Il Papa profesori, the kinder, gentler Inquisitor Ratzinger has decided to make a clean breast of it before the new year. The target of his mea culpa is astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei.
This is the 500 year anniversary of his telescopic invention that called into question the ancient Biblical assumption that the earth was the center of our planetary system. The geo-egocentric system was shaken to the core by the scientific proof that the planets revolve around the sun.
One of the former Cardinal Ratzinger's predecessors was about to execute Galileo when the pragmatic and hedinist Italian told the Pope that he was wrong and that couldn't he just have house imprisonment with vino, pasta and espresso.
Pope Benedict told Galileo's tomb that he and 500 years of Roman Catholic infallibilty were sorry about his hardships but that since they could not be wrong they couldn't really take responsibility for the problems that befall avant garde scientists. Benedict announced the Charles Darwin has been placed on the agenda for the 2508 apology conference.