This is the price of success: “20,000 people enter the Sistine Chapel every day; it has become necessary to reduce access, one way or another,” warned the prefect of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, in the columns of Europa Press on October 21, 2019.
Asked outside of a symposium held at the University of Navarre in Madrid (Spain), the high prelate said that they could not “refuse to visitors the opportunity to enjoy the masterpieces of the Church, but that everyone must nevertheless make the necessary effort to remember that all these places have their own vocation.”
In order to overcome the saturation of St. Peter’s Basilica or the Sistine Chapel, Bishop Ravasi is proposing some alternative solutions, such as closing of the premises during religious services, charging an entry fee, and prior registration online: “some Spanish dioceses already do this,” says the cardinal.
The prefect of the Pontifical Council for Culture also spoke about the Holy See’s policy on the loan of works of art: “The works of art are,” he said, “like living beings; some can be moved, others not; the loan of a work must take into account the profile of the exhibition. Moving a board or icon designed to be in a church does not really make sense.”
It is regrettable, however, that Bishop Ravasi has sacrificed to the clichés of political correctness. When asked about the Church’s cultural challenges in today’s world, the cardinal responded, “youth, ecology, feminism, science or technology.” Sed Terrae graviora manent! “On Earth the worst is before us,” said the Sybille to Aeneas.