence

Did you not see yourself on the screen?

Cardinal

That was me in my other incarnation.

Defence

And you call Galileo a pompous ass.

Cardinal

I would simply say Mr Burnside that I too come from Melbourne.

Defence

It's a broad church, Melbourne. You believe in the strict literal interpretation of the bible?

Cardinal

I do

Defence

You took part in the Roman inquisition which sentenced to death Giordano Bruno?

Cardinal

I participated in the inquisition, it is correct.

Defence

By whose authority was he burnt at the stake?

Cardinal

Pope Clement the 8th.

Defence

Yes. Do you believe in the literal truth of the observation thou shall not kill.

Cardinal

Yes I do.

Defence

And do you then condemn Pope Clement the 8th?

Cardinal

I've been known to condemn many Popes, Mr Burnside.

Defence

I'll ask it again. Do you condemn that Pope?

Cardinal

Yes I believe if I may coin a Latin phrase that he was something of a dolor in Puga

Defence

Splendid.

Cardinal

That means a pain in the ass.

Defence

I suppose the vows of celibacy lead to these things.

Now you also said that in interpreting the Scriptures it is important to see whether there is a
true demonstration that the sun is at the centre of the world and that the earth is in the third
heaven. And that if that were shown then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining
the Scriptures that appear contrary.

Cardinal

Yes I did say that.

Defence

That's something you said. And do you agree that you also said that we would rather say that we do
not understand them than what is demonstrated is false.

Cardinal

Could you explain that please. I don't understand what you are saying.

Defence

Well you wrote it. Would you like me to read it again?

Cardinal

Read it again please. I am not used to being addressed in this manner.

Defence

Well if you will keep on coming back to life, coming to court. If there were a true demonstration
that the sun is at the centre of the world and the earth in the third heaven and that the sun
doesn't circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, and you went on, but I will not believe
that there is such a demonstration until it is shown to me.

Did you write those words?

Cardinal

Yes I did write those words. Don't interrupt me because I have not finished the answer. I am not
used to being lectured.

Defence

I asked if you did write those words and you did write them. And it follows does it not.

Cardinal

Words do not exist in a vacuum, they have to be placed within a historical context.

Defence

One minute. It follows does it not that if there were a demonstration then you would believe it.

Cardinal

It would have to be a very good demonstration.

Defence

Quite.

Prosecution

I object your honour.

Judge

Yes Miss Katzmann.

Prosecution

The question in this trial is not whether Galileo is right in espousing the Copernican doctrine.
The question is whether or not he defied the Scriptures or the warnings he was given. These
questions go to the truth or otherwise of Copernicanism. They are irrelevant.

Defence

My learned friend is quite right. And you would agree with me Cardinal that this is about who has
the power to interpret the Scripture.

Cardinal

Yes it is exactly about that.

Defence

And even if science could demonstrate the Scriptures wrong you would still say the Scriptures were
right.

Cardinal

That would be my position but there are others in the church who would hold different views. But I
was asked as to my position and I am a Cardinal of the inquisition and they are not.

Defence

Yes, you have the power and they don't.

Cardinal

Those are your words.

Defence

You pointed out that you are a Cardinal and they are not.

Cardinal

But that's a matter of fact.

Defence

Yes. And you said that in order to convey the point that you have the power to hold these views and
they do not.

Cardinal

I am part of the interpretative apparatus of the Roman Church. Only part of it.

Defence

And do you agree that you called Galileo a pompous ass?

Cardinal

I am actually quite a humble man at heart.

Defence

I have no further questions.

Judge

Thank you. Miss Katzmann you may call your next witness.

Prosecution

I call his holiness Pope Urban 8th.

