Astronomer Copernicus to be reburied as hero – Yahoo! News
By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer
(SEE ALSO SOME COMMENTS IN COMMENTS SECTION)
FROMBORK, Poland – Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer whose work was condemned by the Catholic Church as heretical, will be reburied by Polish priests as a hero on Saturday, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
His burial in a tomb in the cathedral where he once served as a church canon and doctor indicates how far the church has come in making peace with the scientist whose revolutionary theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun helped usher in the modern scientific age.
Copernicus, who lived from 1473 to 1543, died as a little-known astronomer working in what is now Poland, far from Europe’s centers of learning. He had spent years laboring in his free time developing his theory, which was later condemned as heretical by the church because it removed Earth and humanity from their central position in the universe.
After his death, his remains rested in an unmarked grave beneath the floor of the cathedral in Frombork, northern Poland, the exact location unknown.
At the urging of a local bishop, scientists began searching in 2004 for the astronomer’s remains and eventually turned up a skull and bones of a 70-year-old man — the age Copernicus was when he died. DNA from teeth and bones matched that of hairs found in one of his books, leading the scientists to conclude in all probability that they had finally found Copernicus.
In recent weeks, a wooden casket holding those remains has lain in state in a nearby city of Olsztyn, and on Friday they were toured around the region to towns linked to his life.
That ceremony came 18 years after the Vatican rehabilitated the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was persecuted in the Inquisition for carrying the Copernican Revolution forward.
Wojciech Ziemba, the archbishop of the region surrounding Frombork, said the Catholic Church is proud that Copernicus left the region a legacy of “his hard work, devotion and above all of his scientific genius.”
Saturday’s Mass will be led by Jozef Kowalczyk, the papal nuncio and newly named Primate of Poland, the highest church authority in this deeply Catholic country.
Poland also is the homeland of John Paul II, the late pope who said in 1992 the church was wrong to condemn Galileo.
Copernicus’ burial in an anonymous grave in the 16th century was not linked to suspicions of heresy. When he died, his ideas were just starting to be discussed by a small group of Europe’s astronomers, astrologers and mathematicians, and the church was not yet forcefully condemning the heliocentric world view as heresy, according to Jack Repcheck, author of “Copernicus’ Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began.”
“There is no indication that Copernicus was worried about being declared a heretic and being kicked out of the church for his astronomical views,” Repcheck said. “Why was he just buried along with everyone else, like every other canon in Frombork? Because at the time of his death he was just any other canon in Frombork. He was not the iconic hero that he has become.”
Copernicus reburied after 467 years – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus has been reburied in Poland in a lavish ceremony 467 years after his death, media reports.
During a Roman Catholic ritual, the remains were interred beneath the altar of Frombork Cathedral in northern Poland, where the astronomer had been the canon, or head priest, and where he originally was buried in 1543.
The exact location of his grave had been lost and his remains were not conclusively identified until 2005, through the use of modern DNA testing.
Best known for his treatise, On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres, Copernicus asserted that the Earth revolved around the sun – contrary to the medieval belief that the Earth was the centre of the universe.
The theory was viewed with suspicion by the church and his treatise was not published until 1543, the year of his death.
Eventually the theory became the cornerstone for a future generation of scientists including Kepler and Galileo, but one of its ardent advocates, Italian cleric Giordano Bruno, was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600.
The astronomer’s processional transfer began at Olsztyn Castle in February, with extended stops at several northern Poland sites with which he had been connected along the way, and did not arrive at Frombork until the middle of last week.
May 24, 2010 at 9:07 am
So the Catholic Church has come around after 500 years to see their mistake about Science and Astronomy. If they are are supposed to have some kind of relationship with God (the Creator of the Universe) Why did God withhold the truth from the Church then? Was God being a jerk?
The story of Copernicus and how he was treated by the church is just one of a multitude of stories of how religious ignorance was used against a person persons. What has caused more harm to humankind than religion? If religious groups are going to try and make amends for the harm they have done to people throughout history with token burials then they better get started now. They are going to be busy for a long, long time.
A statue for Gallileo. A re-burial for Copernicus. What about Bruno, who was burned at the stake by the church, on my birthday in 1600, for heresy? His theories turned out to be correct, and they executed him!
May 24, 2010 at 9:13 am
Imagine even executing people for their beliefs! Yes, some priests (not all) are power mad and are always going for wealth and larger and larger Temples. They are false monks. They don’t follow the monks’ rules. What they do and what they preach can be quite different. Donating to false monks earn little or no merit.
May 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm
t’s me says:
Wonder how soon they’ll change their mind about Charles Darwin?
Yeah, they made Joan of Arc a Saint 500 years after they burned her at the stake.
If the Catholic church had its way, we would be dragged back to the Middle Ages when
it was free to condemn, torture, and execute anyone who dared to disagree.
