Thursday, August 10, 2006

Madonna at the Basilica

Fund raising for Church restoration.

At least the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis is not the only Catholic church criticized for their controversial fund raising projects. (The Basilica holds an annual "Block Party" in front of the Church with rock bands, along with food and alcohol for sale. It started when raising funds to renovate the church and has been criticized by conservative Catholics every year since.)

In Milano, as seen in this photo, Madonna's image graces the scaffolding surrounding the Duomo which is being rennovated. A common practice is to sell, or rent the exterior space provided by the scaffold to advertisers. In this case it is a fashion house using Madonna's image to sell their product. It's creating quite a rucous in view of Madonna's latest blasphemous concert in Rome near the Vatican. When you need money, you need money I suppose. Here is the story:

"MILAN (Reuters) - Is it appropriate for one of the Roman Catholic church's best known cathedrals to be draped with the giant picture of a pop artist who has made millions from hit songs about sex?

Yes, according to the most senior priest at Milan's landmark Duomo who has rebuffed requests to remove a picture of Madonna as part of an advertisement for Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Maritz." [snip] Read more:


  1. So, if Megadeth wants to promote their next album by leasing wall space behind the altar at Holy Hill to pay for its restoration, that's ok?

    For the record, I'm not a big fan of the idea of the Basilica Block Party either. I've never attended for just that reason.

  2. Ahem!

    I'm not a fan either, mostly because I don't like any of the music.

    But I don't see where the Basilica's Block Party (my parish, for the record) is so terribly offensive when compared with other parish festivals that have beer, wine, bingo, other gambling, pull tabs, etc. Some of them have pull tabs year round in bars around town.

    I've volunteered to work a few times at the Block Party. The event is only Friday evening and Saturday. They work with the Cities 97 radio station on the selection of groups and "behavior" and "language" are big issues in the selection. What they try to do is get groups who maybe have one or two hit songs and who might become mega-stars. I was a driver for a group one year. Can't remember the name now.

    They cut off selling alcohol at 10:30. They have been doing this for 10 or more years and there has never been a major problem to my knowledge. And they have made a lot of money for the Parish.

    And they give tours of the Church. Many of the attendees have probably not been in a church for a very long time. Who knows, maybe some of them come back.

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  4. Ray: You make several good points but I'm still conflicted on this issue.

  5. Cathy_of_Alex:

    I'm kinda of a practical guy. I try not to look, but it is amazing the number of people who will throw a dollar bill in the collection basket when it passes through their row.

    My Dad who was a mailman with a wife and five kids put a dollar a week in the basket in the 1950s. And there were a few weeks when we could have used that dollar.

    Let's face it folks, Catholics are cheap. They're not only cheap, but they break the Fifth Commandment of the Church: "To Contribute to the Support of the Church." Actually, Google just told me that we should be "tithing" to our pastors.

    So if Catholics won't contribute to the support of their Church, innovative pastors like the brilliant Father Michael O'Connell at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis must resort to getting it from atheists, pagans, apostates and heretics at the Basilica Block Party.

  6. Ray: I agree wholeheartedly that Catholics don't tithe as they should. There were many years, when I hardly gave.

    When I was still at St. Joan of Arc they had a "homily" by the Administrator where he said that out of the several thousand members only 40% contribute AT ALL and of those only 5% or so gave more then $100/month. He then said that people have not considered inflation when it comes to church giving. $1/Sunday may have been great in 1945 but does not buy much in 2000.

    I think Catholics need to hear more often where their parish is at financially and they need to be encouraged to give as much as they can on a regular basis. I also think the parish's need to give out more detailed breakdowns of where the money is going-put it in the bulletin. Most people can read a basic financial spreadsheet.

    I heard, once, that the Latter-Day Saints give more money to their churches then any other denomination because they are really encouraged to tithe. I think they are strongly encouraged to give 10% of their annual income.

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