Blessed Sacrament Cathedral: money not tagged for restoration

Blessed Sacrament Cathedral

Christchurch Catholic diocese’s general manager Andy Doherty said no donations have been made for the specific purpose of restoring the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.

$200,000 left to the church in a will had no specific provision for restoration of the basilica. The donated total of $350,000 would be used for the planned new cathedral, he said.

In 2017 The Washington DC Catholic diocese donated $200,000 in 2017 as a “sign of solidarity”.

At the time, the Canterbury diocese was considering preserving just the central part of the earthquake-damaged Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

The cathedral’s $30 million insurance payout will be used to fix other damaged buildings throughout the Catholic diocese of the city including the building of a new cathedral.

The plan now is to build a new cathedral opposite Victoria Square on Colombo St.

Heritage advocates are disappointed by the decision to demolish Christchurch’s Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

“We tried to get a sounding board from different people, we’re not running a referendum in the end and, as the bishop, the decision rests with me,” Bishop Martin told Newshub.

Parishioners are accepting of the bishops decision, calling it a “big loss” and “sad occasion”.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel told Newshub she understands it’s been a tough call for the bishop and there will be genuine sadness over the decision.

But the Catholic Church does have the legal authority to demolish the building she said.

Martin is working with engineers and safety experts to allow parishioners to attend a special event to farewell the iconic cathedral.

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News category: New Zealand.

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