Do you believe or not believe – that is the question. At least for the state-run Lutheran Parish Council of Mejdal in the diocese of Viborg in Jutland.
As the first parish ever in the country, Mejdal is advertising for a new vicar to take care of the religious welfare of its congregation – but the job advertisement makes it clear, the congregation wants someone who actually believes in God, according to Kristeligt Dagblad.
The Parish Council is apparently worried that it may run into the same problems caused by Vicar Thorkild Grosbøll in the Copenhagen suburb of Taarbæk who caused a flurry of controversy in 2003 after stating stated that he did not believe in a creator and interventionist God.
“We have written [that we want a believer] to underscore that we want a priest who is a believer,” Mejdal Parish Council Chairman Karl Georg Pedersen tells Kristeligt Dagblad.
“It should be obvious, but we’re not at all that sure that it is. The Grosbøll case still haunts us and there are different attitudes among priests to Christianity and the gospels,” he adds.
The council’s prerequisite was included following a questionnaire distributed to the local congregation asking them what they wanted in a new priest.
Denmark’s National Vicars’ Union, however, isn’t too pleased with the idea. (via Politiken.dk)
Graffiti is still a relatively new art form, with its modern-day origins in New York’s counterculture and hip hop music. In Seine Saint Denis, just outside of Paris, authorities are hoping graffiti tours and a mural project will breathe new life into some of its rundown neighbourhoods. (via RFI)
Gladiator general's tomb falls victim to Italy's austerity cuts
On its discovery in 2008, it was hailed as one of the most significant Roman finds in decades. Digging down between the railway line and mechanics’ workshops where the Tiber winds its way north out of Rome, archeologists found the remains of a 45ft high structure fronted by four columns. This was what was left of the luxurious tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, the swaggering Roman general whose ceaseless campaigning in the 2nd century helped inspire Russell Crowe’s film Gladiator.
But now cuts mean the tomb may be buried all over again, according to Rome’s extremely unhappy state superintendent for archaeology. “I fear we are going to take into serious consideration the idea of protecting these sensational finds by re-covering the entire site with earth,” said Mariarosaria Barbera.
Today, Macrinus’s last resting place – in an industrial wasteland in the suburbs of Rome – appears forgotten. Delicately carved white capitals which were miraculously preserved for 1,800 years under thick clay now sit, discoloured by air pollution, in pools of rainwater, while cracks caused by winter ice have appeared in the stonework.
With funding for maintenance of Italy’s archeological sites slashed by 20% since 2010 thanks to austerity cuts, the €2m-€3m (£1.6m-£2.4m) needed to preserve the tomb will not be available unless a sponsor is found soon, according to Barbera.
Covering up precious discoveries to protect them is getting more common in Italy as funding shrinks, she added. “Until now it has usually happened when remains are not that significant or monumental. In this case they clearly are.” (via The Observer)