Pope cancels university speech due to protests

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micfur
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Pope cancels university speech due to protests

Post by micfur » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:27 pm

From Agence France Presse:
Avoiding scientists' protests, pope cancels university speech

1 day ago

ROME (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday cancelled a speech at Rome's La Sapienza university in the face of protests led by scientists opposed to a high-profile visit by the head of the Catholic Church to a secular setting.

"Following the well-noted controversy of recent days ... it was considered appropriate to postpone the event," which had been set for Thursday, a Vatican communique said, in the first such cancellation in the face of hostility since the pope's election in April 2005.

Many scientists fault the intellectual, conservative and tradition-minded pope for a series of positions he has taken that they say subordinate science and reason to faith.

The protest against the visit was spearheaded by physicist Marcello Cini, a professor emeritus of La Sapienza, who wrote to rector Renato Guarini complaining of an "incredible violation" of the university's autonomy.

Sixty-seven professors and researchers of the sprawling university's physics department, as well as radical students, joined in the call for the pope to stay away on Thursday, the start of the university's academic year.

Students opposed to the visit kicked off "an anti-clergy week" on Monday by showing a film on Galileo, the 17th-century physicist who ran afoul of Church doctrine by insisting that the Earth orbits the Sun.

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi condemned the professors and students for "intolerance" towards the pontiff, and renewed the invitation for Benedict to visit the public university.

"I condemn the acts, statements and attitudes that provoked unacceptable tension and a climate that does not honour Italy's traditions of civility and tolerance," Prodi said, according to the ANSA news agency.

Signatories to the letter protesting the planned visit recalled a 1990 speech in which the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog, seemed to justify the Inquisition's verdict against Galileo in 1633.

In the speech, Ratzinger quoted an Austrian philosopher who said the ruling was "rational and just".

He concluded with the remark: "The faith does not grow from resentment and the rejection of rationality, but from its fundamental affirmation, and from being rooted in a still greater form of reason."

One of the protesting professors, Carlo Cosmelli, told AFP: "Since the conviction of Galileo ... physicists are especially sensitive over interference by the Catholic Church in the scientific domain."

The pope -- who also faces criticism for perceived interference in Italian political and social affairs -- "has made more and more remarks on the theme of the necessary subordination of science to faith," Cosmelli said.

The controversy is the most heated since the pope's speech of September 2006 at Renesburg University when he inflamed the Muslim world with remarks -- also quoting someone else, in that case a Byzantine emperor -- appearing to link Islam with violence.

Cosmelli said the Galileo remarks were "just as problematic."

Cini also recalled a colloquium on Darwin held by Benedict in September 2006 in which the "intelligent design" movement was given precedence over the theory of evolution.

"The Church can no longer use pyres or corporal punishment," Cini said in the communist daily Il Manifesto. "Today it uses the Enlightenment's God of Reason as a Trojan horse to enter the citadel of scientific knowledge."

The scientists' revolt, initially discreet, snowballed after radical students took up the cause.

On Tuesday they briefly occupied the rector's offices seeking the right to demonstrate on Thursday.

Benedict's predecessor John Paul II, who visited the school only once, in April 1991, also faced strident heckling and whistles by small groups of protesters.

Cini said of Benedict on Thursday: "By cancelling, he is playing the victim, which is very intelligent. It will be a pretext for accusing us of refusing dialogue."
This was not handled in a very intelligent way by the protestors. The playing of the 'we are offended' card is what the religious do best. First time I have seen scientists do it. Let the pope have his say and then expose his ideas for the nonsense they are.
CitizenPaine
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Re: Pope cancels university speech due to protests

Post by CitizenPaine » Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:48 pm

micfur wrote: This was not handled in a very intelligent way by the protestors. The playing of the 'we are offended' card is what the religious do best. First time I have seen scientists do it. Let the pope have his say and then expose his ideas for the nonsense they are.
Agreed. But that's students for you.

CitizenPaine
The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald version)
adamd164
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Re: Pope cancels university speech due to protests

Post by adamd164 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:10 pm

CitizenPaine wrote:
micfur wrote: This was not handled in a very intelligent way by the protestors. The playing of the 'we are offended' card is what the religious do best. First time I have seen scientists do it. Let the pope have his say and then expose his ideas for the nonsense they are.
Agreed. But that's students for you.

CitizenPaine
Oi, less of it! :P
CitizenPaine
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Post by CitizenPaine » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:23 pm

Present company excepted.

CitizenPaine
The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald version)
lostexpectation
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Post by lostexpectation » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:13 pm

question is are the protestors mistaking the quotes the pope used for his own words and thoughts or benedict using quotes of others as a tactic of his speeches...

how often do you hear inflammatory speeches interspersed with 'some people say...'

when enoch powell make that famous rivers of blood speech he was merely quoting someone else.

there were reports that the vatican is clsoing it own observatory aswell

btw must go look to see if there any new pictures of mercury.


John waters was doing a newspaper review and came across this story out of the blue he blames bloggers for stirring the protests and being inaccurate in not distinguishing his words for quotes...
audio here
http://twentymajor.net/2008/01/16/more- ... and-blogs/

the newstalk journalist says we must get a blogger on to debate you next week, if they do it would be good to find ammo to defend this anti-religious/blogging nexus he's discovered, so if you've read this story online who was more accurate in the story bloggers or newspapers? and who stirred the protests? So where did the letter first appear in public in a newspaper or on blog( or was it a website)?

good explaination of the situation
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/storie ... 800258.htm

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2008/jan/08011602.html
the letter by the protestors "is just an expression of a feeling against the person of the Pope himself." He went on to call such a biased and selective reading of a speech, which defended the rationality of Galileo's discoveries, "a shame and a professional failure."

