It seems that people deliberately twist his words, or they get so hysterical at the thought of this man that they are willing to believe any stupidity others tell them about him. Here is what the pope actually said about Galileo:
"...Here, I wished to recall a symptomatic case that illustrates the extent to which modernity’s doubts about itself have grown today in science and technology...
"...the synthetic judgment of the agnostic-skeptic philosopher P. Feyerabend appears much more drastic. He writes: 'The church at the time of Galileo was much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself, and also took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo’s doctrine. Its verdict against Galileo was rational and just, and revisionism can be legitimized solely for motives of political opportunism.'"
In other words, he is characterizing the "drastic" thought of an agnostic-skeptic, whose opinion of Galileo demonstrates "modernity's doubts about itself."
And here is the passage from Spe Salvi that the university professors and their students claim/imagine shows that the Pope is hostile to science:
“Francis Bacon and those who followed in the intellectual current of modernity that he inspired were wrong to believe that man would be redeemed through science. Such an expectation asks too much of science; this kind of hope is deceptive. Science can contribute greatly to making the world and mankind more human. Yet it can also destroy mankind and the world unless it is steered by forces that lie outside it.”
How does this statement denigrate science? Where is the hostility? Isn't it self-evident that man cannot be redeemed through science?
It really isn't so amazing that there are university professors who would actually sign their names to something that is false. Given that the intellectual climate at many universities is hostile even to the notion that there exists an objective reality, it is no wonder that many so-called scholars have never been trained to recognize the truth. So long as academic pursuits consist mainly in multiplying opinions, who will value the kind of painstaking detective work that produces truly useful insights?
Here is the press release from Communion and Liberation:
Communion and Liberation:
La Sapienza University, another disgrace for Italy
Popes have been able to speak everywhere in the world (Cuba, Nicaragua, Turkey, etc). The only place where the Pope cannot speak is La Sapienza, a University founded, after all, by a Pope.
This brings out two extremely grave facts:
1) The inability of the Italian Government to guarantee the right of expression in Italian territory of a foreign Head of State, and Bishop of Rome, spiritual guide for a billion people. In preventing what the vast majority of people expect and want, some small groups find, in fact, protection, even authoritative protection.
2) The cultural ruin of the Italian university which makes it possible for an athenaeum like La Sapienza to transform itself into an ideological “rubbish dump.”
As citizens and as Catholics we are indignant at what has happened and we are sorry for Benedict XVI, to whom we feel even more closely bound, acknowledging him as the defender—in virtue of his faith—of reason and freedom.
CL Press Office
Milan, January 15, 2008.