This amazingly repetitive item is just in from ANSA:


ROMA – The Vatican has "considered it opportune to postpone" the Pope’s visit to "La Sapienza" University "following the well known misadventures (vicende) in the last days".  The Holy See Press Office made the announcement. The Pope will not participate at the event and will limit himself to sending the text of the speech he would have given in Rome’s oldest atheneum.  "After the well-known misadventures of the last days regarding the visit of the Holy Father to "La Sapienza" University, which at the invitation of the Rettore Magnifico would have taken place Thursday 17 January", the note of the Vatican Press Office reads, "it is considered opportune to postpone the event.  The Holy Father will send, nevertheless, the foreseen speech."

Zadok has been follow this for us.  You can also check out Il Giornale.

These narrow-minded little brats are probably being pushed by aging hippies, communists, and sexual deviants.  Much of the protest seems focused on how "homophobic" Pope Benedict  is.    Also, apparently the Pope and the Church are against science and truth, etc.

Basically, this whole thing is driven by two things: stupidity and lust. 

The Church in Italy has been very involved in some matters in the public square.  After decades of having no real opposition, the Left is freaking out now because the Church and the Italian bishops are no longer being filtered through the monumentally mediocre and now defunct Christian Democrat party.  The Church is weighing in on matters like assisted fertilization, civil unions for homosexuals, euthanasia, abortion, etc. The Left and the deviants don’t like this new development at all.  Their reactions?  Level death threats against the new president of the Bishops Conference and then behave like snotnosed delinquents when faced with opposing views.

The authorities were worried about what image would be created by televising students involved in civil disobedience confronting the Pope. 

The entire University is shutting down because of the actions of the students.

I would probably send in the Carabinieri and then drag the students gagged and in chains to the next Angelus.


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  1. TNCath says:

    How ironic this “educational institution” is called “La Sapienza!” Regardless, they don’t deserve a visit from the Pope. Postpone it to the 12th of Never, “and that’s a long, long time.”

  2. Guy Power says:

    Here is a photo of His Holiness really “turning his back” to the “congregation”.


  3. I see the blog of the Italian journalist, Luigi Accatoli, compares today’s cancellation of the papal visit with the situation in 1994, when John Paul II was forced to cancel visits to war torn Beirut and Sarjevo.

    Which puts the Sapienza University, Rome, on the list of Places Not To Visit along with Beirut and Sarajevo.

  4. Guy Power says:

    Me: Here is a photo of His Holiness really “turning his back” to the “congregation”.

    Since Fr. Z changed the bottom photo, my comment is no longer witty or valid!


  5. Fr Ray Blake says:

    I think this is a great example of illiberality of the “left” and intellectuals of the university faculty. Just the same as the action on Sunday said so much, so the action of the Pope being forced to cancel a speech because of leftist threats and bullying says so much about the struggle between reason and fundamentalist bigotry.

  6. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    The trouble is, other homosexual activists may get an idea from this, “The Victory of la Sapienza”, meaning that the Holy Father may once again begin to turn into a prisoner of the Vatican. What a comment on the times in which we live. Sodom and Gomorrah everywhere. Immorality and violence.

  7. Fr Francis Coveney says:

    Readers who have not lived in Italy may not realise that the protestor shown wearing a mask and false mitre is making an obscene gesture. So much for the level of intellectual debate of the protestors.

  8. Paul says:

    That BBC article is shockingly ignorant of history. The way the church is reported on makes me wonder if I can trust anything I read in the media…

  9. MD says:

    The faithful in the cradle of Christian civilization certainly needs some prayers. I could only imagine their disgust.

  10. RBrown says:

    This confirms the notion that post VatII detente with the world has not worked (cf JRatzinger).

  11. Papaefidelis says:

    I’ve always loved that term “homophobic.” As anyone who knows even a smattering of ancient Greek can tell you, it means “fear of the same person/thing.” What in Heaven’s name is THAT supposed to mean?! I’m always annoyed with those whom I presume are idiots actually open their mouths and prove it!

  12. Masone says:

    What a shame! How stupid!

