To the editor:
The Rev. Earl Meyer’s letter (Feb. 18) castigating the Journal-World for publishing Leonard Krishtalka’s article, “laden with prejudice, bias and vituperation” skews Krishtalka’s thesis by arguing against the man (argumentum ad hominem) rather than against his central point. Krishtalka stated that the Vatican should honor “Galileo’s freedom to think uncomfortable ideas that challenged contemporary faith.” Krishtalka’s rhetorical flourishes are not the issue as Rev. Meyer would have us believe.
Rev. Meyer knows only too well that Galileo was violently attacked from the pulpit in 1615 for his scientific views. In June 1633, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with his books banned by the Inquisition. Galileo was forbidden to advocate his own “Dialogue” of 1632. That, Rev. Meyer, still stands as you say, “offensive not only to people of faith but people of good will.”
Had our Church responded to many theologians’ requests for an unequivocal statement of human freedom (the roots of this dialogue go back to Nicolaus of Cusa’s De docta ignorantia and Johannes Reuchlin’s De arte cabalistica), the later centuries of acrimonious religious actions might have been avoided and Luther might never have split the faithful.