Pensees – on the wealth of the Church

Every so often you hear people complain of the wealth of the Church. My feelings are mixed. In reality, very little could be sold. Even hardened atheists would in most cases object to this priceless heritage being sold off, bulldozed …. a ‘basilica conversion’ anyone? Apart from the odd grand occasion, it doesn’t look like these precious buildings are much more than museums. The ‘Mass space’ is invariably a pocket handkerchief space within the much larger one.

Undoubtedly there is waste and profligate spending these days but it’s hard to imagine we’ll ever see the likes of Rome’s heritage repeated. Artists then as now would have been underpaid. Was it ever thus? But at the same time, the Church was instrumental in establishing hospitals, health care, schools, universities. And we would all be the poorer without the civilising effects of art.

Balance – always hard to achieve …. maybe we just need to try harder.

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