    Please pray for Italy, our beloved country.

    Nearly everybody today, both from the centre-left and from the centre-right, utterly condemns the intolerance of those fascist analphabets. Our premier, Mr Prodi, is particularly clear in his solidarity with the Holy Father. See

    Please, of your charity pray for our beloved country, Italy, the see of the vicar of Christ, the bishop of Rome: God bless her, God save her from the corruption of these times.

    And the Lord bless our Holy Father. Long live Benedict XVI!

  13. techno_aesthete says:

    “Readers who have not lived in Italy may not realise that the protestor shown wearing a mask and false mitre is making an obscene gesture. So much for the level of intellectual debate of the protestors.”

    Fr. Coveney, that sort of behavior is not unique to Italy, although that particular hand gesture may be. Leftists around the world function at a similar level of “intellectual” debate. Some of my more politically active friends used to protest in front of the White House during the Clintons’ reign. When attempting to engage in a serious discussion with passers by, we often encountered their fellow travelers making “statements” by being in various states of undress such as mooning or flashing their breasts. The one finger salute as well as expletives were standard fare for their “debating.” Their level of arrogance and condescension seems to be limitless. Too bad it isn’t grounded in reality.

  14. jack burton says:

    The guy in the Pope mask is throwing up the sign of Satan. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  15. techno_aesthete says:

    Something to consider: Fr. Ratzinger was very shaken by the student protests at the university he was teaching at in the 1960’s. I wonder if that played a part in his decision.

  16. Melody says:

    That particular hand gesture is quite common here in California.

    I find the whole display sickening, not to mention creepy. And to think they jail people for saying the rosary outside Planned Parenthood clinics…

  17. RichR says:

    I’m always reminded of something Ratzinger said in an interview. A reporter asked him about all the criticism he was incurring as a hardliner in the CDF, and he said, “If I don’t find at least one criticism of me in the newspapers per week, I have to examine my conscience.”

  18. RichR: I believe that was me.

  19. mcs says:

    To protest so vehemently against the Holy Father speaking at their university they must really be afraid of him!

  20. Melody says:

    There is definitely such a thing as offending the right people.

  21. Serafino says:

    As a citizen of the Republic of Italy living in the USA, I am ashamed of my fellow countrymen in their disrespect of Papa Benedetto XVI. Yet, as our history shows, there has always been an undercurrent of anti-clericalism in our beloved nation. We are in big trouble in Italia!

    Let us pray for our Holy Father and our country. Viva il Papa! Viva l’Italia! Serafino

  22. Janice says:

    Another victory for the barbarians.

  23. Steve Kostoff says:

    How long, o Lord?

  24. Hung Doan says:

    So would the left want us to be homophiliacs? Sounds like a disease…

    Anyhow, it’s interesting how intolerant the “tolerant” left seems to be and how they make the right out to be intolerant. It’s a shame, over here in the US, we are scrambling for Pope-Tix and only the (North)Eastern coast gets to have him! Here in Texas we love the pope (and he gave us a Cardinal!), and while there may be some disagreement among some circles on the Church’s stance on issues, I am sure if a University had the opportunity to have His Holiness speak, we would NOT have such hippie, snot-nosed, leftist extravaganzas. Besides, what would that accomplish? A sudden boycott, and the Church is going to change its teachings? Pshhh…

  25. Londiniensis says:

    And how many of the rioting students will be sent down (UK-speak for thrown out) from La Sapienza by the Rettore Magnifico? And where are the counter-protests from the pro-Pope students?

  26. Patrick says:

    “These narrow-minded little brats are probably being pushed by aging hippies, communists, and sexual deviants.”

    There is a great deal of this sort of thing going on. As the aging “progressives” see their influence declining, they need willing surrogates to push their agenda. The world loves Youth, the media will pay more attention to a cute young thing, or young stud with piercings and an abominable attitude than to an aging, balding hippy with a greasy pony tail.

    Are we sure that these guys at these characters at La Sapienza are’nt getting their marching orders from recalcitrant Directors of Religious Education here in the States?