Host

Urban VIII was Pope from 1623 to 1644. Before becoming Pope he wrote a poem, Dangerous Adulation,
in praise of Galileo. Now he's worried about dangerous ideas, in Galileo's book, The Dialogue
Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Here competing ideas about the universe are explored in the
form of a conversation. The character Simplicio takes the traditional view - that the earth is at
the centre of it all. The alternative is argued by Salviati, the mouthpiece for arguments developed
by the 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who believed the earth circled the sun. A third
character, Sagredo, considers both sides before making up his mind.

Pope Urban is played tonight by Monsignor Tony Doherty from St Mary Magdelene's Church in Sydney's
Rose Bay.

Judge

And ladies and gentlemen, let me just tell you that Urban the 8th made tobacco smoking punishable
by excommunication because it led to sneezing which too closely resembled sexual ecstasy.

Prosecution

Your Holiness, do you know the accused?

Pope Urban

Very well.

Prosecution

How long have you known him?

Pope Urban

For many years I've known him. In fact we've been very close as friends. I've admired his work, his
research, his ability to investigate.

Prosecution

Do you admire him?

Pope Urban

No longer, no.

Prosecution

What was it that caused you to change your opinion of him?

Pope Urban

When The Dialogue was published he represented opinions that I was very close to in the words of
Simplicio stood people. That hurt me greatly.

Prosecution

Did you conclude that he was mocking the views that you had expressed to him?

Pope Urban

Disrespectfully mocking the views and mocking me.

Prosecution

Was it a violation of the Holy Scripture to promote the Copernican view in the way it was promoted
in The Dialogue?

Pope Urban

It was yes.

Prosecution

Thank you. I have no further questions your honour.

Judge

Thank you Ms Katzmann. Mr Burnside ...

Defence

Okay witness you are aware that in 1630 Galileo came to Rome to see about the publication of the
book. And that he consulted with your chief censor.

Pope Urban

Yes.

Defence

And you had possession of a copy of The Dialogue?

Pope Urban

Yes.

Defence

And you read it, of course.

Pope Urban

Of course.

Defence

And the censors Racardi and Wisconti required certain changes to be made to the text.

Pope Urban

That's correct.

Defence

And you required certain changes to be made to the text.

Pope Urban

Correct

Defence

And those changes were made.

Pope Urban

They were made but in a very qualified way.

Defence

And after the changes had been made the imprimatur was granted.

Pope Urban

That's correct, yes.

Defence

Galileo was given permission to publish The Dialogue.

Pope Urban

Yes.

Defence

So what he did was done with your authority.

Pope Urban

It was, when I saw the final document I was appalled at how he had disregarded what I had asked him
for.

Defence

Now that is not accurate is it? You knew what the final document contained when you gave the
imprimatur. Isn't that right?

Pope Urban

That is correct.

Defence

Yes. And you late became upset because certain people spoke to you about ways in which The Dialogue
might be read. And you particularly became upset when you discovered that the Ptolomaic or
Aristotelian argument was put in the mouth of Simplicio.

Pope Urban

Correct.

Defence

You thought that was an insult to you.

Pope Urban

I knew it was an insult to me.

Defence

You are a learned man are you not? Very few people disagree with that. You are aware that Simplicio
is the Italian for the Latin name Simplicios. Is that true?

Pope Urban

No I don't know that. As Simplicio I think if we asked a wide range of people they would understand
what the term meant.

Defence

Well we're not asking them, we're asking you. And I suggest to you that Simplicios is the foremost
Aristotelian commentator. You are aware of that?

Pope Urban

No.

DefenceAre you serious? You did not know that fact. If evidence is given that Simplicios was the
greatest commentator on the Aristotelian theory you would have to revise your view about whether
you were being insulted or Simplicio having the lines that he had.

Pope Urban

I think that we're dealing with a very clever writer here.

Defence

Can you deal with the question first. Even if it is not a clever one. Do you agree that if
Simplicio is arguing the propositions in place of Simplicios the greatest Aristotelian commentator
then the matter looks very different.

Pope Urban

Somewhat different.

Defence

Your views are being conveyed by the greatest Aristotelian commentator. That is a compliment not an
insult. Do you agree?

