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Vatican explains when churches can be demolished

2009-12-07

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Cultural Property Committee of the Church, the Vatican has stated that the works of religious art are an important sign of Christianity.

Mons. Gianfranco Ravasi
President Pontificate Council for Culture

“The preservation of the monument itself not so that it sits in a rigid museum intact. On the contrary, this work is a living creature. It was built to have a function.”

That’s why, when there are no more faithful left, and a church has little artistic value, the Vatican supports demolishing them. This is happening in some U.S. cities and Canada, where the temples are new, with no artistic value, and there are no Catholics in the area.

But there’s more than religious art in churches. The Commission, established by John Paul II, also highlights the importance of recovering sacred music, a tradition within the Church, such as the Gregorian chant.

Francesco Buranelli
Secretary, Pontificate Commission for Culture and Heritage of the Church

“We work to protect, preserve and promote cultural property, whether past or present so that these cultural goods of all kinds continue to thrive in the future.”

The Commission is also thinking about the future. One of its upcoming initiatives, which will mean a revolution for the Church, will be its presence at the Venice Biennale. They have not wanted to lose the opportunity to be in the midst of art.

MC/PVB
DC
-WP-