Rorate Caeli

Fun, fun, fun! (At the GP2 club)

ROME—The crypt of the Basilica di San Carlo al Corso near St. Peter's Square has boasted tombs of cardinals for centuries. Today it is taking on a livelier vibe.

The Catholic church in Rome is trying to win back young people with a nightclub in the crypt of the Basilica di San Carlo al Corso, complete with a beer and wine bar.

Rev. Maurizio Mirilli, head of youth ministry in Rome's Catholic Church, has converted a section of the crypt into a nightclub with a live-music stage and a bar stocked with beer, Prosecco and other wine. Father Mirilli has christened the new watering hole GP2, short for "Giovanni Paolo II," as the late Polish pope was known in Italian.

For Rome's young and restless, GP2 is the prime destination for mingling, dancing or having "a drink with a bishop," Father Mirilli said Saturday night. He he leaned against the club's mirrored bar and nursed a glass of pineapple juice as a phalanx of young men with gelled hair bobbed their heads to the Black Eyed Peas. Scrawled across the bar was a biblical passage from the Gospel of St. John, quoting Jesus Christ: "Give me a drink." (Actually, he was referring to water).

"There should be more places like this," said Annalisa Gennaro, a 21-year-old theology student, as she and a friend made their way into the club. "It's about time the church woke up."

Father Mirilli sees the club as a bridge to carry young Italians back into the Catholic fold. Like most dioceses across Europe, the Vicariate of Rome—as the city's local church is formally known—is looking for new blood. As it is, the pews at Basilica di San Carlo al Corso and other Roman churches have increasingly become the domain of the elderly as fewer young people turn up for Mass.

[Full article at The Wall Street Journal; tip: reader]

22 comments:

sjgmore said...

I wonder how rapidly this will devolve into a bar where clergy with certain inclinations will go to seek the company of young men who've had too much to drink.

Irenaeus of New York said...

Most people know you are not going to find a good wife at such a place... why would they think you could find a good priest?

Anonymous said...

Gobsmacked!!

Inculturation taken to the next level.

Anonymous said...

sacrilege - to have such goings on in the crypt of a Church

Anonymous said...

The Church is in for some serious purification.

EuropeanCatholic said...

If it was April 1st - I would think it was an April Fools Joke!

Very sad.

Jack said...

\\Most people know you are not going to find a good wife at such a place... why would they think you could find a good priest?\\

When Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Paris, St. John Maximovitch the Wonderworker would frequent pay a prostitute her fee for a night to keep her from being further degraded, and took her to the cathedral rectory where she could have a meal, a bath, and a warm bed she all to herself.

M. A. said...

oohh, my....how about the Traditional Mass, instead?

Young people are starving for spiritual nourishment, and their "Fathers" give them 'snake venom'. How wicked. Killers of souls deserve the lowest places in hell.

Anonymous said...

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in prælio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto præsidium.Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiæ cælestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Chris said...

So sorry for the long comment. This post reminds me of the scene from the novel, The Edge of Sadness, by Edwin O’Connor (1961).
This scene involves the main character, Father Hugh Kennedy (first person), and his young curate, Father Danowski. In the scene, Father Danowski is describing one of his fellow classmates from his days in the seminary who is better known to some, perhaps, as the Whistling Priest.
The Whistling Priest. Really? A fact? A fact. I heard about him now. He was a young priest who appeared each Sunday night on a popular television program; he was sponsored by a bath mat.
Another bridge to the unregenerate. This time the Bridge of Whistles.
One perhaps cannot hope for a profound or permanent spiritual effect from merely a whistled hymn, but it is a beginning. And after all, Father, that is just what we are enjoined to do!” he said enthusiastically. “It is our task to open up the roads!”
All roads lead to Rome. So they do, or so I hope, but I have my doubts about the highway of the Whistling Priest: that is, I wouldn’t think it led much of anywhere. I’ve always disliked and mistrusted this carnival shill approach to the church—and yet heaven knows we see it often enough. Does it really work? I don’t think so, but more than that I think it’s all wrong. Because for one thing it’s so unworthy. I don’t mean by this that it’s too informal, too much in the marketplace, too “popular”; I do mean quite simply, that it’s cheap. Obviously, when you talk about such things as God, religion, the church, man’s soul, to a great different people, you must necessarily do so in a great many different ways and on a great many different levels. But none of these levels can be—or at least none of them should be—in any sense flashy or false or vulgar, because if they are—no matter what the apparent justification—you run the very serious risk of making God, religion, the church, and man’s soul seem just a little bit of the same. It’s all very well to suggest that this really doesn’t matter so much, that what does matter is that, as a result, the people come in, but I think that’s a great mistake. I know they come in—and often in considerable numbers—in response to such techniques. That’s not surprising. The gaudy, the meretricious, frequently have a powerful and immediate seductiveness: at a fair or a circus, the children invariably make a beeline for those horrible puffs of pink candy. Bit what is surprising is that we sometimes take comfort from this: I know priests, for example, who will point with great pride to statistics proving the value of such appeals. So many appeals, so many souls for God: quod erat demonstrandum. Of course what the statistics don’t do so well is to measure the depth, the strength, and the duration of the faith of those who do so come in—or in other words, they tell you absolutely nothing about the only thing that counts. And—still more—while there are all sorts of statistics to tell you how many souls these tactics have brought in, there are no statistics at all to tell you how many they may have kept out. Who knows, for instance, who can even guess the number of those who, with every sympathy, with every goodwill, have tentatively approached the church only to be repelled by vaudeville antics at their first point of contact? As I say, we have no statistics for that at all; if we had, they might not be so comforting …
So then, these are my misgivings, not about Father Clement Cassidy himself—who most probably is a very decent young man, and whom in any case I suspect of being something less than this magically compelling Pied Piper of my curate’s story—but about the kind of apostolic work he represents.

