The Pope is a Dope, says Rome U

Pope Benedict XVI last night called off a visit to Rome’s main university in the face of hostility from some of its academics and students, who accused him of despising science and defending the Inquisition’s condemnation of Galileo.

The Pope is a Dope, says Rome U

The controversy was unparalleled in a country where criticism of the Roman Catholic church is normally muted. The Pope had been due to speak tomorrow during ceremonies marking the start of the academic year at Rome’s largest and oldest university, La Sapienza. But the Vatican said last night it had been “considered opportune to postpone” his visit.

The announcement followed a break-in and sit-in at the rector’s office yesterday by about 50 students and a furious row over a letter signed by more than 60 of La Sapienza’s teachers, asking that the invitation to the Pope be rescinded.

The signatories of the letter said Benedict’s presence would be “incongruous”. They cited a speech he made at La Sapienza in 1990, while he was still a cardinal, in which he quoted the judgment of an Austrian philosopher of science who wrote that the church’s trial of Galileo was “reasonable and fair”.

Read the rest here, at the Guardian.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave Briggs
    January 18, 2008

    The signatories of the letter said Benedict’s presence would be “incongruous”. They cited a speech he made at La Sapienza in 1990, while he was still a cardinal, in which he quoted the judgment of an Austrian philosopher of science who wrote that the church’s trial of Galileo was “reasonable and fair”.

    Incongruous seems like an appropriate word here. Maybe when the Pope talked about it being fair he meant it stuck to the protocol, not necessarily that it was the right thing to do?
    Dave Briggs :~)

  2. #2 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    January 18, 2008

    Uh, no. Check it out for yourself. What he meant is that
    1) Making a fallacious appeal to consequences is rational.
    2) He actually seems to think that the Theory of Relativity rescues geocentricity.

  3. #3 Tony P
    January 18, 2008

    This is good news! I love seeing academia give it to religious whack jobs and Benny the Rat is deserving of such derision and scorn.

    I tend to think of organized religion as being one of the greatest sources of evil on the planet. Right now it’s the Islamists that win the title of most evil, but the Christians are battling to reclaim the title. Curiously the Jews are relatively quiet on this.

    Best bumper sticker I’ve seen in a long time was “Religions are just cults with more members.”

  4. #4 Scott Belyea
    January 18, 2008

    This is good news!

    It most certainly is not. It’s just suppression of free speech.

  5. #5 Stephanie Z
    January 18, 2008

    Uh, Scott, I don’t think the pope needs to worry about not having a platform. “Bully pulpit” doesn’t get much more literal than this.

  6. #6 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    January 19, 2008

    I think the university should make amends by inviting Pope Indulgence back to speak at another time. They should invite other, equally scientifically prestigious scientific speakers as well, like Ken Ham and Sylvia Browne. And they should put them on a stage with a big banner in the background that reads, E pur si Muove!

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