Rorate Caeli

You Report: Ah, August in Italy! A time for small towns, rural tours, and ... pornography in churches?!?...

Ah, August in Italy! Italians run out of the cities to spend their vacations in beautiful rural areas and small towns under the scorching sun. In most small towns, the main attraction is the local church, filled with art and beauty -- and pornographic images???...

So it was with our reader below, shocked beyond measure:

Last week, while walking the Cammino di San Benedetto, I visited the church of San Francesco in the centre of Cascia, famous worldwide for its daughter Saint Rita. The church was recently deconsecrated and for the town’s summer festival an exhibition was shown in the 12th century church, famous for its beautiful frescoes.

I was amazed and disturbed to see the exhibition had graphic pornographic images, and even more disturbed to learn that the local bishop, Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia, has said nothing publicly to oppose it. The organiser told me he will have known as it was public knowledge, and tried to justify the exhibition by saying it was all for a good cause: proceeds went to the destitute, people with Downs, disabled etc.

Few things symbolise to me the decline of the post conciliar Church as this.

Unfortunately, due to the disturbing nature of the pornographic photographs exposed in the church, with episcopal approval, we can only post a general view of the nave (which we had to reduce to avoid the most scandalous images), and one image that we were able to adapt for use in this blog, but not some of the close-ups.