The Globe and Mail had a little historical tidbit that caught my eye this week. The title boomed “GALILEO SENTENCED FOR HELIOCENTRIC VIEWS.” I guess it is the anniversary of that bleak moment in time. The article explained the well-known history of his arrest etc. and also the less well-known fact that in 1992 (350 years later!!!) Pope John Paul II officially declared that Galileo had been correct.
Now, 350 years is a long time, especially to recognize something so well-accepted for so long. I bet many of us want to judge those involved, like we have never gotten anything wrong, nor stuck to a bad answer longer than we should have.
What it reminded me of was not just the ways The Church has been wrong in the past, but more the utterly human element of faithful communities that leads them to stick their heels in and refuse to change or admit they were wrong, long after even they know themselves to be in the wrong. Churches that proclaim the Risen Christ ought to be able to say we are sorry, admit when we are wrong, and ask for forgiveness.
I suspect I recognize this because I know it can be true of me. It isn’t something I am proud of, it is something I need to work on, but I can admit that there have been times I realize I am wrong but dig in for no good reason.
Is there some conclusion in your life you know is wrong, maybe you knew it was wrong when you made it, or maybe you have figured it out over time, that you need to address?
This seems to me like a question worth reflecting on and asking God to enlighten us: what did I once believe, that I no longer believe, that nevertheless influences the way I live?
It’s ok to admit we have been wrong, better that we do it really since it is highly unlikely any of us will have someone step in for us 350 years from now:)