Dublin is undergoing a simultaneous increase in homelessness and a mini property boom. It might seem a contradiction but at the heart of both is Ireland’s economic crash of 2008, from which the country is still trying to recover.
Rising homelessness and property prices have been driven by a housing shortage for a young and growing population. Building virtually stopped in Ireland’s crash of six years ago, and austerity has meant a slump in state-funded housebuilding as well as social welfare cuts.
But the high rents have been driving a mini property boom with investors flocking to Dublin, says Robert Hoban of Allsop Space auctioneers.
While Irish citizens still make up the majority of buyers, Colin Horan of Extra Sales property consultants says Russian, Chinese, American, British and European investors are also in competition. His firm even has Russian-speaking staff to help buyers from the east.
How does Fr Peter McVerry get away with the kind of gross exaggeration that he spouts on a regular basis? The “European Capital of Homelessness?” (Those on the housing list are not “homeless” while the numbers sleeping on the streets of Dublin would all fit on a double decker bus.) It’s not insurmountable and the “homeless” charities need to step up to the plate, given the huge resources they have at their disposal. But no, they and their friends in the Irish Times and RTE appear to be in the business of making the situation worse. (e.g. both the IT and Morning Ireland are running a campaign to end direct provision for “asylum seekers”. If successful, this would create even more demand for social housing as well as acting as a pull factor for more “asylum seekers” arriving into the State.
And just to add - I note now that every charity gig or event appears to be in aid of “the homeless”. Even the guy outside the local supermarket with his little stall has switched from collecting from some disability group or other to The Homeless - he even has a high-vis jacket with “ACT Homeless” writ large on the back of it. Where is all this money going? Can’t be on sandwiches and soup.
That hall is in Rome. Not much use for housing Dublin homeless. It does have a large homeless refuge right beside it, funded by the Vatican and run by Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity at the behest of Pope John II. It provides accommodation and medical care – you know, the sort of stuff for which a recent Piston thread called Mother Teresa a sadistic bitch. Someone better tell the people in the Dono di Maria who queue round the block every day. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of public buildings in Dublin – how about the National Museum, or is it only the Vatican that ought to be despoiled? Dublin archdiocese through Cross Care runs homeless centres, foodbanks, community cafes and mutiple other enterprises funded from donations from Dubin’s Catholic population. You’re welcome.
I sympathise with previous poster, but less so about Vatican buildings.
What stuck with me more was in local parish having one four bedroomed house per priest, and one sitting empty because priest who had left hadn’t brought all his stuff with him and “nothing could be done about it”. Plus parish is paying for out of town storage units to hold benches removed from church , a change that was bitterly opposed by congregation but pushed through by PP.
[edited to add…]
that said, when I did visit the Vatican, I was struck very forcefully by the wealth and splendour of it, and could more readily relate to the story in junior-cert history of Martin Luther’s disillusionment upon his first visit to Rome.
To point to public buildings as comparitive examples is irrelevant. In the first instance, the mainstream Christian churches preach a specific message that is difficult to reconcile with massive accumulation of wealth. They then can’t complain when they are held to account by that measure. Furthermore, I don’t think the system of morality/ethics promulgated by the Catholic church (at least) would give much weight to an argument like “why are you criticising me for sinning, the next guy sins too”.
Notwithstanding all that, at this stage I personally don’t want to see the Vatican torn apart to make homeless hostels. It’s an interesting cultural artifact, and I would want to preserve it. But then I **would **say that, I’m not a Christian.
Correct. Very specific categories take vows of poverty. Male and female religious do, i.e. members of orders. Diocesan priests don’t.
I was more struck by the cultural splendour of it. Plus the fact that St. Peter’s is completely free to visit, with world-reknowned cultural artefacts from Egyptian Pharaonic obelisks to Michaelangelo’s Pieta (still completely public in spite of having the Virgin’s nose hacked off by a nutcase with a geologist’s hammer), and in spite of it is still a functioning Catholic church with Masses going on at most hours of the day. Although there are no comparable museums, the Vatican museum next door is still cheaper to visit than, say, the New York Metropolitan Museum … and free if you go at the right time. As a Catholic, I’m proud of the place. Rome’s an expensive place to visit – the Vatican is the cheapest place on the itinerary.
I thought it was extremely cheap when I was there earlier this year, got a room on the Via Veneto for less than a comparable room in Dublin with a free bottle of Chianti Classico in my room every night!
The Vatican is grand if you like your bling but not nearly as atmospheric as the Bisilica de Santa Maria de Meggiore (think I have the name right) or the Pantheon or my new favorite site the Via Appia Rustica; all free. There’s so much to see I could spend weeks there!
Sorry, what’s this thread about again?
Oh yeah, homelessness. Had a beer in Peters square with the homeless.
Oh Rome! my country! city of the soul!
The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
Lone mother of dead empires! and control
In their shut breasts their petty misery.
What are our woes and sufferance? Come and see
The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
O’er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye!
Whose agonies are evils of day –
A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.
Well, that’s why I wouldn’t want to start stripping it down now. The wealth I’m referring to is in particular the wealth that was sunk into it at the time (times) it was built. But whatever about the upkeep costs now, that stuff actually would have cost a lot of money/resources to put in place at the time it was built.
“Cultural splendour”, I guess. I think personally I would use the word “Spectacle” too. Things have been put together in such a way as to create a sense of awe and to reinforce a particular intensely hierarchical power structure.
Is the point you’re making that at this stage some/much of this accumulated wealth is being applied to a common good, e.g. by making it available at low/no cost to visitors? If so, that point has some validity would improve my impression of the Catholic church.
