March 5, 1616 (a Saturday)

Cardinal Robert Bellarmine

On this date, the Copernican theory was declared “false and erroneous” by the Decree of the Holy Congregation of the Most Illustrious Lord Cardinals in charge of the Index (more commonly known as the Decree of the Index) written by Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, and issued by the Catholic Church in Rome. Further, no person was to be permitted to hold or teach the theory that the Earth revolves around the sun. When Galileo subsequently violated the decree, he was put on trial and held under house arrest for the final eight years of his life.

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