There are a few things anyone can learn from the case of Galileo, the main one (in my humble opinion) is that even with enormous contribution to the human race the church can still hunt you, despise you, place you under house arrest and prevent your family from burying you at their preferred location. The good news is that you might be cleared of all charged and praised for your contribution a couple hundred years after you passed away, which is the best the church can do.
So how long did it take the church to go from “the earth is the center of the universe, the universe is a dozen stars we can actually see with the naked eye, and the sun orbits the earth” to “Galileo was right, the earth is round and not the center of the universe, and the universe is much bigger, because the all powerful creator is great”. As long as it took it makes little difference to the man, and even worst to his work and lifetime achievements.
Consider this for a moment, lets say that a man is truly gifted in disease research, he is with no doubt the best at his work at his time, and he is studying cancer. There is no doubt that eliminating cancer disease will have a tremendous effect on the quality of life everywhere on earth, and will not only change the lives of human beings but probably animals as well. Lets say that you are the supreme leader of the country of which this person is a citizen of, and that you can control every aspect of this person life, will you limit his access to resources and try to make his life as difficult as possible, or will you allow this person ultimate freedom in perusing his goal?, it seems to me that the answer is so simple that a 5 year old can answer it without hesitation.
It is obvious that the church did not choose the second option for Galileo, it preferred the first option, and by doing that it deliberately limited and crippled this mans work and prevented science from leaping forward a little sooner.
Almost every case I know of, in which the church was challenged with a new idea it rejected the idea and persecuted the thinkers of these ideas. New ideas are not welcome, in fact the church likes to wait until those ideas become stale and obviously clear to everyone around to accept it, usually anything between 100-300 years would do it, who knows, maybe in the year 2250 the catholic church will say that gay marriage is a good idea after all, or that using condoms in Africa is a good idea – it just might happen. The only question is what good is it for those who lives are a liviing nightmare right now.