Two days ago, the Pope rebuked priests and parishes that levy fees for baptism, Mass intentions, etc. He invoked the image of Jesus chasing the money changers out of the temple. Does his displeasure include the renting out of church facilities for concerts? There are two instances that come to my mind.
One incident may be fresh on many people's minds. A good friend of mine, when she read the above, wondered how the Holy Father could have rented out the Sistine Chapel last month. This happened last month and it cost a pretty penny to be allowed into the Sistine Chapel for that time slot. Problem! It's still a church, even for that moneyed time slot. Does Canon Law permit the prohibition of valid church visiting without an entrance fee? I would think not (canon lawyers, please educate me if I'm incorrect), and I don't think "charity" poses a valid reason to block the free use of a church for all Catholics.
Another incident happened seven years ago, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. The administration of the Shrine allowed the Upper Church to be commandeered by the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. I wrote a bit about the blasphemies that occurred there. What I neglected to mention is that I had to pay for admittance to the Upper Church that evening. At no time should I, a Catholic, have to pay for admittance to a Catholic Church, let alone to have idolatry displayed before my eyes and ears. Period.
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