Photo gallery from La Repubblica (32 photos).
Asia News reports that tens of thousands of people appeared today in St. Peter's Square to show support for Pope Benedict XVI in response to last week's incident at La Sapienza University. Counting those present by satellite link-up from other parts of Italy, there were approximately 200,000 people participating in the show of solidarity.
After greeting the crowd, the Holy Father moved quickly into his reflection on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, given before praying the midday Angelus. He mentioned the Brothers and Sisters of the Atonement, who began the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 100 years ago. At the end of his reflection on Christian Unity, he spoke about the importance of reason, freedom and dialogue in the university environment.
Here is an excerpt from the Asia News translation:
"As a professor 'emeritus', so to speak, who have met so many students in my life, I encourage all, dear university students, to be always respectful of the opinions of others and to seek truth and goodness in a spirit of freedom and responsibility."