Students at Rome’s main La Sapienza University plan to disrupt Pope Benedict XVI’s planned visit to their campus later this week with blasts of loud rock music.
The group of left-wing physics students on Monday launched an ‘Anti-Clerical Week’ of events ahead of Benedict’s scheduled arrival on campus on Thursday.
‘In a university which should be … a place of cultural growth, research and conscientious and secular criticism, La Sapienza Rector Renato Guarini has instead decided to invite Pope Joseph Ratzinger to inaugurate the academic year,’ the students said on their website, referring to Benedict’s name before his 2005 election.
According to the students, Benedict as pontiff ‘condemns centuries of scientific and cultural growth by affirming anachronistic dogmas such as Creationism, while attacking scientific free-thought and promoting mandatory heterosexuality’, the students, who use the name, Physics Collective, said.
In short, these agents of tolerance will not tolerate Pope Benedict. The protests are set to culminate with a ‘sonic siege’ involving music played from loudspeakers mounted on a truck in the campus’ main square during Benedict’s main address, students said.
If you’re asking yourself where these students get these silly ideas, don’t look too far. In a letter published in Rome-daily La Repubblica, the 67 signatories, which according to the newspaper included ‘the best known members’ of La Sapienza’s Physics’ faculty, called on the university to revoke the ‘disconcerting invite’ to Benedict.
In their letter the lecturers cited a 1990 speech made by Benedict when he was still a cardinal in which he allegedly justified the Catholic Church’s actions against Galileo. Oh come on. When are we getting over that one? I think Galileo is even saying now, “Give me a break.”