The pope stays home

Well good. Excellent. It’s about time. Some teachers and students at a university have pointed out that Papal epistemology does not belong at a university. That Papal ways of knowing are not academic ways of knowing; that, in short, there is indeed a tension between reason and ‘faith.’ Well done.

Pope Benedict XVI last night called off a visit to Rome’s main university in the face of hostility from some of its academics and students, who accused him of despising science and defending the Inquisition’s condemnation of Galileo…[A] letter [was] signed by more than 60 of La Sapienza’s teachers, asking that the invitation to the Pope be rescinded. The signatories of the letter said Benedict’s presence would be “incongruous”. They cited a speech he made at La Sapienza in 1990, while he was still a cardinal, in which he quoted the judgment of an Austrian philosopher of science* who wrote that the church’s trial of Galileo was “reasonable and fair”…La Stampa reported that a number of foreign scientists had since added their names to the initiative.

That’s it! Get in there and mix it up. The pope is always telling everyone what’s what; good for the foreign scientists telling him back.

Rightwing opposition MPs were outraged. One suggested La Sapienza, which means “wisdom” or “learning” ought now to be renamed La Ignoranza.

Right. The pope stands for wisdom and learning and a secular university stands for ignorance. And up is down and wet is dry and now is then.

*Paul Feyerabend, it was.

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