  27. Patrick says:

    \”These narrow-minded little brats are probably being pushed by aging hippies, communists, and sexual deviants.\”

    There is a great deal of this sort of thing going on. As the aging \”progressives\” see their influence declining, they need willing surrogates to push their agenda. The world loves Youth, the media will pay more attention to a cute young thing, or young stud with piercings and an abominable attitude than to an aging, balding hippy with a greasy pony tail.

    Are we sure that these guys puppeteering these characters at La Sapienza are\’nt getting their marching orders from recalcitrant Directors of Religious Education here in the States?

  28. Patrick says:

    \\\”These narrow-minded little brats are probably being pushed by aging hippies, communists, and sexual deviants.\\\”

    There is a great deal of this sort of thing going on. As the aging \\\”progressives\\\” see their influence declining, they need willing surrogates to push their agenda. The world loves Youth, the media will pay more attention to a cute young thing, or young stud with piercings and an abominable attitude than to an aging, balding hippy with a greasy pony tail.

    Are we sure that these guys puppeteering these characters at La Sapienza are\\\’nt getting their marching orders from recalcitrant Directors of Religious Education here in the States?

  29. Londiniensis says:

    On reflection, I now think that the Holy Father should have gone ahead as planned (unless there was a credible threat of actual bodily harm) and risked, nay embraced, the indignity and the jeers and the jostling.

    I am reminded of Christ appearing (in pious legend) to St Peter as the latter was fleeing Rome during the persecutions and to the question “Quo Vadis, Domine?” replying “I am going to Rome to be crucified a second time”.

  30. Syriacus says:

    I feel ashamed both as Italian scientist and citizen.

  31. Syriacus says:

    Ah, and look at this:

    “Pope Benedict XVI has cancelled a visit to a prestigious university in Rome where lecturers and students have protested against his views on Galileo.”

    (Knowing the ‘real story’ behind this ‘misunderstanding’, I find it even more disgusting…)

  32. Fr. WTC says:

    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    My fellow Catholics, we have been greatly blessed in the person of our Holy Father.

  33. Aelric says:

    “But whatever town you enter, and they do not receive you – go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust from your town that cleaves to us we shake off against you; yet know this, that the kingdom of God is at hand.'”

    Lk 10:10-11

    Our Holy Father shows us the way of the Lord.

    As for the wrath of aging liberals, Apoc 12:12 comes to mind:

    … “Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you in great wrath, for he knows he has but a short time.”

  34. John / Australia says:

    Whatever happened to academic freedom? Disgraceful conduct at its worst. Hardly a plus for La Sapienza University.

  35. Masone says:

    Yes, the BBC article is outrageously ignorant.

    Just an example: “Fifteen years ago Pope John Paul II officially conceded that in fact the Earth was not stationary”!

    Is this serious? Isn’t it ridiculous? What about the reputation of seriousness of the BBC?

    Our Holy Father is a staunch defender of reason.
    Those who accuse him for quoting a passage by Feyerabend obviously haven’t read him (Ratzinger): the pope quoted Feyerabend (who is notoriously a sort of sceptic nihilist), but didn’t approve of his words.
    The quotation, along with the one of Ernest Bloch (a “romantic Marxist”, according to Ratzinger), was just meant to give an example of the fact that many philosophers of science nowadays contest the classical-modern, optimistic, somehow uncritical, conception of science.
    He only wanted to point to a fact.
    But he is very clear:
    “Sarebbe assurdo costruire sulla base di queste affermazioni una frettolosa apologetica. La fede non cresce a partire dal risentimento e dal rifiuto della razionalità, ma dalla sua fondamentale affermazione e dalla sua inscrizione in una ragionevolezza più grande. […] Qui ho voluto ricordare un caso sintomatico, che evidenzia fino a che punto il dubbio della modernità su sé stessa abbia attinto oggi la scienza e la tecnica”.
    (Sorry for not translating into English, but it’s late in the night and I must go to bed. – For the Italian text of the 1990 Parma lecture, see

  36. Masone says:

    I’ve found an English translation (at this address:

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
    “The crisis of faith in science”
    March 15, 1990, Parma
    Extracts taken from “A turning point for Europe? The Church and modernity in the Europe of upheavals”, Paoline Editions, 1992, p. 76-79. English translation by NCR.

