Nicolaus Copernicus , the 16th-century astronomer whose findings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical, was reburied by Polish priests as a hero on Saturday, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
His burial in a tomb in the cathedral where he once served as a church canon and doctor indicates how far the church has come in making peace with the scientist whose revolutionary theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun helped usher in the modern scientific age, The Associated Press reports.
Copernicus had been buried in an unmarked grave in 1543, and his remains were not conclusively identified until 2005, through DNA testing.
Although he was not the first to ever have the idea, Copernicus proposed that the earth revolved around the sun — contrary to the medieval belief that the earth was the center of the universe, Universe Today informs.
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