David, I concur with your comment….However, I noticed you spoke of religious ignorance and interference in the past tense. Religious ignorance, interference and abuse are alive and well in this era as well. Today the consequences for such primitive thinking are much greater because a Zealot now can set off a nuclear device or fly aircraft into tall buildings. Even allowing a state such as Texas to play make believe with the text books that are used to teach our children is dangerous.
May 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm
To little to late! He is long past caring. Just more BS by the flatworlders.
A Cut Above says:
I wonder how long it will take the church to do something about their pedophiles pretending to be priests?
How can the Church then still claim that the word of the Pope is the infallible word of God? Religion is so ridiculous.
May 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Tomas says, “If he was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical by their ideology he was sent to hell upon burial. Being reburied insinuates that he is now “favored” by the church therefore he will be sent to heaven this go round.
You would be surprised how many people in this world openly defy logic and reason. This is because they don’t know how stupid they really are.”
Jim D says, “One wonders if modern religious people honestly believe that the Inca priest or Egyptian holy men who hacked 12 virgins to death each spring for a good crop, believed any less in what they were doing than we do now? it was s–t then…its s–t now. only difference the new god is newer, …but no more real.”
M. TOICH says, “IF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH COULD ONLY REALIZE AFTER 500 YEARS THAT THEY ARE THE 6TH. RICHEST NATION IN THE WORLD & COULD DO MORE WITH THEIR MONEY OTHER THAN LETTING IT SIT IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS! HOW MANY GOLD ROBES DOES THE POPE NEED????
THERE ARE MILLIONS OF STARVING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, GET TO IT POPE, FREE UP THE MONEY & GAIN SAINTHOOD!!!! YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT!!! THE WORLD WILL THANK YOU…”
May 28, 2010 at 8:42 am
SIKP says, “And how about Christopher Tye? All he did was translate the Bible into English (against express orders of the Papal see, who wasn’t very happy with Martin Luther, either)
For this, his remains were dug up 20 years after his death and burned for heresy.
Pogo had it right: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
June 5, 2010 at 2:47 am
Anak Baru is saying the the Catholic Church has not shame. It degraded Copernicus as a heretic and now turns around to share in the Copernicus credit or glory.
“A slap in the face,” “Sad!,” he says.
Ignorant monks, pretending to be “myint myat,” or holier than thou, have no shame. Just opportunists!
A great travesty was pulled off recently as the Catholic Church claimed the genius, Nicolaus Copernicus, as one of their own. Students of history and science will remember that Copernicus was the first to suggest that the Earth was not the center of the universe. Citing the Bible (which clearly states that the sun and everything else revolves around the Earth) as the ultimate authority, the Church condemned this brilliant man as a heretic and, in their warped view of reality, sentenced him to an eternity in Hell. He had spent the last half-millennium rotting in an unmarked grave. His second burial is only the most recent evidence that the church is a deceitful, cruel organization with no sense of shame or historical accuracy.
Copernicus belongs to science. The story of his persecution, and the centuries-long attacks on his findings, conclusively shows that the church is nothing but a bunch of lying bullies who can and will attack anyone intelligent enough to use reason and logic in an attempt to understand the world in which we live. That the Church has been allowed to claim him as a member of their ignorant society is a great miscarriage of justice and a slap in the face to all that is true. This is a sad, sad day.
June 5, 2010 at 3:09 am
Michael is more lenient to the Catholic Church. He just expresses surprise, not indignation.
However, the CASTRATION of BOYS in Italy to obtain “unique” voices (in the church choir singing) is really uncivilized. It’s almost like the savage headhunters cutting off your heads for display or to so called ward off spirits.
Yes, robbing people of manhood by cutting off their reproductive organs (balls), is savage.
The RC Church was so powerful and the masses so trusting and naive, that they could get away with it.
That’s another example of false uncaring priests making pomp and ceremonies to make money for themselves. They got carried away with the “unique” voices instead of the preachings.
Very similar. Instead of Dhamma, some monks harp on promoting culture as justification for getting more Nawa Kama personal moneys, etc.
Buddha never told the monks to promote cultures. He told them to study and preach Dhamma. No going to Fairs, No gossip, No socializing. No going out of monastery at certain times, say in the afternoon. No enjoying music or dances.
Thanks to the poster who referenced the castration of boys in Italy and specifically used in the Vatican for their unique voices as men. I vaguely remember someone in a movie being a castrato but did not understand the role the Pope and the Church played in making the product of genital mutilation a vocation.
And the last one sang in the Sistine Chapel less than a hundred years ago. This church vocation lasted for hundreds of years. I don’t know why I am still surprised at the things I learn. But damn!
June 11, 2010 at 1:39 am
It is sure nice to know that eighteen years ago the RC church finally recanted the church teaching that the earth is not flat and is the center of the universe.
It is amazing that they actually did after burning people at the stake for not buying in to their corrupt teachings.