    * * *
    In the last decade, creation’s resistance to allowing itself to be manipulated by humanity has emerged as a new element in the overall cultural situation. The question of the limits of science, and the criteria which it must observe, has become unavoidable.

    Particularly emblematic of this change of intellectual climate, it seems to me, is the different way in which the Galileo case is seen.

    This episode, which was little considered in the 18th century, was elevated to a myth of the Enlightenment in the century that followed. Galileo appeared as a victim of that medieval obscurantism that endures in the Church. Good and evil were sharply distinguished. On the one hand, we find the Inquisition: a power that incarnates superstition, the adversary of freedom and conscience. On the other, there’s natural science represented by Galileo: the force of progress and liberation of humanity from the chains of ignorance that kept it impotent in the face of nature. The star of modernity shines in the dark night of medieval obscurity.

    Today, things have changed.

    According to [Ernst] Bloch, the heliocentric system – just like the geocentric – is based upon presuppositions that can’t be empirically demonstrated. Among these, an important role is played by the affirmation of the existence of an absolute space; that’s an opinion that, in any event, has been cancelled by the theory of relativity. Bloch writes, in his own words: “From the moment that, with the abolition of the presupposition of an empty and immobile space, movement is no longer produced towards something, but there’s only a relative movement of bodies among themselves, and therefore the measurement of that [movement] depends to a great extent on the choice of a body to serve as a point of reference, in this case is it not merely the complexity of calculations that renders the [geocentric] hypothesis impractical? Then as now, one can suppose the earth to be fixed and the sun as mobile”.

    Curiously, it was precisely Bloch, with his romantic Marxism, who was among the first to openly oppose the [Galileo] myth, offering a new interpretation of what happened: the advantage of the heliocentric system over the geocentric, he suggested, does not consist in a greater correspondence to objective truth, but solely in the fact that it offers us greater ease of calculation. To this point, Bloch follows solely a modern conception of natural science. What is surprising, however, is the conclusion he draws: “Once the relativity of movement is taken for granted, an ancient human and Christian system of reference has no right to interference in astronomic calculations and their heliocentric simplification; however, it has the right to remain faithful to its method of preserving the earth in relation to human dignity, and to order the world with regard to what will happen and what has happened in the world”.

    If both the spheres of conscience are once again clearly distinguished among themselves under their respective methodological profiles, recognizing both their limits and their respective rights, then the synthetic judgment of the agnostic-skeptic philosopher P. Feyerabend appears much more drastic. He writes: “The Church at the time of Galileo was much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself, and also took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo’s doctrine. Its verdict against Galileo was rational and just, and revisionism can be legitimized solely for motives of political opportunism”.

    From the point of view of the concrete consequences of the turning point Galileo represents, however, C. F. von Weizsacker takes another step forward, when he identifies a “very direct path” that leads from Galileo to the atomic bomb.

    To my great surprise, in a recent interview on the Galileo case, I was not asked a question like, “Why did the Church try to get in the way of the development of modern science?”, but rather exactly the opposite, that is: “Why didn’t the Church take a more clear position against the disasters that would inevitably follow, once Galileo had opened Pandora’s box?”

    It would be absurd, on the basis of these affirmations, to construct a hurried apologetics. The faith does not grow from resentment and the rejection of rationality, but from its fundamental affirmation and from being inscribed in a still greater form of reason. […]

    Here, I wished to recall a symptomatic case that illustrates the extent to which modernity’s doubts about itself have grown today in science and technology.

  37. LCB says:

    Perhaps we are missing one of history’s great ironies, right before our eyes:

    Boniface VIII (if memory serves, the founder of La Sapienza) also wrote ‘Unum Sanctum.’

    How times have changed.

  38. Little Gal says:

    I heard this story on Relevant Radio today. If one puts on the ‘hat of a diplomat'(in order to understand both sides) the question that comes to mind is why did the Holy Father choose this particular Italian university vs another one? What was the topic of his talk?