Pope Urban

There's other things in the document that indicate ...

Defence

Can you answer my question.

Pope Urban

If you're hypothetic.

Prosecution

With respect your honour the witness should be given an opportunity to respond properly to the
questions that are put to him.

Defence

And the proper response is to answer it. I'll ask it again.

Pope Urban

Very like my Cardinal, I'm very unused to this situation. In fact I'm not quite sure what a Pope is
doing here at all.

Defence

Well I hope that a Pope is telling the truth and seeking to assist the court. Now let me ask the
question a third time. If evidence is given that Simplicios is the greatest Aristotelian
commentator then to have your theories spoken by his character would be a compliment not an insult.

Pope Urban

It would change my point of view.

Defence

Yes. No further questions.

Host

Before we hear from the next witness it's important to understand that in Galileo's time science as
a profession in its own right was not yet established.

Lineweaver

Galileo was definitely part of a scientific movement that took over Europe starting in the
Renaissance and continued to this day. And is part of what has been called the scientific
revolution. Their world view was a mixture of astrology, mythology, religion. And slowly they were
using science to replace some of the orthodox earlier understanding.

Host

Before the dawn of the discipline we now call science, astrologers, philosophers and theologians
were all authorities when it came to laying down the laws of nature. Tomaso Caccini, the next
witness, was one such philosopher-priest, an ambitious Dominican.

Judge

I'll just let you know that Caccini was so famous for his inflammatory sermons that he was
disciplined by his Bishop. He was a passionate defender of the Aristotelian view of the world and
he is played tonight by another passionate philosopher, Alan Saunders.

Prosecution

On the fourth Sunday of advent in 1614 were you preaching at the Church of Santa Maria Novella in
Florence?

Alan Saunders - Friar Tommaso Caccini

I was.

Prosecution

Now could you tell the jury what you were telling the congregation on that occasion.

Caccini

We had reached the 10th chapter of the Book of Joshua where the sacred writer relates the great
miracle which god made in answer to Joshua's prayer by stopping the sun. And Joshua's prayer was
sun stand thou still upon Gibeon.

Prosecution

Are there other passages in the bible which deal with the respective positions of the sun and the
earth.

Caccini

The fifth verse of the first chapter of the Book of Ecclestiasties where the writer states the sun
also ariseth and the sun goeth down and hasteth to his place where he arose.

Prosecution

Now after you had lectured the congregation in that way did you issue a warning to them?

Caccini

I did indeed. I felt it my pastoral duty to do so, and to warn them that no one was allowed to
interpret divine scripture in a way contrary to the sense on which all the Holy Fathers agree.

Prosecution

On the 20th of March 1615 did you report to the Holy Office?

Caccini

I did.

Prosecution

And what did you report on that occasion?

Caccini

I informed them, as I felt it my duty to do, that Senior Galileo Galilea holds these two positions.
The earth moves as a whole and also that it moves with a diurnal, that is to say a daily motion,
while the sun is motionless.

Prosecution

Now as a priest how does that position strike you?

Caccini

It strikes me as a priest clearly contrary to Holy Scripture. As a man it strikes me as contrary to
commonsense.

Prosecution

I have nothing further. Thank you.

Judge

Thank you Miss Katzmann. Mr Burnside.

Defence

Tell me witness, do you think that the bible should be taken as literal scientific truth?

Caccini

I do not distinguish between scientific truth and truth as it is understood in the interpretation
of Scripture by the Holy Fathers.

Defence

Do you understand the scientific truths can be discovered by the use of human intellect and
observation?

Caccini

Indeed. For we are enormously indebted to the observations and the wisdom of the man whom we refer
to as the philosopher. That is to say, Aristotle.

Defence

Yes, and if Aristotle by his observations and reasons had established a scientific fact, would you
regard that as an irrelevance if it was inconsistent with something stated in the bible?

Caccini

If it was inconsistent with something stated in the bible I would not regard it as an irrelevance.
I would regard it as a falsehood.

