William of Ockham, one of the Doctors of the Church, lived in England as a Franciscan theologian and writer. He developed a unique and controversial philosophy which trimmed much from Aristotle's system of the world. These radical beliefs made an enemy of John Lutterell, the chancellor of Oxford at the time. Lutterell sent a document to Pope John XII criticizing Ockham's work. Ockham was not officially condemned by the papal office at this juncture.

Ockham later attacked John XII for errors in some of his papal bulls, going so far as to call him a heretic. He and two other friars fled to Italy (at this time the papacy was in Avaigion, France) and were excommunicated from the church.

What is particularly interesting in the Galilean context is that while Ockham was persecuted, imprisioned, and finally excommunicated during his lifetime; he has since risen to such high regard in the church to be deemed a Doctor. Change within the church is slow, and often the ideas initially rejected by the Church may be gradually incorporated into its theological tradition, and enemies of the Church may become its new heroes.

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