Friday, February 02, 2007

Cathedrals, Basilicas and Churches Stolen from the Catholic Church

Throughout its history, the Catholic Church has built the most spectacular and awe-inspiring places of the worship the world has ever seen. For centuries, churches were the tallest structures of every town in Europe, and around the world. In many countries, this remains the case. They remain the most breath-taking monuments in society. Often built by members of society as a work of love, these buildings touch the sky, and upon entering, people are transported to a new world. You can feel the presence of God all around you. The Catholic Church realizes the importance of these great structures, and that is why for over 1,000 years, the Church has built some of the most amazing examples of human achievement.

Unfortunately, however, the Church suffered great loss in her history. Many of these amazing places of worship were conquered by heretics and schismatics. Often, the treasures of these churches, preserved for generations for the benefit of all were ransacked and stolen. Often Churches were badly damaged, often left in disrepair. Even if these churches were not damaged, they were still stolen. This is very sad, and unfortunate. Almost every magnificent place for Christian worship that has achieved great fame in a country, be it a church, basilica, or cathedral, was once a Catholic or remains one to this day. I will look at some of the most famous Cathedrals in the World, which were stolen from the Catholic Church.

Ulm M√ľnster

Located in Germany, it is the tallest church in the world, and was the tallest building in the world from 1890-1908. It was built in 1377 by Catholics, and later taken from them by Lutherans. The Cologne Cathedral of Germany is the second tallest church in the world, but it has 2 spires instead of one.

Wells Cathedral

The building of this amazing Cathedral began in 1191 by Bishop Reginald de Bohun. It was worked on during the 12th and early 13th centuries, and was mostly completed by 1239. In the years and decades to come, more expansions were made to accommodate a growing congregation. Eventually the Cathedral was taken over by Anglicans.

Westminster Abbey

Perhaps the best-known Cathedral in the United Kingdom, Westminster Abbey is the Cathedral where the Kings and Queens of England are crowned. This is quite a spectacular building, which resembles the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. It was completed before King Henry VIII, but Henry violently took over this Cathedral, like many others, when he broke away from the Catholic Church.

These are just 3 examples of Churches which were apprehended illegally by non-Catholic groups. Fortunately, most of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world remain the property of the Catholic Church. The next time you see a magnificent church, remember that it was probably once a Catholic Cathedral.

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