Defence

So a truth, but a falsehood.

Caccini

No, not a truth.

Defence

Even if demonstrated?

Caccini

Even if seeming to be demonstrated by Aristotle. We must after all remember that Aristotle, despite
his great wisdom was a pagan philosopher. He could not possibly have been right about everything.

Defence

You then gave evidence to the inquisition against Galileo. And you did that because you believe the
idea of the earth being in motion is absurd.

Caccini

Indeed I do.

Defence

Were the writers of the Holy Scripture versed in astronomy?

Caccini

They were versed in the word of god.

Defence

And were those Holy Fathers who interpret the Scripture, are they versed in astronomy?

Caccini

Again they are versed in the Holy Scriptures and in the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

Defence

Ah. But one minute. You would agree that when the sun appears to stand still as commanded, that
could either be in theory it could either be that the sun literally stopped moving or that the
earth if rotating beforehand stopped rotating. In either case the observer on the ground would see
the sun stop. Do you agree with that?

Caccini

Well I am no astronomer and no student of mechanics but I should have thought sir that if the earth
was suddenly to cease in its movements everybody would fall over.

Defence

I have no further questions.

Judge

I now call upon Miss Katzmann to call the final witness for the prosecution.

Prosecution

Your honour I call Christopher Clavius.

Host

Christopher Clavius was yet another priest, a Jesuit mathematician and the most respected
astronomer in Europe at the end of the 16th century. Playing him tonight is Dr Charley Lineweaver,
an astrophysicist at Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra.

Judge

Clavius, was the main architect of the Gregorian calendar and calculated the Easter dates for 18
million years into the future.

Galileo

Get a life!

Prosecution

I think you were born in Bamberg in Germany. Is that so?

Clavius

Schtimpt. Yes it is.

Prosecution

And you are 75 years of age. It must be something in the waters.

Clavius

That is correct.

Prosecution

As a theoretical astronomer do you have a position on the movements of the sun and the earth?

Clavius

My position, the position of the church consistent with Scripture, consistent with all of the
observations that we've been able to make is that the geocentric model is the correct one.

Prosecution

By that do we take you to mean that the earth is the centre of the world and everything including
the sun revolves around the earth.

Clavius

Yes of course that's obvious.

Prosecution

Do you know the accused in these proceedings?

Clavius

Yes. I've known Galileo for quite a while, for a few decades. He's a very good astronomer and
mathematician. However, he interprets things in ways that I cannot agree with.

Prosecution

On the 24th and 25th April 1610 in Bologna was the accused invited to demonstrate the moons of
Jupiter through his telescope?

Clavius

I would not call them the Moons of Jupiter. What Galileo has found were four stars that moved back
and forth in the general position of Jupiter. But yes he did bring his telescope and showed us that
these objects existed.

Prosecution

Were any of you persuaded to change your views?

Clavius

I would say the first time we were divided on what we were seeing maybe if possible these objects
that we were seeing were in the telescope itself. That Galileo had placed sparks inside the glass
and the lenses for example. We were not sure. I think slowness of decision is the sinew of wisdom.

On the other hand he then proceeded to show several months later also the same demonstration we
were able to, instead of holding the telescope in our hands we had it on a mount. And with this we
were able to see more clearly many of the things that he said snd we were able to verify several
months later what his discoveries of these stars and phases of the moon, sun spots were correct.

Prosecution

My question was, did what you saw through the telescope cause you to change your opinion about the
movement of the sun or the earth?

Clavius

No. That's obvious that the earth does not move.

Prosecution

Thank you no further questions.

Judge

Mr Burnside.

Defence

You also saw the phases of Venus.

Clavius

Yes I did.

Defence

And that was not consistent with the Tolimaic explanation was it?

