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    Vatican Versus Scientists

    100,000 back pope in battle with scientists
    (AFP)

    20 January 2008



    VATICAN CITY - More than 100,000 people filled St Peter’s Square on Sunday in a show of support for Pope Benedict XVI after protests by scientists forced him to cancel a university speech.
    The pilgrims gave a roar of approval when the pontiff, speaking after his weekly blessing, said: ‘I encourage all of you, dear academics, to always be respectful of the opinions of others, and to seek the truth and the good with an open and responsible mind.’
    The 80-year-old pontiff cancelled a planned speech at Rome’s La Sapienza university last Thursday after dozens of professors and students protested his presence at the secular school.
    ‘I want especially to salute university youths, professors and all of you who have come today in such large numbers to St Peter’s Square to ... express your solidarity,’ the pope said.
    In a rare unscripted exhortation at the end of the appearance from his apartment overlooking the iconic square, the pope said: ‘Let us go forward in this spirit of fraternity and love for freedom and truth, and common commitment for a brotherly and tolerant society.’
    The final burst of applause from the pilgrims, including La Sapienza students, lasted some three minutes.
    A Vatican spokesman put at 200,000 the number of pilgrims at the event-billed in the Italian media as ‘pope day’-in sunny, mild weather.
    Giant screens were set up around the square to allow pilgrims, carrying banners reading ‘Holy Father We Love You’ and ‘Long Live Freedom of Thought,’ to see Benedict. . . .http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayA...ction=theworld

    An historic role reversal. The Pope is calling for a tolerant society. I find this episode not only ironic but profound in its implications. Do we have to fear secularism now as the new threat to freedom of speech?

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    And now, back to Plotting! Duncan J Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Prey View Post
    <Snippo Papal Stuff>
    An historic role reversal. The Pope is calling for a tolerant society. I find this episode not only ironic but profound in its implications. Do we have to fear secularism now as the new threat to freedom of speech?
    If you think that this exemplifies a historic role reversal, you need to learn more history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan J Macdonald View Post
    If you think that this exemplifies a historic role reversal, you need to learn more history.

    The Pope is calling for tolerance. Now, in very recent years, I'll admit, that has been the position of the Catholic Church, but historically, the Catholic Church has been anything but tolerant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Prey View Post
    The Pope is calling for tolerance. Now, in very recent years, I'll admit, that has been the position of the Catholic Church, but historically, the Catholic Church has been anything but tolerant.
    Compared to many of the fundamentalist Protestant sects in the USA, the Catholic Church is far more tolerant that most of them. Tolerance has been a position of the Catholic Church for far longer than it has been for most religious extremists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysannie View Post
    Compared to many of the fundamentalist Protestant sects in the USA, the Catholic Church is far more tolerant that most of them. Tolerance has been a position of the Catholic Church for far longer than it has been for most religious extremists.

    Good point.

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    Come Wayward Souls...! maxmordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysannie View Post
    Compared to many of the fundamentalist Protestant sects in the USA, the Catholic Church is far more tolerant that most of them. Tolerance has been a position of the Catholic Church for far longer than it has been for most religious extremists.
    Same thing happens here (a country with Catholic majority) whenever someone starts talking to you about the bible and God, we automatically think is an "Evangelical" (Protestant, Baptist, Jehova's Witness, Mormon; basically someone who wants to convert us)
    "Life isnít divided into genres. Itís a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky."

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    Seanachie johnnysannie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmordon View Post
    Same thing happens here (a country with Catholic majority) whenever someone starts talking to you about the bible and God, we automatically think is an "Evangelical" (Protestant, Baptist, Jehova's Witness, Mormon; basically someone who wants to convert us)
    I live where there is a Catholic minority and there is a concentrated effort to "Convert" Catholics (which I am) by coming to our doors, handing us literature about the terrible "Cat-lickers", name calling, and much more. When my daughters wore their parish youth t-shirts to my son's public baseball game last summer, they were approached by a grown man who cussed them out for being Catholic and scared the bejesus of them. (They are ll years old, BTW).
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    Come Wayward Souls...! maxmordon's Avatar
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    Personally, we have seem some reversals (like during the Spanish civil war, where some Republicans used to kill clergymen and shoot religious statues. This is of course forgotten compared with the fascist government of Franco) But since Secularism is something so new (I think, at least from the XVIII Century) hasn't really have a chance to show its atrocities compared with religions that have existed since the dawn of the man.

    Basically, in my opinion, anything is bad taken on a extremist way. And a secular extremist sometimes are no better than your bible belt religious fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmordon View Post
    Basically, in my opinion, anything is bad taken on a extremist way. And a secular extremist sometimes are no better than your bible belt religious fanatic
    By what do you mean by "secular extremists"? The secularism that I'm all for allows people to believe what they want and that the government doesn't sponsor one form of religion over others.
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    Come Wayward Souls...! maxmordon's Avatar
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    I know and support that church and state most be separated. But not exaggerate about this.

    With Extremist Secularist I mean those odd cases where people are judged just for believe. Like the Soviet Union for many years, the Spanish second republic, some instances of the French third republic (there has been reported that a French minister even had those employees who went to mass being under survailance) China with the Tibet and some Latin American dictatorship that expelled any kind of priest or reverend out of their countries
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    Down Under Fan HeronW's Avatar
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    The Catholic Church still thinks Galileo is fit for burning because 'Man' isn't the center of the universe..., hell, he ain't even the center of the solar system but don't let facts get in the way of rabid theocracy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeronW View Post
    The Catholic Church still thinks Galileo is fit for burning because 'Man' isn't the center of the universe..., hell, he ain't even the center of the solar system but don't let facts get in the way of rabid theocracy.
    the galileo myth is one of the hallmarks of a sort of secular fundamentalism.
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    How did Haskina do in her play?

