Pope Benedict XVI had been scheduled to deliver an address to Rome's Sapienza University but canceled amid protests from professors and students who had occupied the rector's offices.
"The protesters' letter mentioned a 1990 speech at Sapienza University that then Cardinal Ratzinger gave about the Church's 17th-century condemnation of Galileo. The signatories of the protest letter mentioned that the future Pope quoted an Austrian philosopher who said the trial was "rational and just." The protesters did not mention that Cardinal Ratzinger went on to say that he was not in agreement with the philosopher."
Sixty-seven academics had said the Pope condoned the 1633 trial and conviction of the astronomer Galileo for heresy even though the pope had actually said otherwise.
Also from Zenit,
"Giorgio Israel, a Jewish mathematician and professor at the university, noted in L'Osservatore Romano that the 1990 speech actually defended Galileo."
"It is surprising," the mathematician said, "that those who have chosen as a motto Voltaire's famous phrase, 'I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' oppose themselves to the Pope pronouncing a discourse at the university of Rome."
This is reminiscent of Muslims protesting the pope for quoting a 14th-century dialogue between a Byzantine emperor and a Persian scholar. In both instances we have fools who are so blinded by hatred that facts and truth don't enter into their equations.
The text to the Pope's address was sent to the University and later published in L'Osservatore Romano . An English translation of the speech can be found on the Asia News website.