Clavius

Well you have to be careful what you mean by that. In the Tolimaic model we have the sun is moving
across the sky like this. Venus moves back and forth and back and forth. If Venus borrows its light
from the sun then you will see a crescent Venus a new Venus a crescent Venus etc. It will go
through phases. But it will not go through a Gibbous phase.

Defence

And yet you saw a Gibbous phase through Galileo's telescope.

Clavius

I did not see Gibbous phase myself. A colleague saw it and we were still looking when I died. For
the Gibbous phase so I was not able to verify that observation.

Defence

And evidence is the way of finding the truth of things.

Clavius

Well there are multiple ways to finding the truth I think. I believe that god reveals himself to
man both in the Scripture and in nature and these two cannot be inconsistent.

Defence

Yes. Now Galileo, you've known him for several decades.

Clavius

Yes I have.

Defence

He's a very good scientist.

Clavius

He's an outstanding scientist and astronomer.

Defence

A devout Christian?

Clavius

A devout Christian.

Defence

Certainly not a pompous ass?

Clavius

Not at all. He is of the highest character.

Defence

And you're aware of the great Aristotelian commentator, Simplicios aren't you?

Clavius

I am.

Defence

And you agree that he is the foremost Aristotelian commentator.

Clavius

I don't know.

Defence

At the top of the range. Can we agree on that?

Clavius

Okay, yes.

Defence

Thank you. No further questions.

Judge

Ladies and gentlemen you warm applause tells us there's something thrilling about watching an
astrophysicist try and explain the exact opposite of what he believes.

Host

And that brings us to the end of the case for the prosecution. Now for the Defence and the witness
we've all been waiting for.

Galileo Galilei was a man of contradictions. Brilliant but difficult, a religious man whose
observations challenged his own church.

Dr Fred Watson - Astronomer

Religion in particular was so deeply entrenched in human life that it was unquestionable that
anything could be wrong with that. So what you have to try and do was fit these new observations
into the background of religion.

He basically thanked god for being the first person who had the wherewithal to see these things and
to recognise that here was another artefact of creation.

Defence

May I call Galileo Galilei.

Mr Galilei you are the Chief Mathematician of the University of Pisa?

Galileo

I am indeed.

Defence

And the mathematician and philosopher to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Galileo

I have that great honour to his most serene highness.

Defence

In 1609 did you make important discoveries using an improved telescope?

Galileo

Indeed I did. I heard in May 1609 of an instrument that could make distant things look nearer. And
using it I developed an instrument that would allow me to detect things like mountains on the moon
and fixed stars that we had never seen before. We also with this new instrument could see that the
Milky Way was not made of milk but made of stars.

Defence

You remained on good terms with Pope Urban 8th after he was elected Pope?

Galileo

Indeed I did remain on good terms.

Defence

Until of course the events of recently.

Galileo

That is correct. Because Pope Urban has taken some offence.

Defence

When you published The Dialogue you received the imprimatur of the Vatican. Is that correct?

Galileo

That is correct

Defence

And you complied with the explicit request of the Pope to make changes which had been sought?

Galileo

Indeed that is correct. It included changing the title of the work and its contents as well.

Defence

Can you give more detail please about the changes which you were asked to make and which you did
make.

Galileo

We changed the title. Not calling it On the ebb and flow of the tides which was fairly boring
anyway. We inserted a specific preface whose general wording I was given by the censor, Ricardi. So
in the revised preface I assert that the book takes the Copernican view in the manner of a pure
mathematical hypothesis.

Defence

Now you are aware that the Pope's favourite argument is the divine omnipotence argument.

Galileo

Indeed.

Defence

And you put that argument in the mouth of the character Simplicio.

Galileo

Because Simplicio represents that most learned commentator on Aristotle's work of Simplicios. So it
is elevating these comments to the highest level that it was possible for me to do so.

Defence

And when did Simplicios live?

Galileo

He lived in the 7th century AD.

Defence

And is he the foremost Aristotelian commentator?

Galileo

As far as I know he is the foremost Aristotelian commentator.

