200,000 Turn Out for Today's Angelus Print
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 20 January 2008 07:47
Here are pictures and details from the Associated Press of the huge (200,000) turn-out for today's Angelus led by Pope Benedict in St. Peter's Square. The huge turn out is a show of support for the Pope after his appearance at a local Roman university was cancelled due to protests by a small group of faculty and staff. This is a much larger attendance than normal.

In reaction, Invitations are reportedly flooding in for the Pope to speak at various Italian universities including Galileo's own university.

"Benedict referred to the issue on Sunday, saying he had put off the visit "against my will" but that the climate surrounding his appearance had made his presence at the school "inopportune."

He noted that he had a long history in academia - he taught theology in Germany for many years - and that he was greatly attached to the "love for the search for truth, for confrontation, for frank and respectful dialogue for reciprocal positions" found in university life.

"As a professor - shall we say, emeritus - who has met with so many students in my life, I encourage all of you, dear university students and professors, to always be respectful of other people's opinions and to search for truth and goodness with a free and responsible spirit."

In recent years, however, there has been a debate in the United States about whether Catholic universities should invite speakers, such as politicians, whose positions differ with Catholic Church teaching.

The pope was interrupted several times by applause from the crowd, which included students carrying banners that read "University Students," "Sapienza" and "At University for Truth" as well as Italian politicians. Students were also out in force because Sunday marked the Diocese of Rome's celebration of the Day for Catholic schools.

The pontiff thanked them all for turning out in such large numbers."