Knowledge needs neither fathers nor priests

January 15, 2008

“A Free Church in a Free State” was what Camillo Cavour (Piedmontese statesman who brought about the unification of Italy) considered to be the most suitable relationship between religion and politics and what it looks as an unifinished path yet today.

In this country, the Pope’s interference in political and civic issues is an habit. Not always limitlessly tolerated.

In these days a group of scholars, lecturers and students, at La Sapienza University in Rome, the biggest in Europe, is protesting against a planned visit by the Pope Joseph Ratzinger. They are actually asking the visit to be cancelled as they object to his position on the 1633 trial to Galileo. Actually, in 1990 Ratzinger still being a Cardinal, had commented on the 17th-Century Galileo trial saying it was “reasonable and just”. (Galileo had argued that the Earth revolved around the Sun).

In Italy the Church opinion still leads and influences many persons and the greatest part of politicians. I believe the problem is not what one personally thinks and acts in its private life, as far as this regards its beliefs. The question is what is the sense of honouring the Pope (a State and Religious Leader) in a context such as the inauguration of the Academic Year of a lay institution.



  1. Didn’t Pope Jean Paul agree that the earth wasn’t the center of the solar system, in 1986?

    I don’t understand what the argument is.

  2. When Ratzinger was still a cardinal in 1990, he sentenced the trial to Galileo being “reasonable”.

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