I’m an ex-catholic. Was a catholic when I visited. Wouldn’t really have felt proud of the place at the time, but did find it interesting at least. Like I said, I could better relate to the reformation activists (who saw rather similar buildings as we do today, but when they were more recently built and so a starker indication of how the church was spending money and applying resources than the same buildings are today).
I’d say it’s also not at all Christian. Many other temporal powers have built magnificent monuments, temples, and cities (Egypt, Rome, etc.,). As it happens the Catholic Church has also done a good job of it, but that’s not in any way an innovation or arising out of Christ’s message. It’s sort of like if the Vatican (or Church) fielded a soccer team and won the world cup. It’d be a great achievement, but would say little about the core-mission of the organisation and you could argue it was a distraction from that mission. Then again, I’m not a Christian anymore so might be wide of the mark on that one.
[edit: just realised after submit that I’d perpetrated at least 80% of a Catholic Derailment]
Yep, nice, but I liked St. John Lateran even better. Plus you’re standing on top of Lateran hill where you can look down into the Colosseum. I think I’d nearly forgo all the Catholic stuff for Orthodox art. I haven’t been to Istanbul but Chora church is top of my list of places to go if I do. Have had a little copy of the upper fresco here on my wall for 20 years:
Plus you get less moans about bling when it’s all been co-opted by a hostile power.
How esoteric or should I said Sacredly Geometric and I’m not even going to deal with the Vatican.
I can’t find a higher res image of that particular point of view but I’d say that’s a Sun and possibly a moon above to two pillars Boaz and Jachin in the window. Found in the Egypatina room of every Masonic hall in the world. You will also find these depicted in the AlHambra in Granda.
Looks like Jesus and maybe Jesus again depicted inside the Vesica Piscis
Same as this one in Washington DC, a very clear depiction of both male & female energy… do I need to explain?
You can find simlar in Ireland, not hard often looks like this.
Sacred geometry is encoded into all these buildings and more you never even noticed and it points to an understanding of a divine order of the universe expressed in the language of symbols and beyond. Most peoples interaction with symbols is branding, that’s a very mudane if not repressive use of such beautiful transcendentally liberating Language.
No one had to fully understand these encoded symbols to reproduce them, once you get your loaf of bread at the end of each day. So the majority of people stare at them day in day out in ignorance so they are blind so they can not see. Once you have been shown you are no longer blind. Though you may choose to remain ignorant or not from that point on.
Can’t really have a theistic religion without a bit of awe. Awe is good. Patronage of the arts is good too. One of the local churches spent some money commissioning art work a good number of years back, that I remember. Probably hundreds of thousands of people have appreciated it and been uplifted by it.
Probably what they were objecting to was perceived monuments to temporal power, and there’s no doubt they were right at the time. I’ll still take the majestic art over the sackcloth and ashes austerity of some of the reformed churches. I think they overreacted and got it wrong. Humanity without art is severely diminished. That said, I wouldn’t be a fan of all of it – Bernini’s additions to St. Peter’s are fairly blingtastic.
Ever been to a synagogue Shabbat service? I have. If you squinted, you could put yourself in a Catholic church… for the very good reason that Christian churches and synagogues are modeled on the Jewish temple which in turn is modeled on the Torahic Ark of the Covenant and its surrounds. You have the ner tamid (eternal flame, the sanctuary lamp in the Christian church), the aron kodesh (Holy Ark, dwelling place, or tabernacle in Greek), and a bunch of other symbology. The synagogue setup is often very elaborate, with pillars and vaults around and over the Ark, as befitting the dignity of the place. Jesus Christ worshipped in a place like that, so to say it’s not Christian is a bit of a blooper. If you’re saying it’s possible to be too ostentatious then I suppose I could agree.
Yeah, I’d say Byzantine art borrowed it from the Masons alright. Oh hang on, weren’t they the names of the pillars in Solomon’s Temple? So your derivative order might be a bit confused. Just 'cos the Masons have it doesn’t make it all weird and esoteric… it’s the other way round – their co-option is obscurantist gnosticism.
The figures (one erased) below the H’Anastasis fresco are the Orthodox (and Catholic) fathers of the Church – Athanasios, John Chrysostom, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, and Cyril of Alexandria. Hence Boaz and Jachin – “pillars of the church” … get it?
All very symbolic and meaningful, as is practically every element of the H’Anastasis fresco including the mandorla (and for the avoidance of doubt, the meaning isn’t “Jesus lives in a vagina”).
My copy is a modern version, painted by a community of recovering drug addicts. (When I say “recovering”, the main artist sadly died of AIDS). They opted to replace some of the Orthodox iconographic symbols with their own … the broken links of the chains of hell under Jesus’s feet are syringes …
I’ve read that many of Rome’s churches were repurposed pagan temples. Makes sense when you think of the rapid “officialisation” of the church under Constantine. The Basilica of St. Clement is a mish-mash of styles. The 12th century church is made with 1000-year-older columns collected from all over Rome. Underneath is a 4th century church from soon after Constantine’s time. Underneath that is a Temple of Mithras, also a Roman villa and the Roman Mint. There’s evidence of even older pagan activities too.
I haven’t been in the Hypogeum but I’ve been down the St. Paul and St. Agatha catacombs a few miles away. They’ve got Christian, Jewish, and pagan burials side-by-side. The depiction of Agatha down there holding a knife is one of those Catholic euphemisms – she’s supposed to have been martyred by having her breasts cut off. Other depictions are a bit more explicit.
At last, one I can’t be blamed for. No problem if someone else wants to consign it to the Piston.