How Did Florence’s Medieval Builders Construct the World’s Biggest Dome?

Florence - Duomo

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (in English, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower) is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Florence, in Italy.  Constructed in the 14th century, it replaced a fifth-century church on the same spot which was crumbling with age.The Basilica, with its tall Baptistery of St. John adjacent to the main church, is one of the world's largest houses of worship.  Particularly noteworthy is its Duomo (Dome), which was for centuries the largest dome in the wo … [Read more...]

Should the Catholic Church Sell St. Peter’s Basilica to Help the Poor?

St Peters Basilica in Rome

"I looked up at the great basilica, and I had two reactions:  First, I appreciated its beauty and reverence; but then I thought, 'What corruption caused someone to spend so much on this building when people are hungry'?" *     *     *     *     * I made a new friend on the train this week.  Mark described himself as a Christian but not a Catholic.  As Amtrak #358 sped along the track from Chicago, where I'd been attending a conference, to Dearborn, Mark and I chatted about a lot of things:  abo … [Read more...]

Saving St. Josaphat’s Steeple: An Update

St. Josaphat steeple 2

Last November, I reported on the serious damage done to the iconic steeple at St. Josaphat Catholic Church during a heavy windstorm.At the time, with the steeple twisted and so many slate tiles missing, it was necessary to close the church and redirect parishioners to another church in the downtown Detroit cluster.Here's a peek at the work being done.  The campaign to save the steeple has brought in donations totaling more than $90,000; but more is needed.  Total repair costs will reach a … [Read more...]


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