On Wednesday, the rector of La Sapienza University received a letter from the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, explaining why the Holy Father decided to postpone his trip to the school.
Pope Benedict was scheduled to open the academic year by giving the keynote address at La Sapienza, but according to Cardinal Bertone a “decidedly minority group of professors and students” threatened to protest his visit.
Due to this planned disturbance, the Secretary of State wrote to the rector that “the prerequisites for a dignified and tranquil welcome were not present” and that “it was judged opportune to postpone the scheduled visit in order to remove any pretext for demonstrations which would have been unfortunate for everyone concerned".
Cardinal Bertone also explained why the Pope decided to send his address to the university’s rector. In the letter, the cardinal relates that since the majority of professors and students wished to hear "a culturally meaningful word, whence to draw stimuli for their own journey in search of truth, the Holy Father has instructed that the text he prepared for the occasion be sent to you".