Monday, January 14, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI

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.


Freder1ck said...

Yes. I looked up the instigator of this protest, Andrea Frova. With his wife, he wrote a book, Thus Spoke Galileo - which proposes Galileo as the model for reason and freethinking. There is no misunderstanding here: Frova knows what he's doing. It's the same cynical move that happened after Regensberg. What's sad is how easily so many at La Sapienza got swept up in the fervor.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for this info -- and I suppose Frova is a member of the Communist party?

Freder1ck said...

maybe not but maybe those who organized the protests...

Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."