  39. Vincentius says:

    As an alumnus of La Sapienza, I must say that I am a little ashamed of this situation. However, the University is a large amorphous institution. This group is no doubt more vociferous than representative of the student body. Let us remember that this institution is, as are most in Europe, of Catholic origin, and the architecture of the campus is decidedly Fascist. So why not have some Communist idiots be the face of the institution (they’re probably students who are ” fuori corso”and haven’t sat for an exam in 5 years). BTW, as far as I know the gesture is “i cornuti” – the horns that ward off the evil eye. These people would certainly have not squealed the way they have if they did not fear B XVI’s intellectual prowess, and therefore consider it a victory.

  40. Beth V. says:

    Re: The Holy Father being rather shaken in the 60’s by thse kinds of demonstrations.
    He very likely was appaled by the illiberalism of them as he describes in Salt of the Earth. However, he has had his share of speaking with this type of minority mob behavior present, particularly in New York when he was invited by Fr. Neuhaus to give a famous lecture, I believe in the late seventies. He was shouted down by homosexual activists several times. According to Fr. Neuhaus and Alice von Hildebrand he conducted himself with grest composure.
    I also read that these reactionary students and professors at La Sapienza were recruiting outside help to demonstrate such as the anti-globalization nihilists who often are quite violent.So I think it was a prudent decision to cancel this lecture though I was disgusted with the whole scene.
    P.S. Also a lot of Jesuit leaders are presently in Rome! (just kidding here)

  41. RBrown says:

    I heard this story on Relevant Radio today. If one puts on the ‘hat of a diplomat’(in order to understand both sides) the question that comes to mind is why did the Holy Father choose this particular Italian university vs another one? What was the topic of his talk?
    Comment by Little Gal

    It is the largest and by far the oldest of the Roman universities and, as someone noted above, was founded by Boniface VIII

  42. Neal says:

    Can someone recommend a solid, authoritative work on the whole Galileo episode?

    Thanks in advance,

  43. Ben says:

    Fr. Z, before having the carabinieri drag them to the Angelus, they should be made to look at the inscription above the entrance to La Sapienza: “INITIUM SAPIENTIAE TIMOR DOMINI”

  44. Fr Arsenius says:

    Father, forgive me for I have sinned: I was distracted today while offering the Most August Sacrifice.

    Here I was, piously and attentively (so I thought) chanting the Holy Gospel (Mt 11:25-30) for the feast of St. Paul of Thebes, the First Hermit (MR1962), when these words of Our Lord pass my lips: “…quia ascondisti haec a sapientibus et prudentibus, et revelasti en parvulis.” (…what you have hidden from the wise and prudent, you have revealed to children.) My mind flitted instantly from sapientibus to the ruckus at La Sapienza. Shame on me: I nearly fell on the floor, doubled over in laughter at the divine irony.

    I never cease to be amazed at the apparent nexus between a passage from the liturgical texts of the day and daily events.

  45. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    The BBC story concluded with this: “The banner at their lunch read: ‘Knowledge needs neither fathers nor priests’.” I am reminded of Romans 1, where Saint Paul has it that those who suppress the truth end up inverting themselves until they become activist homosexuals.


    Fr Arsenius wrote: “I never cease to be amazed at the apparent nexus between a passage from the liturgical texts of the day and daily events”.

    I’ve so frequently had the same experience, even with all the details of whatever parable being played out right in front of me in the parish. It is absolutely stunning. I don’t think this is just apparent. I have, in fact, preached on this as part of the correct understanding of the provident and permissive will of God.

  46. TA1275 says:

    You might try googling William Wallace, OP. He is professor emeritus of philosophy at CUA and a noted Galileo expert. I read an article by him last year which was very good. It should be available at this link:

  47. LeonG says:

    What was it the liberals in and out of The Church claim as their ideological platform? To “celebrate diversity”, allow “full liberty of expression”, “freedom of speech” and “religious liberty”.

