In his address, the Holy Father cites John Rawls who denies that religious doctrine has the character of "public" reasoning, (but nevertheless has a "private reasoning" that must be respected on the grounds of tradition.) Pope Benedict also refers once again to the atheist Habermas. I also heard tell that in his so-called "Divine Office" he regularly recites a verse from the Hebrew scriptures that says "there is no God" (Ps 13.1) Hey, folks! I think it's time for us all to go and lie down in St Peter's Square and protest that the Pope is an atheist!
Joking aside, the Holy Father concludes his fascinating and deeply erudite address:
And so let me go back to the initial point. What does the Pope have to do or say in a university? He certainly should not try to impose in an authoritarian manner his faith on others, which can only be freely offered. Beyond his ministry as Pastor of the Church and on the basis of the intrinsic nature of this pastoral ministry, it is his task to keep alive man’s responsiveness to the truth. Similarly he must again and always invite reason to seek out truth, goodness and God, and on this path urge it to see the useful lights that emerged during the history of the Christian faith and perceive Jesus Christ as the light that illuminates history and helps find the way towards the future.Read the whole address and muse on what kind of blockhead you would have to be to prevent him from delivering it at the university.