Catholic World News

Debate flares in Naples over jewels of St. Januarius

March 07, 2016

In Naples, Italy, a dispute has erupted over control of the treasures in the museum of St. Januarius, and a collection of treasures said to be more valuable than the British royal jewels.

Since the early 16th century, the chapel of St. Januarius and its museum have been controlled by a board of 12 laymen and the mayor of Naples. But Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has ruled that four seats on the board should be controlled by the Catholic Church, since it is a caretaker body for a church institution. 

Paolo Jorio, the director of the museum, has led protests against that ruling, charging that Alfano was acting under pressure from Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe. "We're protecting a centuries-old institution, and we will not stand for interference from either the Church or the government," he said. Jorio, who sits on the existing council, said that the group would appeal the ruling. Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris said that the council would do what is necessary to "make sure that what San Gennaro (St. Januarius) gave us is not diminished." 

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