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The Vatican without the religion

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Leeds, United...
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The Vatican without the religion

We are off to see the Vatican because it is clearly a spectacular spot and of some world significance.

However, we are not in the least interested in religion and wonder how easy it might be to avoid having the religious aspects pushed at us? Do the guides expect everyone to be a 'true believer'?

Montreal
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1. Re: The Vatican without the religion

No one will "push the religious aspects" at you.

The authorized guides point out the historic and artistic significance of what you are seeing, but if it offends you to the core that the Sistine Chapel is a religious site as well as a tourist sight, perhaps you had best avoid it.

St Paul, MN
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2. Re: The Vatican without the religion

Are you paying for a tour of some kind?

you can buy a guide book and check out the art inside. Nobody there is trying to convert anybody else.

Leeds, United...
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3. Re: The Vatican without the religion

Let's be clear - I am in no way 'offended' that it's a religious site, I just don't want it pushing down my throat. It's clearly a fantastic site regardless of the inevitable 'religiosity' and I would not want to be put off enjoying it.

perth
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4. Re: The Vatican without the religion

<<< do the guides expect everyone to be a " true Believer ". NO.

.....there is no questionnaire..." do you believe ? no !. well, no guided tour for you, off you go ! "

lennyb

Hagerstown, Maryland
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5. Re: The Vatican without the religion

Much of the magnificent art you'll find in Rome has a religious theme. It doesn't offend my devout atheist sensibilities, so I don't why it would offend you. Don't worry, no one is going to push religion on you.

And don't avoid going into the churches in the historic center - believe me, a lot of incredible art can be found within the churches.

Silver Spring...
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6. Re: The Vatican without the religion

"I am in no way 'offended' that it's a religious site"

Who cares if you are or aren't?

pittsburgh
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7. Re: The Vatican without the religion

Geoff,

You don't have to worry that guides or guards will question you about your religious beliefs or push theirs on you. If you are taking a tour, they will point out the artwork that is in the museums and/or the basilica and they may even mention the religious significance of it but it won't be in a pushy or over-zealous way. Everything is put in an historical light and not a religious one. If you are not put off by reading about the vatican in guidebooks, then you will not have a problem when you get there. The information is delivered in basically the same way.

Donna

Leeds, United...
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8. Re: The Vatican without the religion

Well thanks everyone for the reassurance. I'm not too fussed either way and just wondered if the tour guides might be a bit hard line - seemingly not and that's encouraging.

(Oh, and no thanks vipblovesitaly for a singularly unhelpful response to a point of clarification in my original post.

I suppose that perhaps I should just not care!)

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: The Vatican without the religion

In fact, some knowledge of Christianity is needed to fully understand the meaning of many of the paintings. Each saint is conventionally pictured in a certain costume, or carrying a certain object (often his/her means of martyrdom), and knowing about this can increase the satisfaction of seeing a painting.

The paintings in churches - and those now in the Vatican Museum - were not painted primarily for decoration, but as a means of instructing the faithful in the days when hardly anyone could read.

I'm not a believer myself, but this knowledge helps my appreciation of the paintings.

UK
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10. Re: The Vatican without the religion

Knowing the background 'story' to a saint, or discovering it by having the picture explained to you by a knowledgeable guide... enhances the experience.... you would expect as much for any other art and any other depiction.... in any other context. It helps to know the story behind the sculptures depicting the Greek myths / legends etc. or the 'native' art of any country. Without the story behind it, the 'religious' paintings of the Christian churches just become 'yet another depiction of some anonymous saint'.....

But, of necessity - the things and people depicted have 'Christian instruction' within them.

One of the most famous Caravaggio paintings (in the church of 'il Pio Monte della Misericordia' in the old quarter of Naples) is of the 'Seven Works of Mercy' - if you have no knowledge of these 'works' you will stare aghast at the old man suckling the breast of a young woman through a barred window .....

The scene comes from an ancient Roman story in which the daughter of an imprisoned man breast-fed her father - an instance of filial piety. This little scene in a corner of the painting illustrated 'visiting the imprisoned and feeding the hungry' The rest of the explanation of this incredible painting can be found on:

www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2005/feb/17/1

No - unless you're very unlucky - you won't meet a 'fundamentalist' guide who insists you convert to visit the Vatican !!!!

“See how they love one another.”(Apologeticus) These are the words Tertullian quoted as spoken by some Pagans of the third century regarding Christian communities. So no, of course not, - no 'sermonising', no 'bullying'.... let's hope we keep to the original suggestion....just act like a Christian and people will know you.

Enjoy the works of art, and you may be moved to remember them later, and perhaps do what you can in a quiet way to help the poor and disadvantaged.

Keep the art in the churches, and the poor too can visit an art gallery.....