Tuesday, November 22
Sagrada Familia Sparks Controversy
Boy, I've never heard this one before:
The church is at the center of a brewing dispute between Barcelona's Archbishopric and the construction committee. The Sagrada Familia is formally described as an "expiatory temple." Its multimillion dollar budget is funded
entirely by tourist ticket sales and the donations of Christian believers.
Barcelona Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach, the committee's nominal head, wants a chunk of the money to help fund poorer parishes and the indigent.
"We are insisting that a good part of the money that is raised through tourism -- some 20 million euros (about $23.4 million) -- goes to paying the poor parishes and poor people in the city," said Father Manuel Serra, who spoke on behalf of the Archbishop's office.
"We've gotten criticism from people who ask how the church can justify so much money in donations for Sagrada Familia and tie it to the humility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," he added.
To quote Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
47. Reading the account of the institution of the Eucharist in the Synoptic Gospels, we are struck by the simplicity and the “solemnity” with which Jesus, on the evening of the Last Supper, instituted this great sacrament. There is an episode which in some way serves as its prelude: the anointing at Bethany. A woman, whom John identifies as Mary the sister of Lazarus, pours a flask of costly ointment over Jesus' head, which provokes from the disciples – and from Judas in particular – an indignant response, as if this act, in light of the needs of the poor, represented an intolerable “waste”. But Jesus' own reaction is completely different. While in no way detracting from the duty of charity towards the needy, for whom the disciples must always show special care – “the poor you will always have with you” – he looks towards his imminent death and burial, and sees this act of anointing as an anticipation of the honour which his body will continue to merit even after his death, indissolubly bound as it is to the mystery of his person.
48. Like the woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany, the Church has feared no "extravagance”, devoting the best of her resources to expressing her wonder and adoration before the unsurpassable gift of the Eucharist.