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I was born, I'm currently living, and will eventually die. After that I face my judgment, and we'll talk then.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Noise pollution

"I asked the priest if he could start later but he refused, so in the end I brought a complaint of noise pollution against him. I cannot listen to the television or the radio, and reading a book or a newspaper is out of the question." – Flora Leuzzi

Yesterday, in the Washington Times, there was an article on the front page, down at the bottom. It was about how this man, Signore Leuzzi, was fed up with the local practice of the nearby church in quiet Lavagna, Italy. Signore Leuzzi is not talking about some sort of rambunctious rock Mass or some horrible liturgical abuse. He is talking about bells. Church bells to be specific. Leuzzi’s argument is that the constant church bells ringing throughout the day, every 15 minutes to be exact, is disturbing his peace and quiet, his retreat from the noisy world of the city. The bells should not ring.

The Italian Bishops Conference countered, saying that the bells are part of the rhythm of everyday Italian life. They have hired lawyers “to defend their right to ring.”

Fighting against the Conference is the city council of Genoa, the bigger city near Lavagna, who says that the bells are, in fact, breaking noise regulations. Already there have been requests by the council to only chime the bells from 7 am to 10 pm, no earlier or later. The council also asked “that even during religious festivals, chimes last no longer than three minutes. If these guidelines are breached, the churches involved will be fined."

So what does this mean for the Church in Italy? It doesn’t seem the declarations of the council will stop all bell ringing. To quote Monsignor Paolo Urso, of the Bishop’s Conference’s Judicial Office: "The sensibilities of locals must be considered, but at the same time there are also the liturgical practices of the church to bear in mind."

1 comment:

  1. He's going to have a lot of trouble shutting them up. Even the more secular people in Italy value their history and traditions.