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    Quote Originally Posted by billythrilly7th View Post
    How did Haskina do in her play?
    PM's not working?

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    a person worse than you. Absolute Sage William Haskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billythrilly7th View Post
    How did Haskina do in her play?
    she did great. it was a production of elton john and tim rice's 'aida'.

    thanks for asking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Haskins View Post
    the galileo myth is one of the hallmarks of a sort of secular fundamentalism.
    For a myth busting account of Galileo's conflict with the Church (as part of a fascinating book on the history of cosmology) I highly recommend Arthur Koestler's The Sleepwalkers. Both massively informative and highly entertaining.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeronW View Post
    The Catholic Church still thinks Galileo is fit for burning because 'Man' isn't the center of the universe..., hell, he ain't even the center of the solar system but don't let facts get in the way of rabid theocracy.
    Actually, the Catholic made some kind of statement about Galileo. . . .
    He was exonerated in some fashion.

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    a person worse than you. Absolute Sage William Haskins's Avatar
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    the "common wisdom" of galileo is highly flawed and misunderstood/misrepresented (in differing ways, of course) by both devout and secular people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Haskins View Post
    the "common wisdom" of galileo is highly flawed and misunderstood/misrepresented (in differing ways, of course) by both devout and secular people.

    In what regard?

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    a person worse than you. Absolute Sage William Haskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Prey View Post
    In what regard?
    i think there's a caricature in the public consciousness of an intellectual being martyred for the cause of science after being seized by backward and ignorant fanatics who refused to believe anything of science.

    the historical record contradicts this.
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    It's a shame that people of faith and people without it cannot simply agree to disagree. There seems to be a mandate on either side which demands conversion. It's wrong regardless of who it is that is doing it. God gave man free will. Politicians, clergy, activists and all the rest should simply accept that and move on. Our founding fathers as pious as they were accepted it. Jefferson and Madison went out of their way to insulate us from extremism on either side. When you hear people with a dog in this fight suggest that the Constitution be changed, you should all rise up and say, "NO!"
    Last edited by Takvah; 01-20-2008 at 10:30 PM.

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    I've seen worse. SuperModerator ColoradoGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takvah View Post
    It's a shame that people of faith and people without it cannot simply agree to disagree.
    The great majority do. There's no news in that, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takvah View Post
    It's a shame that people of faith and people without it cannot simply agree to disagree. There seems to be a mandate on either side which demands conversion. It's wrong regardless of who it is that is doing it. God gave man free will. Politicians, clergy, activists and all the rest should simply accept that and move on. Our founding fathers as pious as they were accepted it. Jefferson and Madison went out of their way to insulate us from extremism on either side. When you hear people with a dog in this fight suggest that the Constitution be changed, you should all rise up and say, "NO!"
    Thank you! If the Pope is speaking somewhere, and you don't like what he says, don't attend.

    There are always as many anti-religious zealots as there are pro-religion.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Prey View Post
    An historic role reversal. The Pope is calling for a tolerant society. I find this episode not only ironic but profound in its implications. Do we have to fear secularism now as the new threat to freedom of speech?
    I see this not so much as the pope being tolerant, rather it is a case of the pope being smart. It is easy to ask others to be tolerant of yourself, it is harder to be tolerant of others.

    If he'd condemned the scientists, what good would that do? It would just make him look bad.

    But, by being nice and asking to be let in, he gets support.

    If the Catholic church was still powerful enough to go around killing dissenters, like it could 500 years ago, would the pope still be this nice? It is hard to say. Maybe, maybe not. It is a question that can't really be answered, since all answers would be mere speculation.

    But in this era, science has enormous power. Battling it directly is mostly pointless, and the pope knows that. Being nice to someone who snubs you, however, sets you up as the good guy and your opponent as the bad guy (regardless of whether this is true or not) which allows you more power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamiehall View Post
    I see this not so much as the pope being tolerant, rather it is a case of the pope being smart. It is easy to ask others to be tolerant of yourself, it is harder to be tolerant of others.

    If he'd condemned the scientists, what good would that do? It would just make him look bad.

    But, by being nice and asking to be let in, he gets support.

    If the Catholic church was still powerful enough to go around killing dissenters, like it could 500 years ago, would the pope still be this nice? It is hard to say. Maybe, maybe not. It is a question that can't really be answered, since all answers would be mere speculation.

    But in this era, science has enormous power. Battling it directly is mostly pointless, and the pope knows that. Being nice to someone who snubs you, however, sets you up as the good guy and your opponent as the bad guy (regardless of whether this is true or not) which allows you more power.

    Perhaps. The Pope could be that cunning, that calculated. But regardless, I'm not sure I'm thrilled with universities today that want to shout down other points of view. I find it a very disturbing trend. As Max said, during the Spanish Civil War, members of the clergy were killed. It had to do with the rise of Communism and its promotion of a secular state. A lot of universities were intolerant. I see something similar happening currently even though universities are supposed to be institutions of learning. I don't like the intimidation factor.

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