    How frequently one can observe objectively the true colours of liberalism – sectarianism, reductionism, reactionism, egological ignorantism; religious obscurantism and ideological totalitarianism. This is the real face of the “synthesis of all heresies” – it effectively proclaims thought control in the name of intellectual freedom – the liberty to think, speak and act provided it has passed the index of political correctness. Therefore, secular evolutionists deny creationists a public platform for a thorough honest public debate and a rightful place in the education system, while liberal biblical exegetes deny the divine omniscience the possibility of creating the world in 6 literal days or else! No alleged “phobias” are permitted unless it is Christophobia and no negative “isms” except rabid anti-Catholicism. The bigotry is asphyxiating genuine intellectual & scientific development. Even inside The Church, until Pope Benedict XVI was installed we have had liturgical freedom for all forms and rites except The Holy Mass in Latin.

    The Holy Father has made a wise decision – why feed pearls to swine?

    Indeed, such narrow-mindedness would never concede that it is thanks to The Roman Catholic Church that such universities exist at all.

    “Stop the Christophobia and the heterophobia!”

  48. Syriacus says:

    “why did the Holy Father choose this particular Italian university vs another one?”

    No…Ironically…Dramatically… It was the University itself which invited the Pope (already un 2005) !!

  49. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Again, I think a big message here is that the Italian State is saying:

    “We can no longer guarantee your security, you antiquated Pope person, and it’s your own fault for so often having interferred in Italian Politics, so just stay home.”

  50. Lorenzo says:


    Those of us who study here in Rome and love the Holy Father are not going to go out into the streets and protest. We know who we are, the Holy Father knows who we are, though maybe the professors and students at La Sapienza would be surprised to see us, to see who we are. We may even be a minority, though I doubt it (and it’s not a numbers game anyway). The point is, the Holy Father has struck a nerve — he has done so consistently since becoming Pope, and will continue to do so.
    The La Sapienza people have shown their hand, and that’s fine, though people in Italy of all political stripes are crying “national disgrace.”
    For a brief summary, the best I’ve yet encountered on the Galileo case, see the short work by physicist and theologian Stanley Jaki entitled “Galileo Lessons.”

  51. Phil S says:

    Fr. Z said, ”

    Father, I don’t ordinarily quibble with your words, but as a long-time (former) member of the secular left outside the Church, I feel it necessary to correct you on the actual order of events:

    Basically, this whole thing is driven by two things: Giving into lust first, THEN comes the stupidity.

  52. Little Gal says:

    This reminds me of the protests surrounding the speech by President Ahmadinejad of Iran @ Columbia University in September. The president of the university provided blunt feedback to Ahmadinejad,Ahmadinejad had his chance to speak and the protestors were held in check outside. Like a previous poster, I think the Holy Father should have gone ahead with his speech.

  53. Masone says:

    Fr Renzo,

    no, not at all. The interior minister has declared that there were absolutely no security problems.

    It is not the State’s fault. Almost every politician has expressed his solidarity with the Holy Father; the prime minister, Mr Prodi, has done that with great energy. The president of the republic has sent a personal letter to the pope.

    It’s the fault of a few immature and ignorant students and, much more, of 67 members of the faculty (out of 4,000, by the way!), who in my opinion are not worthy of being where they are, since they seem not to be intellectually free and honest.

    As Mr Prodi said, they have dishonoured our country, and her traditional reputation of tolerance and cultural openness. How sad! Let’s pray for Italy!

  54. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Thanks, Masone. I guess I don’t want to admit just how far my beloved Italy has descended into hell. Maybe this will be a wake up call for those who are need to get out of the gutter.

  55. Craig Smith says:

    I agree with much that has been posted concerning the entirely stupid protest by the TINY minority of students at La Sapienz, but am slightly irritated by the disparaging of the ‘left’ in general. This protest was by a few fringe loonies, to put it politely, why must we condemn all left wing thought? Much of it in my opinion entirely in concordance with Catholic Social teaching.