Anonymous said...

I have plenty to say about this none of which you would print.

Delphina

Anonymous said...

Back in the '80's the diocesan seminary in my hometown had a "bar" for the seminarians called the Inferno. You be the judge...

Vox Clamans Ex Inculta said...

Well...this is taking contradiction and sheer ridiculousness to a whole new level. Catholocism with a Black Eyed Peas ambience? Good grief. This is one young Catholic who doesn't know whether laughing or crying is in order.

Or perhaps praying. A lot of praying.

Anonymous said...

Idiotic!

Prof. Basto said...

And folks, this is happening in the Pope's own diocese.

The autorities of the Diocese of Rome can't claim that they don't know about this, now that it is up on the Wall Street Journal.

Will the Cardinal Vicar resign?

Will the Pope himself order the removal of the parish priest?

If none of those things happen in less than 72 hours, then this is a sorry low point for the Pontificate of Benedict XVI.

And, I'm sorry to say it, but especially because it is His own diocese, if He fails to act, He will be responsible for the continuing sacrilege.

That this happens at a basilica in Rome proves that liberal priests have indeed taken sacrilege to the next level.

There is no excuse for this parish priest. No excuse. This is something so absurd that he simply cannot be acting in good faith, and, even if he is, his good faith is irrelevant. Any parish priest should no better. For the priest responsible, this must warrant summary dismissal from the clerical state. Anyone who permits an absurdity of this kind to go on inside a crypt, inside a church, is unfit to continue in the clerical state.

Antonio Augusto said...

Where is the Bishop of Rome?

Oremus pro papa nostro Benedicto.

Roguejim said...

And we scoff at the Episcopal Church...

Just another mad Catholic said...

During my retreat with Nazareth Priest I developed an alter ego known as Fr. Von Dracula - who is very VERY traditional and has no tolerance for wacky priests Bishops and Religious.

He says that if you want to get young people back into the Church then show them the examples of Holy Matryers, Holy Confessors and Virgins, give them a good sacred Liturgy and stop all of this inculturation Crap, he would also suspend this priest from preaching and publically Offering Mass.

I am thinking of transfering this alter ego into a blog so watch this space!!

LeonG said...

Who would be naive enough to believe The Vatican knows nothing about this?

Steve K. said...

Any readers in Rome? Vandalizing this monstrosity would be a very meritorious act, you would be surely blessed if you took an axe to the new furnishings. Seriously, something must be done and if the clergy neglect their duty further, lay hands will do.

This priest will surely go to He'll if he does not repent.

gonzalo said...

The article tells us...

Then there's the club confessional. At the back of the club, a narrow tunnel opens onto an underground chapel where a marble sarcophagus encases the remains of Federico Borromeo, the 17th-century cardinal immortalized by Alessandro Manzoni's novel "The Betrothed." There, Father Mirilli recalled how he recently took a late-night confession from a clubber.

"It was beautiful. Here's a kid that never goes to church, and he's here discussing the Gospel with me," the priest said, adding that he now plans to open a small counseling center adjacent to the bar.


I wonder if the "kid" knew that his confession would end up in the papers. This may be a case of misreporting by the journalist, though, so perhaps one shouldn't read too much into it.

Anyway, it's not surprising that the numbers are poor. If you want to go to a bar, you'll go to a proper one; if you want to go to church, you'll go to church. The whole "churchy bar" thing sounds like a magnet for enthusiasts and weirdos.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it. Is it a joke?