Vatican organizes meeting on what to do with abandoned churches

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27/07/2018
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The Vatican has convened a conference to study what to do with abandoned churches. It affects hundreds of sanctuaries, some of which have great religious and artistic significance. 

FR. VALERIO PENNASSO
Italian Episcopal Conference
“The goal is for dioceses to understand the current conditions of their assets, their churches, to study the role they can have in ordinary pastoral care and how to act little by little to restore the most useful and important ones.”

In some cases, the diocese converts them into museums or places that offer catechesis or conferences. In others, after deconsecrating them, it leases or sells them, and they run the risk of being used for improper activities like night clubs. 

FR. VALERIO PENNASSO
Italian Episcopal Conference
“The biggest problem is this one – when a church remains closed for a long time, or there aren't enough resources to reopen it, or it's too dangerous to do so. That's when they think about leasing or selling it. When it's sold, they lose control of its usage and run the risk of the asset being used in an offensive way.”

The conference will take place on November 29 and 30 at the Pontifical Gregorian University. There, some dioceses will share experiences on closed churches that are now used for other things, but reverently. In some cases, they are no longer used to celebrate Mass, but remain a vehicle for evangelization. 

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