    Craig (an ever so slightly touchy leftwinger Christian)

  56. peretti says:

    Craig Smith,

    Your post is quite vague. Could you perhaps elaborate as to what your views as an ever so slightly touchy leftwinger Christian are on various issues? For example, are you ever so slightly in favor of abortion? Are you ever so slightly in favor of fornication? Are you perhaps ever so slightly in favor of homosexual activity? Might you possibly be ever so slightly in favor of doing a moral chapter 11 on the Catholic Church, emerging with a new set of ten commandments more suited to the left’s wishes? “The Catholic Church of what’s happnin now”. There is a catchy title.

    I have debated people on the left for more years than I care to dwell on. Even those who identified themselves as “slightly left” had pretty much one opinion (well, two, actually), in common. That opinion was that the structure of the Catholic Church, with its papacy, had to go. The second opinion that seemed to be shared was more of an uncertainty. The uncertainty that this Jesus fella was actually Divine, and that He will be the absolute judge of all mankind.

    Perhaps part of my post sounds severe. I don’t relish this. But the fact is that Pope Benedict XVI, the vicar of Christ, is speaking the truth and safegarding the Deposit of Faith. And for doing this, he is facing more and more serious attacks. I am just one part of the Mystical Body of Christ, and a miserable, sinning part at that. But when that part of Christ’s Mystical Body who holds the keys gets bitten, this part of Christ’s Mystical body bites back.

    Satan is in the last throes of that 100 years that God has given him to do his worst against the Church, and he is going to level horrendous onslaughts against both it and the Holy Father. I for one will do what little I can to fight back.

    Perhaps when Jesus sees the effort I made (however meager that effort may have been) to defend His Church, perhaps He will lessen my time in Purgatory.

    In your post, you did not call yourself a Catholic. But if you do consider yourself one, might you just ever so slightly believe in Purgatory?

  57. Lauren says:

    To Masone and Fr Renzo di Lorenzo, I quote from two articles:

    Chronicle of a ‘censorsip’
    Il Foglio, Jan. 16, 2008

    “But the protesters then announced their intention of ‘violating the red zone’, a term used by professional demonstators to refer to the ‘absolute security’ zone usually determined by the police in some high-profile events, but which had not been declared in this case.

    At the same time, the union centers sent out a call for their forces to gather on Thursday, and news came from Naples, Turin and Milan of buses setting out with organized groups to join the La Sapienza demonstration.

    All this raised concern in the Interior Ministry and the police. Such that, according to informed sources, the Ministry expressed doubts of being able to control public order with the participation of outside elements known to be provocateurs.”

    And also…

    What led to the cancellation
    By Andrea Tornielli
    Il Giornale
    Jan. 16, 2008

    “What was the last straw then? Certainly, not fear for the personal safety of the Pope, which would have been guaranteed – an onsite check by Vatican security yesterday was satisfactory. Domenico Giani, the Pope’s security chief, also took part in a a meeting with the authorities who would be responsible for law and order on Thursday, and no security problems appeared to emerge.

    What appeared to be the decisive factor came from the Viminale office of the Minister of the Interior, Giuliano Amato. In conversations with the Vatican, the concrete risk of public disorder in the event of a papal visit had been discussed and continued to be.

    The question was not about the Pope’s personal security, but for possible incidents involving the police, demonstrators and onlookers. The Pope and officials at the Secretariat of State weighed the pros and cons: Was it worth it to make a visit under ‘heavy armor’, so to speak, to a campus that is not very far from the Vatican itself, and run the risk of explosive incidents that would put others in line of fire? Or should the visit be cancelled to defuse tensions because it had now become inopportune?”

  58. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    I guess all this means that EVERYONE will carefully read the text, whereas before nobody would have read or listened.

  59. techno_aesthete says:

    I guess all this means that EVERYONE will carefully read the text, whereas before nobody would have read or listened.

    The lord works in mysterious ways! AsiaNews has posted an English translation of the address Benedict XVI was to give. Italian readers of WDTPRS can read the original Italian text.

  60. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Reading the text, then… WHAT an irony in view of what happened!

