Archive for November 7th, 2010

Sagrada Familia. Does this look finished?

Another Sunday presents with Pope poop … how kind of the old git to continue to religiously supply me with fodder.

Today, he’s in Spain on one of his most blatant panderings yet, a mass at the Sagrada Familia, a church that’s been under construction for 128 years and won’t be completed until 2026.

The Sagrada Familia was designed by Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), who worked on the project from 1883 and devoted the last fifteen years of his life entirely to the endeavour. In 1882, prior to Gaudí’s involvement, Francesc del Villar was commissioned to design a church on the site. He resigned a year later and Gaudí was appointed the project architect, redesigning the project entirely. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2026. On the subject of the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked, “My client is not in a hurry.”

Apparently, that’s no longer the case. Me thinks Old Ben has an agenda.

Only 14.4% of Spaniards regularly attend mass, and legal changes to allow divorce, gay marriage and abortion have caused concern to the Church.

Yeah … that might be it.

Plus, since the church doesn’t give a peseta toward the construction, the fundraising ops are good, too.

Jordi Bonet Armengol, the current chief architect, said he hoped the Pope’s visit would provide the boost needed to finish the construction, which is funded by private donations and visitors’ fees.

“He will bring a message of spirituality and it’s a stimulus to finish the work,” he told the Reuters news agency.

And, of course, being a church and all, Catholic at that, is has to be about the money … none of which dribbles from the bursting coffers in Rome.

Visitors can go into the Nave, Crypt, Museum, Shop and up the Passion and Nativity towers. An entry fee of €12 for adults, €10 for students, and €8 for children (prices as of July 2010) is payable for the Nave, Crypt, Museum, and Shop. Access to the towers (Nativity Façade and Passion Façade) is now only possible by lift (€2.50) and then walking up the remainder of the tower, over the bridge between the towers and descent via the opposite tower by spiral staircase. Previously, visitors were able to walk up the towers for free. As of August 2010, there will be a new service of fast entering. Visitors can buy their tickets at any Servicaixa ATM (part of ‘La Caixa’) or on the internet at servicaixa.com. They will get a code with which they can enter the Temple via a fast line. The service has a fee of €1.30 extra.

Construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Private patrons funded the initial stages.Money from tickets purchased by tourists is now used to pay for the work, and private donations are accepted through the Friends of the Temple.

I’m not saying it’s not worth the price of admission … it most certainly is. The building is impressive, a melting toffee of religious iconicity that, along with other Gaudi structures, defines Barcelona.

And speaking of money, unlike the popester’s trip to the UK in September that raised a fuss amongst taxpayers there, there’s no talk now on what the Spaniards will be shelling out for this show. You can bet it won’t be a light touch, though, as the old man does not travel on a shoestring.

You think the guy would be grateful for all the free shit he’ll be enjoying in Spain, but with all his usual grace he instead chooses to walk in swingin’ …

In Santiago de Compostela on Saturday, he warned of an “aggressive anti-clericalism” in Spain which was akin to that experienced during the 1930s.

The comments were a reference to the civil war era, during which Republicans killed thousands of priests and nuns, and burned churches.

Whoa … hold the fucking phone! Does he really have the nerve to bring THAT up?

A little history, Mate. Do the name Franco ring a bell? How ’bout more than two million dead?

After the army revolted against the Republican government of Spain in 1936, Franco quickly rose to be the leader of the insurrection, which was supported by the Catholic Church. Franco’s propaganda presented him as a modern Catholic Crusader: “The analogy was given the sanction of the Church on 30 September by the long pastoral letter, entitled ‘The Two Cities’, issued by the Bishop of Salamanca Dr Enrique Pli y Deniel. The Church had long since come out in favour of the military rebels but not hitherto as explicitly as Pli y Deniel. His pastoral built on the blessing given by Plus XI to exiled Spaniards at Castelgandolfo on 14 September in which the Pope had distinguished between the Christian heroism of the Nationalists and the savage barbarism of the Republic. Pli y Deniel’s text quoted St Augustine to distinguish between the earthly city (the Republican zone) where hatred, anarchy and Communism prevailed, and the celestial city (the Nationalist zone) where the love of God, heroism and martyrdom were the rule. For the first time, the word ‘crusade’ was used to describe the Civil War.” The text was submitted to Franco before being published.

Any reason you can see for the Spanish to be a bit peeved?

It wasn’t just the athiest anarchists and socialists that the Catholic Church wanted Franco to slaughter: anyone who even believed in democracy was executed: “Indeed, the Republican will to resist was kept alive only by the fear born of Franco’s much-publicized determination to eradicate liberals, socialists and Communists from Spain.

So, here’s Old Ben, old enough to remember well where the fuck that “aggressive anti-clericalism” started, spouting off his warnings amidst his fundraising. What an asshole.

Not counting soldiers on the Republican side actually killed in the fighting, the probably total of executions carried out by Franco was in the vicinity of 2 million.The Catholic Church not only did not make any effort to stop the slaughter. Priests reported citizens who had not attended mass during or before the Civil War; that in itself was enough to result in execution.

Yes, those numbers may be disputed … the WIKI cites only 500,000 executions with other dead tacked on here and there … but there’s no doubt about the church-sanctioned murder and brutality that was Spain in those years.

Today, however, folks will show up in droves … and, yes, there is a cattle reference there — mooooo … to watch the spectacle of on old man in a dress hold up what he says is a piece of a dead guy’s flesh in an unfinished building to pull in some bucks while attempting to gloss over yet more disgusting behavior and bitching at everybody at the cost of millions.

I’m sorry. I think I just lost the plot …

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