Don’t Know Much ’bout History

– enough that it makes me seriously doubt their judgement about physics too.

Many scientists fault the intellectual, conservative and tradition-minded pope for a series of positions he has taken that they say subordinate science and reason to faith.The protest against the visit was spearheaded by physicist Marcello Cini, a professor emeritus of La Sapienza, who wrote to rector Renato Guarini complaining of an “incredible violation” of the university’s autonomy.

Sixty-seven professors and researchers of the sprawling university’s physics department, as well as radical students, joined in the call for the pope to stay away on Thursday, the start of the university’s academic year.

Students opposed to the visit kicked off “an anti-clergy week” on Monday by showing a film on Galileo, the 17th-century physicist who ran afoul of Church doctrine by insisting that the Earth orbits the Sun.

And this caught my eye.

The controversy is the most heated since the pope’s speech of September 2006 at Renesburg University when he inflamed the Muslim world with remarks — also quoting someone else, in that case a Byzantine emperor — appearing to link Islam with violence.Cosmelli said the Galileo remarks were “just as problematic.”

Oh really? There was absolutely nothing problematic about the Benedict’s remarks. What was problematical was the deliberate misinterpretation of his words at the time.

Cardinal Bertone explained that Pope Benedict used the citation about jihad in his speech to denounce violence in any religion. “He simply used it as a means to undertake… certain reflections on the theme of the relationship between religion and violence in general, and to conclude with a clear and radical rejection of the religious motivation for violence, from whatever side it may come,” said Bertone. Despite Bertone’s comments, this simple citation has had many violent repercussions. Violence has erupted in Gaza City where Molotov cocktails exploded on a church, and there have been threats against Pope Benedict’s life, as he prepares to visit Turkey. Authorities are also investigating the murder of a nun in Somalia.

Much more here.

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