Pope Benedict XVI has cancelled a visit to a prestigious university in Rome where lecturers and students have protested against his views on Galileo.
Pope Benedict was in charge of Roman Catholic doctrine in 1990 when, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he commented on the 17th-Century Galileo trial.
In the speech, he quoted Austrian-born philosopher Paul Feyerabend as saying the Church’s verdict against Galileo had been “rational and just”.
“In the name of the secular nature of science we hope this incongruous event can be cancelled,” said the letter addressed to the university’s rector, Renato Guarini.
The scholars also held a protest lunch with a great banner slogan: “Knowledge needs neither fathers nor priests”.
Let’s wait for the Catholic Church to do something ironic.
Vatican Radio said the protest at La Sapienza had “a censorious tone”.