Le procès de Giordano Bruno par l’Inquisition

Saverio Ricci


This article focuses on Giordano Bruno’s trial, pointing out the main legal and theological foundations of the Holy Office’s procedures, and the Pope’s role in Counterreformation’s Church and in the Inquisition as well. New light is thrown on the fact that the Pope, as he was the Praefectus (Chairman) of the tribunal, created during the trial a doctrinal assessment about some Bruno’s cosmological views. That assessment was unprecedented, because the Church had never considered before the infinity of worlds and the heliocentric theory as heretical. Reflecting opinions not yet shared by the theological schools, censors and inquisitors unanimously, the Pope created a new juridical truth. Nevertheless, this side of Bruno’s trial, a secondary one as it was, compared to the prevailing theological and metaphysical matters of the case (for instance, the concept of Holy Trinity, and the nature of human soul), was not evoked during Galileo’s trial, and seems that it did not constitute a precedent in the tribunal’s memory. New cosmological subjects will be perceived as embarrassing challenges by the Holy Office and the Roman Church even when they were later dropped by Galileo, in a very different way and context.

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ISSN 2283-7833

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Periodico iscritto al n. 216/2013 del Registro della Stampa del Tribunale Civile di Roma. Direttore responsabile: Antonio Lamarra - Condirettore: Enrico Pasini