Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"'If Benedict does not go to La Sapienza, La Sapienza comes to Benedict"

As I prepare to depart for the National Diacona, I am so proud of our CL young people in Rome. Following a letter written to the rector and signed by more than 60 professors of Rome's La Sapienza University opposing the Pontiff's visit, complete with "[b]anners decrying the pope [being] strung from buildings and posters plastered on walls," the Vatican "considered [it] "opportune" for the Holy Father "to skip the event".

In response today, at the Holy Father's Wednesday's audience, a very vocal group of supporters from the university showed up. The supporters, according to my dear friend Rocco over at Whispers, who is always in the know about Roma, "come from the ranks of [Pope Benedict's] beloved cielini". Here is the beginning of weekly AsiaNews report on the Holy Father's Wednesday audience:

"'Freedom, Freedom!': the shout raised by a group of university students of the Communion and Liberation movement, at the beginning of today's general audience, met with warm applause from the six thousand persons present in the Paul VI audience hall, and was an echo of the decision Benedict XVI took yesterday not to go to the La Sapienza university of Rome. The decision was due to opposition from a small group of teachers and students, against the invitation that had been extended to him to participate in the inauguration of the academic year. 'So there are three places where the pope cannot go: Moscow, Beijing, and the university of Rome', commented one of the young people present at the audience. 'If Benedict does not go to La Sapienza, La Sapienza comes to Benedict', read one of the banners that the young people raised."

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