A group of teachers and students forced Pope Benedict XVI to cancel his visit to La Sapienza Unversity in Rome this week. But the Pope has made public the address that he had written for the occasion. It is the follow-up to the formidable lecture in Regensburg, on the ultimate questions of faith and reason.
The unprecedented cancellation of the Pope’s visit was announced at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15, in a curt press release from the Vatican press office. The following day, the Cardinal Secretary of State wrote in these words to the rector of the university that had invited Benedict XVI, professor Renato Guarino:
“Since at the initiative of a decidedly minority group of professors and students, the conditions for a dignified and peaceful welcome were lacking, it has been judged prudent to delay the scheduled visit in order to remove any pretext for demonstrations that would have been unpleasant for all.
“But in the awareness of the sincere desire on the part of the great majority of the professors and students for culturally significant words from which they can take encouragement for their personal journey in search of the truth, the Holy Father has arranged to send you the text he prepared personally for the occasion […] with the hope that all may find within it ideas for enriching reflections and examinations.”
And on the afternoon of that same day, “L’Osservatore Romano” published the complete text of the address that the pope was supposed to have read the following day at the “La Sapienza” university.
It is a lecture that is related to the one Benedict XVI delivered at the university of Regensburg on September 12, 2005. The subjects are the nature and tasks of the university, the relationship between truth and freedom, between faith and reason, among philosophy, theology, and the other branches of knowledge, between the Church and the modern world.
Click ‘Read more’ to see how the Pope explained, “I do not come to impose my faith, but to call for courage on behalf of the truth.”