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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Desecration beyond desecration of Brussels church

The Church of the Beguines in Brussels has been occupied before by "sans-papiers"- illegal immigrants with no permission to work in Belgium. The first time it was forced entry and they trashed the place. The second time was with the permission of the parish priest. Cathcon took some pictures as it was a wider movement of occupation of churches, associated with alleged hunger strikes. See also report here. And church becomes tent city.

Now, as can be seen from the banners over the door, the new occupation has the support of the Catholic trade union CSC.
Instead of Mass times, there are schedules for meetings and demonstrations.
Mass, according to the notice has been banished to the Sacristy.

The Sanctuary, where as far as Cathcon could make out, the Blessed Sacrament has been removed has been decorated with banners.

"I am without papers, in Belgium at the Beguinage. I am staying, I am not going". The statue bears propaganda from the Christian trade union. A stale sandwich is on the table with some milk.

Bizarrely, some pieces from a modern "art" exhibition which took place in the church last year are still there. This the south transept.

An extraordinary photo from the Sanctuary.

Another photo of the "protesting statue"

A man rolling his own cigarettes on a table in front of the sanctuary.

The south transept altar.

But looking around the rest of the church and dispair. Side altar of Our Lady of Sorrows off the north transept.Same from a different angle.

Taken in the other direction.

Various views of the south transept.

The confessionals are being used as storage space.
"We are not dangerous, we are in danger"Washing hung out to dry in what I take to be the chapel used by the women occupants.
Saint Theresa of Lisieux looks on.

The church contains quite a few works of arts, such as St Paul in Prison. They clearly are in danger.

There are so many halls, empty buildings and assorted meeting places in Belgium, but they do have to choose a church to make their point.

Even using the long-redundant pulpit.
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