Defence

And did you by putting that argument in the mouth of Simplicio intend any insult at all to His
Holiness the Pope?

Galileo

None whatsoever.

Defence

Thank you. I have no further questions.

Judge

Miss Katzmann

Prosecution

Senor Galilei, you claim to be a believer in the one true church, the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Is that correct?

Galileo

That is indeed correct.

Prosecution

How then do you explain your illegitimate children.

Galileo

The Holy Roman Catholic Church is not an institution which by its actions forbids the birth of
illegitimate children.

Prosecution

Well I think the jury might find that a novelty.

Now, you adopted the teachings of Copernicus did you not years before you wrote The Dialogue?

Galileo

Merely as an instrument to represent the calculations of heavenly bodies.

Prosecution

That is completely false is it not?

Galileo

It is not. I adopted the views of Copernicus as a way of looking at the heavens in a new light.

Prosecution

The bottom line sir is this, is it not: That for many years you adhered to the Copernican view that
the earth moved around the sun. And you never changed your mind did you?

Galileo

May I say that if the earth moved around the sun then we would see parallax. Shifts in the parallax
of the fixed stars, and we do not see that.

Prosecution

You maintained that the earth like other planets moved around the sun, and the sun was fixed. That
is correct is it not?

Galileo

I merely maintained that that would be a convenient way of regarding what we see in the heavens.

Prosecution

Well we'll see about that shortly Mr Gallilei.

Could I ask you about The Dialogue now. You admit to writing The Dialogue and causing it to be
published do you not?

Galileo

Indeed I do.

Prosecution

The Dialogue sir was an attempt was it not to promote the Copernican opinion without being seen to
do so.

Galileo

Oh dear me no. The Dialogue was a way of reinforcing the Scriptural view.

Prosecution

Sir it was you who took up the Copernican position in The Dialogue wasn't it?

Galileo

The protagonist took up the Copernican position was in fact not me. It was an individual whose
knowledge of the Copernican position was rather deep.

Prosecution

Well I remind you what you said in the preface to the work, namely that you took the Copernican
point of view. Does that refresh your memory?

Galileo

When I re-read the dialogue a few weeks ago before these proceedings I was surprised at just how
far I had gone.

Prosecution

Sir there were three people involved in The Dialogue weren't there?

Galileo

Indeed that is correct.

Prosecution

And the first, your alter ego I suggest Salviati, you referred to didn't you as a man of sublime
intellect.

Galileo

This was merely a device to indicate that he had to support what was seen as the weaker point of
view by me when I was writing.

Prosecution

You quarrelled earlier with the proposition that I put to you that it was you who was speaking
through Salviati. Can I remind you of what you said at page 153 of The Dialogue. And I quote: I act
the part of Copernicus in our arguments and I wear his mask, unquote.

Galileo

Only in as much as it is a device for drawing attention to the intensity of the debate.

Prosecution

Now the second person in this so called dialogue is a man called Segrado. Correct?

Galileo

Indeed that is correct.

Prosecution

You describe him don't you as a man of most illustrious family and of sharpest mind and refer to
him as the most illustrious Segrado.

Galileo

He is an ABC listener.

Prosecution

It is the fact is it not that in The Dialogue he is won over to the Copernican view.

Galileo

This may be true.

Prosecution

It is true sir, isn't it?

Galileo

He perhaps changed his opinion from the idea that the Copernican view is completely ridiculous.

Prosecution

The third person is Simplicio. Now you maintain that he was an eminent Greek philosopher. But what
I want to put to you sir is this. You deliberately chose the name Simplicio because of its close
relationship to the word for simpleton in Italian which is Simplicioto isn't it?

Galileo

Is it? Well I never knew that.

Prosecution

All the good Italians here today will confirm.

Galileo

I didn't know that. I simply named him after Simplicios the 7th century Aristotelian philosopher.

Prosecution

Yes well you might take all of us for fools, sir, but believe me we are not. But the position is
this sir, isn't it, that throughout your book you ridiculed the views expressed by Simplicio.

