Souls on Fire
Campo dei Fiori is a small piazza in Rome that serves no other purpose but to say, "here is where the line has been drawn between science and religion." Today one can look at the monument dedicated to the Dominican priest, Giordano Bruno and read the inscription of his death on February 17th, 1600 and just possibly someone may ask the simple question, "Why?"
Science and religion have rarely made the best of bedmates, but when the two worlds are merged into a single entity you find yourself in the presence of greatness. Giordano Bruno, the subject of the statue in the centre of the piazza was one such man. The mixture of religious doctrine and scientific genius created one of the brightest sparks of mankind. So advanced was his thinking that the Church feared he would bring about their Armegeddon. While others wearing the clerical robes contemplated God's centripetal role in the universe, Giordano was more intriqued by what other life forms might exist within the universe.
But as much as those in the Holy See feared him, they made no immediate attempts to contain his brilliance. That being the case, then one must ask the question why they didn't put an end to the torment he brought them much earlier. After so many years of Giordano Bruno's scientific heresies, philosophizing, womanizing, and contempt for the robes he wore as a Dominican priest, why did Pope Clement finally have him burned at the stake after the Church endured twenty years of his extravagance? What was it that prevented Clement's predecessor, Sixtus V, a pope notorious for his murdering of close to thirty thousand opponents that he had labelled as brigands from doing so much earlier. And why was it only after Bruno spent two years in Prague, as friend and sometimes confidant of the Emperor Rudolf II, (a man also despised by the Church until they removed him several years after burning Bruno by forcing him to abdicate and naming his brother as Holy Roman Emperor) that the Church finally felt it had to act? A ruler by the way that signed the most famous religious doctrine of freedom in the Hapsburg Empire in which he granted the Protestants equal rights to the Catholics. This document amongst other things led to his forced abdication.
Even then, they could only find the courage to sentence Bruno to death only after eight years of imprisonment. And then the charges by which they convicted him had nothing to do with science but was the result of a new charge, that of denying the Trinity. Current commentators errantly state that it was Giordano Bruno's heliocentric teachings that led to his execution but this was not the case. Already there were numerous other astronomers making the same claim that the planets revolved around the sun and the Church was already beginning to think they had to rethink their teachings. That being the case, then what exactly did Giordano Bruno confess to that they felt it necessary to extinguish his exceptional brilliance? History is not without its sources that escape the book burnings and bannings in spite of the Church being very thorough in its eradication programs. Many of the clues as to what Giordano Bruno did during those two years in Prague that finally sealed his fate can be read in the book Shadows of Trinity (http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ShadowsOfTrinity.html).
How strange that currently the Holy See operates its own Ministry of Science when clearly science was to be considered the antithesis of God. How unfortunate that they could not appreciate the melding of both science and religion within the soul of Giordano Bruno proving that both could coexist in a single entity without conflict. With the burning of Bruno they were in fact destroying their future.
Bruno was a complex and complicated man, who took a path which led him to his own personal salvation. What he learned about the Trinity in Prague sealed his fate. The two men he befriended while there were feared by the Church as much as he was because they had the capacity to teach Giordano something not even science could provide; the Truth. One was a Karaite Prince, the other the son of the famous seer Nostradamus. United, they were the Armageddon that the Church feared was upon them. The book which is also available from Amazon Books and Barnes and Noble explains the two years in Prague that ultimately changed the world and only afterwards can you appreciate and understand the man, the genius, and the reason the Church feared Giordano Bruno most of all. Once you've read Shadows of Trinity, then the secret that led to his final comment to his inquistors as the flames ringed his body when he stated, “I believe you fear me more than I could ever fear this sentence?” will no longer be a mystery.