Sunday, May 15

Italy: a priest is fined 2,000 euros for ringing his church bell 200 times a day

He may have abused the tocsin a little. An Italian priest was reprimanded by the Tuscan authorities who fined him for ringing his church bells too much, nearly 200 times a day. He was therefore invited to pull less on the rope.

Don Leonardo Guerri, priest of the Church of St. Mary in Coverciano, at the gates of Florence, had been in conflict for several years with his neighbors who accused him of ringing the bells between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., reports Friday The Corriere Fiorentino.

After the failure of a long conciliation, four years of legal proceedings, petitions and audiometric records, the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Tuscany (Arpat) decided to take action by imposing a fine of 2,000 euros.

The clergyman may continue to ring his bells, but only to call the faithful to mass and prayer.

Faced with the proliferation of parochial disputes in the Tuscan countryside, Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, sent his parishes a few years ago a directive intended to limit noise pollution. He asked priests “to avoid putting a strain on the feeling of Christian devotion” of local residents when the Italian Church was already suffering from the crisis of priestly vocations, the aging of rural populations and the disaffection of the younger generations.

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