Are you sure you don't mean "material heresy" -- that saying the Bible could be read heliocentrically was material heresy?
For it to be formal heresy, it would have to be clear that the Church's geocentrism was first recognized, and then rejected.
That is, all they had to do was to not recognize geocentrism while they go on applying the principles of heliocentrism.
First of all Neil what I tried to do was to get a reaction from tornpage. I wanted to hear his reaction to the fact that churchmen have insisted since 1741 at least that Doctors like St Thomas, St Bellarmine and St Hildegard who wrote about a geocentric creation were WRONG in their beliefs. In truth, no Doctor ever contradicted a tenet of the Catholic faith.
In 1616 Pope Paul V decreed that heliocentrism was formal heresy. In 1633 Pope Urban VIII confirmed this decree and had Galileo tried for heresy. But then came the scam 'proofs' for heliocentrism and churchmen, including popes, believed them true and the 1616 false. It is this incident that infers Doctors and Fathers of the Church got it wrong.In 1822 the Holy Office -- while acknowledging the 1616 decree WAS IRREVERSIBLE - issued another decree, actually applying penalties for not allowing the publication of books presenting the motion of the Earth as a logical conclusion of science (and presumably therefore as the correct reading of Scripture):‘The most excellent [Holy Office] have decreed that there must be no denial, by the present or by future Masters of the Sacred Apostolic Palace, of permission to print and to publish works which treat of the mobility of the Earth and of the immobility of the sun, according to the common opinion of modern astronomers, as long as there are no other contrary indications, on the basis of the decrees of the Sacred Congregation of the Index of 1757 and of this Supreme [Holy Office] of 1820; and that those who would show themselves to be reluctant or would disobey, should be forced under punishments at the choice of [this] Sacred Congregation, with derogation of [their] claimed privileges, where necessary.’
So, any Catholic who defended the 1616 decree and condemned the heliocentric order as heresy WAS TO BE PUNISHED.
Now back to your question Neil, one of the most important questions never addressed in the last 300 years of catholic teaching.
What happened was a total loss of faith by the heliocentrists from the popes down. This, in spite of those trying to defend the irreversible 1616 decree like Fr Filippo Anfossi (1748-1825) Master of the Sacred Palace, Rome, 1820.
Now a 'material heretic' is someone who has no intention of contradicting a dogma in their opinion. Given popes of that time were totally convinced that heliocentrism was a scientific fact, they believed they had no option but to dismiss and ignore the 1616 decree. Yet there were those of the time insisting the Catholic Church, when a pope makes a definitive decree on a matter of faith, CANNOT BE WRONG. but in this case EVEN THE ELECT believed the lies in spite of this Church teaching. To get them out of this HERESY they cheated, twisted and insisted by way of PUNISHMENT on those who held to the truth of 1616, that what was decreed as formal heresy was TO BE BELIEVED in 1820 as we see above.
Today, when the dogs in the street KNOW that heliocentrism is not proven even popes still believe in the heretical heliocentrism.as we know heresy of any kind is of no concern of theirs.
No doubt when all go before their God they will all plea material heresy and probably get away with it. The fact that they had more faith in science than Pope Paul V's decree shows how weak Catholic faith has become in the last 300 years.
Then again anyone who knows for the last 100 years that the decree still stands and chooses to deny it, is he or she not guilty of deliberate formal heresy?