  61. N, says:

    oh, gosh, Mascone what you know if the students that had protested are ”intellectually free and honest” and what does it actually mean to be an intellectually free and honest? I guess to have the same ideas with you?
    For those ones who mentioned that the students who are protesting should be “fuori corso” i may say that the students who are protesting probably ARE “fuori corso” like the majority of the students of La Sapienza, of science – since it is not so easy to study that stuff, what do you say?
    Italy is ~supposed to be~ laic state so i do not really understand why the Pope had to come to the university? Every year Holly Father has a meeting at the San Pietro Basilica with students, if you want to see him – you may go there, right? Why do we have to mix up science and religion? Knowing that rather a big part of students are either atheists or not catholics it’s a bit hard for me to get what does the Pope have to do with university of La Sapienza?

  62. N. Italy is ~supposed to be~ laic state so i do not really understand why the Pope had to come to the university?

    You should pay more attention to the news. The Pope was invited by the University. It was intended to be an “interchange of ideas that would be fruitful for the entire university community”.

    This is the sort of thing that takes place in civilized countries when civility reigns.

  63. N. says:

    Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, i actually do doubt that students themselves invited the pope. Moreover, being a student of La Sapienza, i could even say that no-one asked us if we wanted to see the Pope at the university, and if the university administration wanted to see the Pope there it does not mean that students could not say a “no” against it, right? That is how it works in free states.

  64. N. It matters not in the least if the students didn’t invite the Holy Father to speak. 

    It is not the role of students to govern the University. 

    It is not the role of students to determine who speaks and who doesn’t.

    It is the role of student to learn how to learn, and then learn something with their tools of learning so that later they can do something useful and productive with their lives in a civilized society.

    So, the first role of students is to learn how to sit down, shut up, and learn, even when the profs are not necessarily good or acting in the student’s best interest.  After all, the students could go to some other school or learn a trade if they don’t like their school of choice.

    Then, once those tools are mastered, to participate in more complex interactions under the guidance of the instructors. 

    Then, after that is mastered, to get out of the university and on with their lives.

  65. N. says:

    and the roles of the students and which one is the first one is decided by you? Even if i can hardly imagine students that are shut, even if you would like them to. I always thought that i am studying in a free state so i am able to express my opinion about what is the administration of university is doing, since students do actually make part oh the whole university machine.
    And moreover, i am not going to a catholic school to listen to popes: when choosing the university i was choosing a public university in a LAIC state as i said before.
    In fact i am not a catholic, and even if i do not care a lot of religion and would not go to manifestations against the pope (just cause i do not care) i can perfectly understands those ones who are probably more active than i am, Italy already has too much to do with religion and now if we are going to let the pope speak even at the universities it could become rather humiliating for those ones who do not believe in God, those ones who do not care of God and the same ones that every day see the country in which religion has become more a thing for showing off than a real belief.
    Even if those things do not matter for me at all and as i said i think that the whole story is a pretty boosted thing, i can understand the people who are not agree and wanted even to say about the comment which contained “fuori corso” phrase, a friend of mine made a part of the students who created the mess — and i wish i were “fuori corso” as him, cause he is one of the most talented students at physics. Non giudicate, per non essere giudicati [Do not judge, or you too will be judged.] Is not it what was telling the Bible?

  66. N. Take some advice from someone older than you.

    Focus on learning.

    You might think you have very grand ideas that need to be expressed for the good of the world.

    If you focus on learning and then getting out and being productive, you will be happier.

    My comments are practical, as well as theoretical. This has nothing to do with the character of the university as being either state sponsored (as La Sapienza is) or Church sponsored (as the Laterano is). The nature of a school, a university is the same.

    A school is not run and operated by students. In some senses it is not even operated for students, exclusively. Universities have many reasons for their existence: education of students is one of them, important, but not the sole reason for its existence.

    Also, it is part of human naute to make judgements, not about the state the souls of other people, but about the nature of things and circumtances, about the Truth (which is what Pope Benedict was going to say at La Sapienza

    My young friend, focus on learning. One day you will have much more to say about life than you do now. But your ability to express your insights will be enormously improved by taking my advice.

    I am glad you came around here, however. Do return and feel free to post.

    If you want to write in Italian, that is fine.

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