Here is an idea.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, radical Communist Fausto Bertinotti must invite the Pope to address the Italian Parliment. The Center Right is infuriated. Catholics are infuriated. The center left is even angry. The center left government of Romano Prodi hangs by a thread of left-wing coalitions. If Bertinotti invites the Pope, the loony left would go bananas, but who cares? It would steal a march on the center right.
Even if Card. Bertone and the Pope decline, the solution was offered and everybody wins.
How will Italy look in April when the ultra-left UN, full of representatives of dictatorial governments, receives the Pope around the time of his having issued his social encyclical?
So, invite the Pope to Parliment and the whole thing starts to resolve.
You can bet Bertinotti has thought of this.
In the meantime, consider the reaction of the folks with their heads screwed on correctly at La Sapienza at the absence of the Pope from their gathering. They read his speech aloud. SKYTG24 had coverage: