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Pope Urban VIII. Portrait of Maffeo Barberini, (1568-1644) who in 1623 became Pope Urban VIII. Before his papal ascendancy he was a great admirer of the astronomer Galileo. In 1616, Galileo was warned against publishing Copernican ideas of a Sun-centred universe. Galileo ignored the earlier warning, and in 1632 he published a work discussing the Copernican system, for which Pope Urban summoned him to Rome to be tried for heresy. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, although this was quickly commuted to permanent house arrest. The church pardoned Galileo in 1992.
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