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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pope Cancels University Visit

Pope Benedict XVI canceled his visit to Rome's oldest and largest university, La Sapienza, where he was scheduled to speak tomorrow, after students and academics protested his views on science, specifically Galileo. (Pointing to a speech the pope gave at the university as a cardinal in 1990, the protesters, who signed a letter calling for the visit to be called off, say the pope condones the trial and conviction of Galileo for heresy.) In a statement released yesterday, the Vatican said that, in light of recent events, which included a sit-in by students in the university rector's office, it was "considered opportune to postpone" the visit. —Heather Wax