Letter: Why Galileo got off lightly

NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition] And Galileo didn't do so. For two weeks running (8 and 15 May) you have published letters saying that he was persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. If he had been, he would have been burnt alive. In fact his persecutors were the less ferocious Inquisition in Rome, who in 1616 ordered him to keep silent and in 1633 punished him for not keeping silent about the movements of the heavenly bodies. Three-and-a- half centuries later the Roman Catholic Church apologised and admitted that he was right.

Nicolas Walter

London N1