You may know it or not, the desacralisation of St. Catherine's church and its transfer to the City of Brussels is imminent.
The raised arguments are known ( for this church as well as for others which may be concerned as well ) : the buildings are abandoned, becoming useless, too expensive for the community. More precisely : the City of Brussels seems to be interested in converting such a place, perfectly located for a commercial use....into a fruit & vegetable market......( a project the residents are totally against )
Shall we remain silent and passive in front of such a nonsense ?
Are we going to to agree in giving up - abandoning - our largest downtown church downtown Brussels, next to the tube, right in the middle of a trendy, young, business area, where the christmas market does take place, attracting more than 2,5 million visitors ?
Abandoned , you say ? Yet, this church hosts everyday a dynamic Catholic community ( about 100 worshipers on Sundays) and an equally fervent, even larger Romanian Orthodox community ( about 250 faithful on Sundays, 1500 for the major celebrations),living in a perfect ecumenical cohabitation. On top of this, should we further mention numerous other liturgical celebrations each community is organizing (baptisms, weddings, funerals, ...), the many stepping in for a moment all along the day, be catholics or orthodox for a moment of prayer, be tourist by hundreds ?
Who shall say or measure the impact the impact on the human and social levels of such areas of welcome, rest, consolation, pacification, meditation, going back to the inner self, and social cohesion, put permanently at the disposal and open to any and every public ? Are there indeed too many spaces lending themselves to such free and public use ?
Or are they too expensive ? Precisely because they already belong to the category of listed monuments, restoring these churches and maintaining them to their avowed spiritual and cultural avocation will be much less expensive than transforming them into commercial centres ( or suchlike ), which would impose considerable limitations in terms of transformation and restoration.
As citizens we ask that the city stop their bringing pressure on getting hold of our religious inheritance.
As Christians we ask that our bishops take the timenecessary to associate the common Christian folk and fold to a thorough reflexion on the future of our churches.
Together dear Christian brothers and sisters let us summon up all our energy and mobilize all people so that we
' live ' more in our churches, and revive them as well through concerts, lectures, exhibitions, ' theological cafés ' and suchlike activities as shops with monastic products, reading corners, ' reception centres ' in order to offer people welcoming and hearing sessions, etc. There is no dearth of possible activities in the spirit of the gospel !