"Do you think that St. Bede and St. Thomas Aquinas taught that the earth is a sphere because they were brainwashed? Their explanations make sense to me."
How did they come to this conclusion or explanation? How is it determined catholics reached this consensus?
In the earliest centuries of Christianity, there was disagreement on the role of pagan science. Some of the Fathers thought that Catholics should not use such science, while others thought that it was legitimate for Catholics to use parts of it that are consistent with our Faith. The latter of these views eventually came to be accepted.
St. Augustine and St. Basil of Caesarea both taught that Scripture is silent on the shape of the earth. By the end of the Patristic period, this was accepted by all. We know this because Catholics who did write about the subject did so in terms of science, not by making claims that it was taught in Scripture. They all accepted the science, going back to Aristotle and Ptolemy, which said that the earth is a sphere. There are no examples of Catholics arguing against it, while there are countless examples of Catholics who believed in spherical earth. St. Bede, for example, taught that the sphericity of the earth is shown by the fact that different constellations are visible from different locations and that there are variations in length of sundial shadows and in length of days according to latitude.
The papal encyclical Providentissimus Deus
quotes St Augustine's passage in which he taught that Scripture was silent on the shape of the earth, applying it even more broadly. This means that the idea originated with the Fathers, was accepted for many centuries and was eventually incorporated into magisterial teaching. It is fair to say that "Scripture is silent on the shape of the earth" is a Catholic teaching that we are obliged to accept.
This does not preclude Catholics from making a case from science for flat earth. Unfortunately, we have seen several posters here claim that Scripture teaches flat earth and therefore Catholics are obliged to accept it. There have even been posters who claimed that those of us who think the earth is a sphere were guilty of heresy.