Galileo

That is not true.

Prosecution

Alright. Let me remind you of some of the things you have said. Page 415 ...

Galileo

I hoped you wouldn't mention page 415.

Prosecution

Salviati, your alter ego refers to the apish puerilities of the Aristotelian view. Doesn't he?

Galileo

I think that was actually a typo.

Prosecution

There must be many typographical errors in your book sir. Because page 246 you refer to the
childish and scurrilous inanities of the Aristotelians. You've forgotten that too?

Galileo

It's merely a device.

Prosecution

Yes a device to ridicule the views expressed by the non Copernicans. The views indeed expressed by
the church.

Galileo

Oh that is not the case at all.

Prosecution

The only reason you chose to stick with the Copernican doctrine is sheer vanity, isn't it sir?

Galileo

I do not believe I am a vain person.

Prosecution

Well the jury may be the judge of that.

Judge

Mr Burnside...

Defence

I call Cosimo de Medici.

Host

Cosimo de Medici was the Grand Duke of Tuscany and Galileo's patron. The Medici - known for their
patronage of the arts and the sciences - made their fortune, and ultimately gained their power, as
bankers.

Judge

Interestingly Cosimo is played tonight by the former NSW Premier Bob Carr. A man who now includes
in his life consultancy for Macquarie Bank.

Defence

You are the Grand Duke of Tuscany?

Nobleman

Yes I am.

Defence

You succeeded your father Ferdinando the 1st in 1609?

Nobleman

Yes I did.

Defence

And are you perfectly satisfied with your personal hygiene?

Nobleman

Oh yes. The streets here aren't kept as clean as those in Florence.

Defence

Well this is Sydney.

Nobleman

A lot of things have changed.

Defence

In 1605 when you were 15 Galileo was your mathematics tutor.

Nobleman

Yeah well you know the joke about my family. We never learn anything, we can pay someone else to
learn for us. That's not always true. He was my teacher. He was a wonderful teacher. He was, he
made a great contribution to my development, and indeed to my Christian understanding.

Defence

I guess that might explain why he newly discovered satellites around Jupiter, the Medician stars.

Nobleman

Yes, but if that's going to be considered as a gesture to win me over you don't know my family. He
called the moons of Jupiter Medician stars after the family. And he called one of them after me. It
doesn't in any way predispose me to believe his theory. Whether a moon exists that has my name or
doesn't is a matter of supreme indifference to a man like me.

Defence

You think he is a fabulous guy?

Nobleman

I think he is very learned. The approach I take is never read a book, hire the author. And of
course never believe anything that comes from that cesspit Rome. We've got 200 years experience
with Rome and its ways. On the face of this earth there is Florence, there is the sink of inequity
which is Rome and there is that rabble led republic to our north, Venice.

Defence

Galileo wrote to your mother. Do you remember that Galileo explained to your mother in the letter
that the Scriptures and science can't be in conflict because god reveals himself to us no less
excellently in the effects of nature than in the sacred words of Scripture.

Nobleman

It was beautifully put. They're wonderful words and for me at the time it summed up, it gathered
into one ball of understanding the reservations I was having about the most recent behaviour of
Rome.

Defence

Thank you. Your serene highness I thank you.

Judge

Ms Katzmann ...

Nobleman

Could I make a statement first. I've got a terrible cold and I could sneeze or cough in the
direction of Miss Katzmann at any time.

Defence

But may I just say your honour we've heard evidence of the possible effects of sneezing and it's
not to be advised.

Prosecution

Your honour I object to the entirety of this man's evidence. It is irrelevant. The man is obviously
an imposter. He doesn't even dress like a Grand Duke. And after all we all know that the Grand Duke
died of tuberculosis on the 15 February 1621. I ask that the entirety of his evidence be stricken
from the record.

Nobleman

Doesn't dress like a Grand Duke. Listen wherever I go they are the dress rules. I set them.

