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Washington’s former John Paul II Cultural Center becomes a national shrine

March 19, 2014

The building complex originally designed as the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center has been named by the US bishops as a national shrine.

As of April 27, when the late Pontiff is canonized, the building in Washington, DC, will be known as the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. The new shrine is located just across the street from the existing National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center was an ambitious project, launched in 1997 by Detroit’s Cardinal Adam Maida, which never succeeded in generating public interest. The 100,000-square-foot facility, built at a cost of more than $50 million, drew few visitors to its exhibits, and in 2011 the Knights of Columbus bought the building from the Detroit archdiocese at a reported price of $22 million.


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  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 20, 2014 8:19 AM ET USA

    So, how does the ill-advised construction of the Center (a beautiful building) by the Diocese of Detroit preach the gospel, and what is the message of this action to the laity. Our bishops are acting more and more like corporate leaders and less and less like Jesus and Pope Francis!