Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Father Copernicus, the Roman Catholic Priest

Nicholas Copernicus was a Polish priest, who first advanced the doctrine that the sun and not the earth is the center of our system, round which our planet revolves, rotating on its own axis. His great work, De Revolutionibus orblure coelestium, was published at the earnest solicitation of Cardinal Schömberg and the Bishop of Culm. It was dedicated to Pope Paul III, with his permission. No objections or difficulties were raised against Copernicus by any official of the Roman Catholic church. Neither Paul III, nor any of the nine popes who followed him, nor the Roman Congregations raised any alarm.

On the contrary, Copernicus was rewarded with honors by the Pope, and became an influential individual within the Roman Catholic church. In sum, the heliocentric solar system was warmly received by the established church of the day.