Judge

Ladies and gentlemen that's all Miss Katzman intended to do. But can I just say what a pleasure it
has been to have Cosimo, Bob Carr oddly indistinguishable here this evening. And would you please
thank him for his presentation.

Ladies and gentlemen it now falls to each council to make their closing remarks. I call on Miss
Katzman first of all for the prosecution.

Prosecution

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

Well what have we heard from the defence? One vain man supported by another. Each pandering to each
other's vanity. The accused ladies and gentlemen stands trial for one reason and one reason only.
He defied the teachings of the church.

Ladies and gentlemen it's important when you are considering your verdicts to remember that this is
not a trial about who was right, Copernicus or Aristotle. Neither is it a trial about the right to
free speech. You will only be concerned to consider whether the accused did as the church required
of him; the church whose teachings he claimed to follow.

I suggest to you ladies and gentlemen that to put the church's teachings into the mouth of or into
the mouth of Simplicio, and to ridicule the expression of opinion by Simplicio, the accused seeks
to make fools of all of us. Do not allow him to do so. You are wiser than that. Return verdicts of
guilty on each count. Thank you.

Judge

I invite Mr Burnside to make the closing arguments for the defence.

Galileo

Got to be good.

Defence

The Dialogue which is at the heart of these charges had the approval of the Pope before it was
printed. Presumably it must follow that by giving permission to publish The Dialogue there is
nothing in The Dialogue that can be criticised. What is at stake here is a play of power. It is the
power to understand the world through the bible by claiming for the church the exclusive right to
interpret the bible.

Ultimately it comes to this. That the church fathers who've given evidence in this case wish to
shut down any discussion of science in case it reveals the possibility that their interpretation of
the bible might need to be reconsidered.

God endowed Galileo with the power to think, the power to observe, the ability to create a
telescope which enabled him to see things that no human eyes had ever seen before. He is no
heretic. He offers a clearer view of god's work. And for that he should not be convicted, he should
be blessed. When you are asked your verdict this evening remember there is only one verdict
available and that is not guilty if you wish to help mankind pursue the light and escape the
darkness which pursues us all.

Judge

Ladies and gentlemen we thank both learned council and we invite Robyn Williams and his jury to
leave to the jury room to consider your verdict.

Host

What happens in the jury room will remain there, behind closed doors, a secret. But jurors have
been instructed not to bring the wisdom of hindsight to their deliberations, not to consider
scientific discoveries made after Galileo's time.

Julian Burnside QC - Barrister

Well clearly the verdict should be an acquittal. Any sensible jury would acquit this man and would
right the wrongs of four centuries.

Alan Saunders - Philosopher

My personal belief is that he was as guilty as charged. But I don't know whether the audience is
going to go along with me on that.

Collins

I think you could put the family fortune, you could put everything on Galileo. I think he is going
to win hands down because everybody's sympathy is with him.

Lineweaver

I have no idea. I think it could go either way.

Judge

Now the first charge of heresy is that Galileo denied the authority of Scripture which states the
sun moved and the earth remains still. Galileo Galilei is before you. What is your verdict on this
first charge?

Robyn Williams - "The Foreman"

Guilty as hell

Judge

Ladies and gentlemen the second charge of heresy is that Galileo ignored the warning of Cardinal
Bellermine not to defend the Copernican opinion.

Foreman what is your verdict?

Foreman

Guilty as sin.

Host

Guilty then and guilty now.

In 1633 Galileo was ordered to recant. His books were banned and he remained under house arrest
until he died 9 years later. By then he was 77 years old and totally blind. Only in the 1980s - 350
years later - did the Vatican finally concede that it was an error to condemn Galileo.

Thank you very much for joining me tonight on this special Compass. On our website you can see some
of our trial participants discussing the case, and you can cast your own vote. Do you agree with
the jury? Galileo - guilty or not?

Vote at Compass Opinion Poll