Rorate Caeli

The Church of Vatican II: Going, going, gone

In France, due to the multiple anti-Catholic measures taken from the Revolution up to the early 20th century, most church buildings belong not to the Church but to public institutions, usually the central State for great monuments or the local communes for smaller parish churches. A good number of them are still used by the Church (affectés, dedicated to Catholic use), but, as public buildings, are to be kept with public resources.

Many local administrators take advantage of the slightest raise in maintenance costs for the religious buildings to propose their demolition - it is what happened in Saint-Aubin-du-Pavoil, in the Anjou. Church authorities can prevent this, but hardly do, despite protests of locals. Who wants to keep up what is ancient and beautiful?

In the image on top, what the village looked like, with the church, as it happens throughout old Christendom, as the center and soul of the community; in the middle, the demolition (begun in January 2013) and in the bottom the new church, a much smaller modern structure built inside the extremity of the lower apse of the ancient church (the trace of the nave can be seen as a new square). Bp. Emmanuel Delmas, of Angers, was quite glad to open up the new structure in his visit to the village in November 2013. A small portion of the old apse is obviously all that is needed for the post-conciliar remains of a once-vibrant Church.