View From Rome
Rome is frozen. Walk past the fountains in Piazza della Repubblica or Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Fontana del Tritone and you will see that lines of ice now fill the channels where water normally flows, giving the statues a dramatic, stuck-in-time effect.
You will get a memorable view of the Eternal City if you peer through a keyhole in the entrance to a villa on the Avventine Hill owned by the crusader-era Knights of Malta, the oldest and most illustrious “military hospitaller” order. But anyone taking a look inside the order today will find a less pretty sight. A blazing internal row is taking place after one of the top Knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager, was forced out amid claims that he was a “liberal Catholic.”
Four hundred years ago the Vatican condemned Galileo for his endorsement of the Copernican thesis that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the other way round. It was a stellar misjudgement and, ever since, the general perception has been that the Church is anti-science.
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