Europe's Old Churches Turn Into Bars, Eateries
- 'Remodeling the Churches', Newsweek International, February 12, 2007 issue
[link via Catholic Church Conservation]
Shocking and completely unacceptable indeed.
While it is bad enough that disused churches be converted into mosques and temples, it is downright disrespectful and offensive that they be used for parties and clubs. You will never find the same being done to Moslem mosques or Buddhist temples, and this blogger wonders why.
There are not too many converted churches in this country, but whenever I pass the most well-known, the former Catholic Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), now CHIJMES (pronounced 'chimes') - dining, shopping and entertainment centre - I cannot help but sigh.
Its chapel, the finest example of Gothic style architecture in this country, is reduced to hosting dinner parties and fashion shows. It is truly unfortunate, but on hindsight, its sale to the Singapore government in 1983 saved it from the tasteless changes inflicted on Catholic churches following Vatican II.
Such secularism is not universal. Russia has seen the construction of 11,000 new churches and chapels since the collapse of communism.
"The further you head east into the Orthodox world, the more you will find church buildings being repaired and new ones going up," says the Rev. Darrell Jackson of the World Council of Churches.
Thanks be to God.