The letter specifically objected to Benedict calling the trial method (and not the result) used in the Galileo affair "reasonable and fair." The letter said that those words "offend and humiliate" academics. The letter failed to mention that Benedict said that he disagreed with the ruling of the trial later in his speech.

The address "could well be considered, by anyone who read it with a minimum of attention, as a defense of Galilean rationality against the skepticism and relativism of postmodern culture," said Israel.
if the trial was fair and based on reason how did it come to such a result?


the speech he was supposed to give
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/storie ... 800287.htm

the benedict galileo speech from 1990
http://ncrcafe.org/node/1541

woh, its not just galileo he is talking about he manages to bring in the atomic bomb and blame it on galileo (or he quotes somebody that does)

he seems to have been saying at the time paraphrasing Bloch that it is generally correct to consider and measure everything from the point of view of earth because thats where we(humanity) are as opposed to us being a dot spinning around the universe.

benedict suggest that they were right to test galileo because his theories went outside of science... perhaps galileo wrote something at the time that commented on how his discoveries could be reflected in society? methinks it still a matter of the church not liking science explaining things which usurp there control over the unknown. and still exploiting the many scientific uncertainties as reason to believe in the god of the gaps, like it does with evolution.

imho the pope did say himself that it was right to put galileo on trial.
Last edited by lostexpectation on Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
micfur
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Re: Pope cancels university speech due to protests

Post by micfur » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:29 pm

CitizenPaine wrote:
micfur wrote: This was not handled in a very intelligent way by the protestors. The playing of the 'we are offended' card is what the religious do best. First time I have seen scientists do it. Let the pope have his say and then expose his ideas for the nonsense they are.
Agreed. But that's students for you.

CitizenPaine
It appears to be deeper than that CP. While there was a radical student element (present company excepted), it appears 67 lectures also protested the fact that he was even allowed to give the speech. Compare their approach with that of Sam Harris debating Rabbi David Wolpe recently: http://www.ajula.edu/Content/ContentUni ... u=7037&t=0 Its long but good.
micfur
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:17 am

Post by micfur » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:48 pm

lostexpectation wrote:question is are the protestors mistaking the quotes the pope used for his own words and thoughts or benedict using quotes of others as a tactic of his speeches...

how often do you hear inflammatory speeches interspersed with 'some people say...'

when enoch powell make that famous rivers of blood speech he was merely quoting someone else.

there were reports that the vatican is clsoing it own observatory aswell

btw must go look to see if there any new pictures of mercury.


John waters was doing a newspaper review and came across this story out of the blue he blames bloggers for stirring the protests and being inaccurate in not distinguishing his words for quotes...
audio here
http://twentymajor.net/2008/01/16/more- ... and-blogs/

the newstalk journalist says we must get a blogger on to debate you next week, if they do it would be good to find ammo to defend this anti-religious/blogging nexus he's discovered, so if you've read this story online who was more accurate in the story bloggers or newspapers? and who stirred the protests? So where did the letter first appear in public in a newspaper or on blog( or was it a website)?

good explaination of the situation
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/storie ... 800258.htm

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2008/jan/08011602.html
the letter by the protestors "is just an expression of a feeling against the person of the Pope himself." He went on to call such a biased and selective reading of a speech, which defended the rationality of Galileo's discoveries, "a shame and a professional failure."

The letter specifically objected to Benedict calling the trial method (and not the result) used in the Galileo affair "reasonable and fair." The letter said that those words "offend and humiliate" academics. The letter failed to mention that Benedict said that he disagreed with the ruling of the trial later in his speech.

The address "could well be considered, by anyone who read it with a minimum of attention, as a defense of Galilean rationality against the skepticism and relativism of postmodern culture," said Israel.
if the trial was fair and based on reason how did it come to such a result?


the speech he was supposed to give
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/storie ... 800287.htm

the benedict galileo speech from 1990
http://ncrcafe.org/node/1541

woh, its not just galileo he is taking about he manages to bring in the atomic bomb and blame it on galileo (or he quotes somebody that does)

he seems to have been saying at the time paraphrasing Bloch that it is generally correct to consider and measure everything from the point of view of earth because thats where we(humans) are as opposed to us being a dot spinning around the universe.

benedict suggest that they were right to test galileo because his theories went outside of science... perhaps galileo wrote something at the time that commented on how his discoveries could be reflected in society? methinks it still a matter of the church not liking science explaining things which usurp there control over the unknown. and still exploiting that many scientific uncertainties as reason to believe in the god of the gaps, like it does with evolution.

imho the pope did say himself that it was right to put galileo on trial.
Excellent links. Ratzinger is a formidable enemy to science and reason and should never be given a free ride. His trick of quoting somebody else to make points seems to be a common tactic. But its hard to disagree with the university president when he says:
the "manifestations of intolerance" and the threat of demonstrations were "inadmissible" and incompatible with the climate of freedom and dialogue that should mark a university.
Its something that happened recently in NUI Galway where a gaggle of lecturers and professors attempted to have the Israeli ambassador barred from speaking at a debate on the campus. One would think a university is the one place on earth where ideas can be discussed openly.
lostexpectation
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Post by lostexpectation » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:25 pm

http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/webl ... omic-bomb/
slugger is always worth reading on these types of issues
but the seem to have started allowing a evangical christian blog about the rapture etc, a bad choice.
Neesik
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Post by Neesik » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:55 pm

It looks like the poop might get to talk at the university afer all.
La Sapienza may re-invite Pope after disputed Galileo comment protests.
I will offer a new invitation to the Pope," said the university rector, Renato Guarini, adding that such a step would be in accordance with the desire of the majority of Sapienza's academic community, the Zenit news agency has reported.
Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers.
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