Nick Benson

OTHER NEWS

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Vatican conference to explore use of deconsecrated churches

The Vatican is helping organise an international conference meant to help dioceses work with their local communities in finding appropriate uses for decommissioned churches.

The Pontifical Council for Culture, together with Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and the Italian bishops’ conference, will sponsor the gathering, titled ‘Doesn’t God Dwell Here Anymore? Decommissioning Places of Worship and Integrated Management of Ecclesiastical Cultural Heritage,’ from 29th to 30th November in Rome.

In the run-up to the conference, the public is invited to photograph and post on Instagram examples of deconsecrated churches being reused in a positive way, since examples of churches turned into night clubs and gyms garner the bulk of media attention.

The photographs, to be tagged with #NoLongerChurches, #unigre and a hashtag of the name of the church and city, are meant to showcase positive ways the historical, social, artistic and sacred significance of such buildings can be maintained or highlighted.

Photographs must be posted between 10th July and 15th October, and selected winners will have their images displayed at the international conference and published on the sponsors’ websites and in Italian magazines dedicated to Christian art, the Church and architecture.

Picture: Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel poses in 2015 for a picture at the decommissioned Santa Barbara church, where a skatepark was installed, in Oviedo, Spain. It is just one example of the problem of abandoned or sold places of worship being reused in inappropriate ways. The Vatican is organising a conference in November to help the church avoid those problems and make sure deconsecrated, repurposed churches do not lose their important spiritual, historical and cultural value. (CNS photo/J.L. Cereijido, EPA).

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OTHER NEWS

Pandemic is ‘our long Good Friday’

The Bishop of Plymouth has described the period we are living through as “a long Good Friday”. Recognising the loss of normal services, as well as the ordinary pastoral activity of the Church, during the pandemic, Bishop Mark O’Toole encouraged people to recognise the...

Anger as elderly pressured into signing DNR forms

Older people are feeling pressured into signing ‘Do Not Attempt CPR’ forms during the Covid-19 pandemic, a coalition of charities said. Organisations supporting the elderly said they were hearing ‘shocking examples’ of blanket decisions seemingly being made about the...

Google searches for ‘prayer’ skyrocket amid Covid-19 pandemic

Google searches for ‘prayer’ have surged worldwide as cases of Covid-19 have grown. The rising interest in seeking information about ‘prayer’ on Google ‘skyrocketed in March when the virus went global’, wrote Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an associate professor at the...

Cardinal Pell released from prison after court overturns conviction

Cardinal George Pell has been released from prison after 405 days behind bars after the seven judges of the High Court of Australia unanimously overturned the original December 2018 jury verdict that found him guilty on five counts of molesting two 13-year-old...