The Italian press is reporting that that Cardinal Ruini, the Pope's vicar for the Diocese of Rome, is encouraging the faithful to give a large show of support for the Pope by attending the Papal Angelus at noon on Sunday. Needless to say, there's no way I'm missing that.
Mainstream political opinion in Italy is almost entirely in support of the Pope with reference to the whole Sapienza debacle. Even those who do not agree with him see this as a defeat for the principle of free speech. Amongst ordinary Italians there tends to be an attitude of great embarrassment that the Pope seems to be more welcome in Turkey than he is in the country's largest university. Some of the signatories of the notorious letter which opposed the Pope's attendance are also trying to nuance their position. They claim that the letter should have been private and that it was 'used' by the protesters in a way that was not intended. The rector of the university is speaking of a 'defeat for reason and secularism.'
Catholic students from the Sapienza university were also prominent at today's Papal audience. They were showing that if the Pope couldn't come to them, then they were going to go to the Pope.