The UTM Catholic Students’ Club hosted a talk titled “Galileo: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius”, with guest speaker Anthony Schratz, last Thursday.

Schartz obtained a bachelor’s degree in literature and history at McGill University and a law degree at the University of Montreal.

“I found that some of the books I was reading weren’t being fair to the [Catholic] Church, so I wanted to investigate further, because I knew some of the things couldn’t be true,” said Schratz at the event. “I’ve been trying to research Church history and find the truth about all the controversial issues.”

Schratz talked about the Church’s view on faith and reason in the context of the Scientific Revolution, which began with the widespread acceptance of the theory that the Earth revolves around the sun. The theory was strongly supported by Galileo’s discoveries, but ran contrary to the geocentric model considered in some ages to be supported by the Bible.

Schratz also argued that Galileo wasn’t tortured or executed by the Inquisition, as is commonly taught.

“The event was great,” said Gustavo Gutierrez, a fourth-year biology and environmental science student. “Most of the time we only hear one side of the story in terms of the Galileo position, and very scantly do we hear about the other position; the position that criticizes the Church seems to be more popular rather than well-informed.”

“I’ve never really heard that side of the story before,” commented Diane Zettel, a second-year CTEP student. “I felt like it was a really good, knowledgeable talk.”

After the event, CSC president and event organizer Lisa D’souza said, “We would love to have more academic events that will involve religion and science, because there’s a stereotypical belief that religion is usually backward, when it actually is not. Our aim is to educate and to bring awareness.”