Santo Pietro

by G Goodman

Bologna, Italy

I don’t think it would be out of line to say that with this photo, I’m making a bit of a commentary on the fact that while this church is magnificent, the sunlight highlights the opulence of the architecture, rather than the crucifix.  I don’t mean this comment to represent my own dogma (or lack thereof), but rather to explain how the church in Italy has perhaps focused more on the fiscal and material rather than the spiritual–I hear Italians speak about this and their frustration with the hypocrisy and nobility of the church, and how it is tied up with politics and putting on airs.  The irony is that the architecture is truly beautiful and I enjoy it.  It brings people in and perhaps connects people with the God.  But at the same time, there are always extremely poor beggars outside of every single church in Europe.  And there is just something palpably indulgent about the grandiosity inside belying the tragedy and reality of poverty on the outside.  It is breathtaking to experience, but it’s not without guilt.  I sense a lot of ecclesial confusion.  I wonder if a cathedral is a house of God or house of powerful men who use God as a pawn.

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