Monday, July 10, 2006

No more guides in Bom Jesu ...

Guided tours banned from Xavier basilica, guides upset []
Jesuit Father Savio Baretto, the rector, said basilica authorities decided to keep the guides out following complaints from local devotees that tourists behave disrespectfully in the building.

The priest recounted that not long ago a guide picked a fight with a local devotee who resented the commotion tourists were creating. That incident started him thinking, he said, and "after a month we decided to ban entry of guided tours." The new rule allows guides to speak to their tour groups outside the basilica or in the foyer, but not beyond that.

Father Baretto also lamented that tourists often would barge into the basilica during religious services. Some visitors of other religions also would queue up for Communion, he added. Catholic Church rules allow only baptized Catholics to receive the Eucharist.
Must have been pretty bad. But surely, Bom Jesu doesn't get as many visitors as the Basilicas of Rome? And they seem to managage reasonably well.

[Incidentally, about non-Christians coming up to communion. For the first time ever, I noticed someone being denied Communion at Mass on Sunday. I sit in the middle of the church, where there is a break in the pews. This is where one of the Communion stations is -- the line here is the longest, since it is where those standing in the back of the chruch (while the front is rather empty) line up to receive. At some point, I glanced up to the priest handing out communion, just a few steps away from me. A young man, probably in his late teens, had approached and had put his hand forward as if to shake the priest's hand! "Are you Catholic?" "No, sir." The priest then smiled, clasped the guy's hand, patted his head, and said, "Sorry!" He walked away seemingly unperturbed.

I wonder how common this is?]

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