Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#42- The Vatican

The Vatican is a wonderful and opulent state.  My first impression of it came when I and my companions tried to entry its museum.  It was a long line to get in there and I was surprised to find nuns working there for profit.  I had a certain image of nuns and Catholics and my biases were either going to be confirmed or denied by this trip.

I didn't like the fact that they were charging people to get in the museum.  I thought it was sacrilegious.  Once inside there were artifact upon artifact, art upon art, wonders upon wonders.  The grandeur of that place can not be described in words.  Pictures and video my help a bit but even that falls short.  Being there live is the main way to appreciate that place but to truly understand what I was experiencing one had to have a good grasp of its history.

I felt like the Catholics were competing with other holy relics in a celestial beauty contest dedicated to God.  There were scores of unique and priceless art in every corner of the place.  I saw giant frescoes done by renown art masters like Michelangelo.

The stones we stood on were precious.  The gold, silver, ivory, and rubies were everywhere.  I was not Catholic but I was impressed and intimidated by the place.  I constantly wondered at the total value of the place.  I wondered if the architects and tenants of the Vatican were interested in keeping with the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus.

The Vatican has mined precious stones into extinction.  I contemplated the amount of people that the valuables could feed if there was an auction of the treasures of the place.  It was then that I decided that  the Catholics didn't do enough for humanity.  I didn't understand the fascination with the Pope or the art though it was beautiful.  I thought often of the suffering children all around the world.  I wondered about the Catholic's work in Haiti, their demonizing of Vodou, and other dubious historical facts that made the church look bad.

All this was overwhelming for a tour that lasted only a few hours.

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