So the catholic News for the Archdiocese of Port of Spain claims that it would cost about US$7 million dollars to restore the Basilica Minor Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain. So they have come up with several options. One of them is to Build a new Cathedral.
Now there are several issues to discuss.
1. The article in the catholic news on the Website does not allow for comments. Why? Shouldn't we have a voice in the OUR Catholic Press (or the website even) Miss Editor. It is why I do not buy the Catholic News anymore. In fact I would not even have read it unless my priest advised that we (the congregation of the Cathedral)do. I don't beleive that it truly expresses the thoughts of the faithful, only that of the editor.
2. The Archbishop did not identify the timeline properly. The work to be done had been identified by a specialist refurbisher from Canada through Genivar Trinidad Ltd. The scope of works report with an unofficial ballpark figure was given in 2007 (I believe). The cost was not close to 7 million US dollars. I think it was about half that.
3. I could be mixing up the restoration comittee with the committee to raise funds for the restoration, if they are indeed two separate groups I apologise - but the restoration comittee includes non catholics. They have no interest in the Catholic Faith, Catholic Culture or what it means to be a Bascilica Minor. They do not understand that the same Pope who assembled the first Vatican Council, is the Pope who made our beloved Cathedral a Bascilica Minor. This is a great Pope in church history. Do they even know the stresses that Napoleon III caused this Pope or the Catholic Church.... causing Emmauel I of Itlay to steal the Papal States for what he hoped would be his Empire (the Roman Question).
4. Anything other than a Restoration would be a crime against our children. Are we not the custodians of that which belongs to our children. How can we throw away 150 years of History? What madman would suggest such a thing, and why? If not for their own personal ambitions. I am told that Great Leaders build to leave a legacy....
25 but he said to them, 'Among the gentiles it is the kings who lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title Benefactor.
26 With you this must not happen. No; the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he were the one who serves.
27 For who is the greater: the one at table or the one who serves? The one at table, surely? Yet here am I among you as one who serves! Luke 22:25-27
5. What is a Restoration? The original Cathedral had two chapels. Are those going to be restored. If so what would happen to the toilets and the sacristy which now occupy the (north & south) transepts. It is my understanding that these two chapels would not be restored.
6. Perhaps there really is no interest in the Catholic cathedral by the Government to help in the restoration. After all it is the Anglican Cathedral that hosts the religious opening of Parliment and the Law term.
7. I agree that there should be a synod OF THE FAITHFUL... somehow as a member of the Cathedral community I believe we the faithful would be sidelined by the clerics.
For those who don't know the histroy of the Cathedral I would be sure willing to enlighten. Otherwise check out the Article on the Catholic News website; www.catholicnews-tt.net