Statement (Affidavit) of Cardinal Bellarmine to Galileo

May 26, 1616

We, Roberto Cardinal Bellarmine, having heard that it is calumniously reported that Signor Gallileo Galilei has in our hand abjured and has also been punished with salutary penance, and being requested to state the truth as to this, declare that the said Galileo has not abjured, either in our hand, or the hand of any other person here in Rome, or anywhere else, so far as we know any opinion or doctrine held by him; neither has any statuary penance been imposed on him; but that only the declaration made by the Holy Father and published by the Sacred Congregation of the Index has been notified to him, wherein it is set forth that the doctrine attributed to Copernicus, that the Earth moves around the Sun, and that the Sun is stationary in the centre of the world and does not move from east to west, is contrary to the Holy Scriptures and therefore cannot be defended or held.  In witness whereof we have written and subscribed these presents with our hand this twenty-sixth day of May, 1616.

Source: Arthur Koestler, Sleepwalkers (1959).          

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