(February 26, 1616)

The original admonition document is missing. A transcribed report exists in the Inquisition file. It is a key matter of dispute whether Galileo was actually enjoined from discussing Copernican theory, as the transcribed report--discovered in 1633--indicates. Scholars have questioned the authenticity of the report, arguing that the procedures described did not comport with established forms and that the substance was not consistent with what we know of events of 1616. (Translated from Latin.)

[The file report begins with a reference to the Pope's decree of February 25, 1616:]

Thursday, 25 February 1616. The Lord Cardinal Mellini notified the Reverend Fathers, the Assessor, and the Commissary of the Holy Office that the censure passed by the theologians upon the propositions of Galileo—to the effect that the Sun is the centre of the world and immovable from its place, and that the Earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion—had been reported; and His Holiness has directed the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine to summon before him the said Galileo and admonish him to abandon the said opinion; and, in case of his refusal to obey, that the Commissary is to enjoin on him, before a notary and witnesses, a command to abstain altogether from teaching or defending this opinion and doctrine and even from discussing it, and, if he do not acquiesce therein, that he is to be imprisoned.

Friday, the twenty-sixth. At the palace, the usual residence of Lord Cardinal Bellarmine, the said Galileo, having been summoned and being present before the said Lord Cardinal, was, in the presence of the Most Reverend Michelangelo Segizi of Lodi, of the order of Preachers, Commissary-General of the Holy Office, by the said Cardinal, warned of the error of the aforesaid opinion and admonished to abandon it; and immediately thereafter, before me and before witnesses, the Lord Cardinal being present, the said Galileo was by the said Commissary commanded and enjoined, in the name of His Holiness the Pope and the whole Congregation of the Holy Office, to relinquish altogether the said opinion that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable and that the Earth moves; nor further to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing; otherwise proceedings would be taken against him by the Holy Office; which injunction the said Galileo acquiesced in and promised to obey. Done at Rome, in the place aforesaid, in the presence of R. Badino Nores, of Nicosia in the kingdom of Cyprus, and Agostino Mongardo, from a place in the Abbey of Rose in the diocese of Montepulciano, members of the household of said Cardinal, witnesses.

Less than two weeks after Galileo received his admonition, the Church took the formal step of suspending or prohibiting publication and distribution of books suggesting that the Earth revolved around the Sun:

Decree of General Congregation of the Index

March 5, 1616

...And whereas it has also come to the knowledge of the said Congregation that the Pythagorean doctrine—which is false and altogether opposed to the Holy Scripture—of the motion of the Earth, and the immobility of the Sun, which is also taught by Nicolaus Copernicus in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, and by Diego de Zuniga [in his book] on Job, is not being spread abroad and accepted by many—as may be seen from a certain letter of a Carmelite Father, entitled Letter of the Rev. Father Paolo Antonio Foscarini, Carmelite, on the Opinion of the Pythagoreans and of Copernicus concerning the Motion of the Earth, and the Stability of the Sun, and the New Pythagorean System of the World, at Naples, Printed by Lazzaro Scoriggio, 1615: wherein the said Father attempts to show that the aforesaid doctrine of the immobility of the sun in the centre of the world, and of the Earth’s motion, is consonant with truth and is not opposed to Holy Scripture. Therefore, in order that this opinion may not insinuate itself any further to the prejudice of Catholic truth, the Holy Congregation has decreed that the said Nicolaus Copernicus, De revolutionibus orbium, and Diego de Zuniga, On Job, be suspended until they be corrected; but that the book of the Carmelite Father, Paolo Antonio Foscarini, be altogether prohibited and condemned, and that all other works likewise, in which the same is taught, be prohibited, as by this present decree it prohibits, condemns, and suspends them all respectively. In witness whereof the present decree has been signed and sealed with the hands and with the seal of the most eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinal of St. Cecilia, Bishop of Albano, on the fifth day of March, 1616.