Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pope praises Galileo's astronomy to put out water from sinking Papal Titanic Ship

Anti-Pope slogans have appeared at La Sapienza

Early this year, Sapienza University refused to let in Benedict XVI speak at the first day of their school -- so we pointed out that the Opus Dei Titanic Ship has been hit by the GISU iceberg, the Galileo Iceberg at Sapienza University.

So a few weeks before the opening of the school year, Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei are courting Sapienza University again - hoping to save the ugly face of Benedict XVI.


Pope praises Galileo's astronomy

Pope Benedict had been accused of condoning the heresy charge

Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to 17th-Century astronomer Galileo Galilei, whose scientific theories once drew the wrath of the Catholic Church.

The Pope was speaking at events marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo's earliest observations with a telescope.

He said an understanding of the laws of nature could stimulate appreciation of God's work.

In 1992, Pope John Paul said the church's denunciation of Galileo's work had been a tragic error.

Galileo used his scientific methods to demonstrate that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around.

His view directly challenged the church's view at the time - that the Earth was static and at the centre of the universe.

Galileo was accused of heresy in 1633 and forced to publicly recant his theories.

He lived the rest of his life under house arrest at his villa in the hills outside Florence.

Pope Benedict had been criticised in the past for appearing to condone the heresy verdict against Galileo.


Papal visit scuppered by scholars

Anti-Pope slogans have appeared at La Sapienza


Pope Benedict XVI has cancelled a visit to a prestigious university in Rome where lecturers and students have protested against his views on Galileo.
The Pope had been set to make a speech at La Sapienza University on Thursday.

Sixty-seven academics had said the Pope condoned the 1633 trial and conviction of the astronomer Galileo for heresy.

The Vatican insists the Pope is not "anti-science" - but in light of the protests they have decided it would be better for him not to attend.

Galileo had argued that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

The Vatican says the Pope will now send his speech to La Sapienza, instead of delivering it in person.

Landmark controversy

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".

An old controversy has come back to haunt the Pope

Galileo's inquisitors maintained the scriptures indicated the Earth was stationary.

Galileo, a devout Catholic, was forced to renounce his findings publicly.

In 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret at the way Galileo had been treated.

"The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world's structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture," he said.

The academics at La Sapienza signed a letter saying Pope Benedict's views on Galileo "offend and humiliate us".

They said it would be inappropriate for the Pope to open their academic year on Thursday.


It's a good thing that someone in Italy has the courage to say no to the Pope.

Stefano, Cuneo, Italy

"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.

In a separate initiative, students at La Sapienza organised four days of protest this week. The first revolved around an anti-clerical meal of bread, pork and wine, the BBC's Christian Fraser reports from Rome.

The banner at their lunch read: "Knowledge needs neither fathers nor priests".

Vatican Radio said the protest at La Sapienza had "a censorious tone".


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