Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pope Cancels University Visit

As I reported yesterday, the Pope was planning on speaking at an Italian university amid much protesting from some faculty and students on campus, saying the Pope was anti-science, among other things. The Pope has announced today that he will not be going to the university amid the protests.

Does this mean that they won? I hope not. I think it may better reflect the Pope's prudence in not getting involved with such an unreasonable crowd. "If they don't want me, I'll go somewhere else..." The pope will be publishing the text of the address he was to give.

UPDATE: (01/17/08, 1:47 PM)

Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State published a letter he sent to the Dean of the University.

Pope Benedict was scheduled to open the academic year by giving the keynote address at La Sapienza, but according to Cardinal Bertone a “decidedly minority group of professors and students” threatened to protest his visit.

Due to this planned disturbance, the Secretary of State wrote to the rector that “the prerequisites for a dignified and tranquil welcome were not present” and that “it was judged opportune to postpone the scheduled visit in order to remove any pretext for demonstrations which would have been unfortunate for everyone concerned".

Cardinal Bertone also explained why the Pope decided to send his address to the university’s rector. In the letter, the cardinal relates that since the majority of professors and students wished to hear "a culturally meaningful word, whence to draw stimuli for their own journey in search of truth, the Holy Father has instructed that the text he prepared for the occasion be sent to you".
"I don't want any trouble"

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