Who pardoned Galileo Galilei?
In 1992, the Pontifical Council for Culture conducted a review of the proceedings of the famous Church trial of Galileo. In a speech given on October 31, 1992, Pope John Paul II formally acknowledged that errors had been committed in the trial, and formally expressed regret over those errors, and Galileo's treatment. There was a plan to erect a statue of Galileo outside the Vatican, but this plan has not come to fruition. The statement by John Paul II was the most explicit declaration in Galileo's favor by Church leadership, but Pope Pius XII had also praised his efforts and contributions as far back as 1939. Interestingly, shortly before the Pope's statement in 1992, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the current Benedict XVI, gave a speech that seemed to support (or at least quoted opinions that did support) the Church tribunal that condemned Galileo.