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Light show on facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome, Oct. 27, 2019.
Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

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Disturbing light shows projected on Rome’s churches at close of Amazon Synod

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

ROME, November 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Bizarre lights shows were once again projected on the fronts of some of Rome’s most famous Catholic churches for two weekends in October, the last weekend corresponding with the closing of the Amazon Synod which rocked the Catholic Church worldwide for its use of pagan rituals during official events at which Pope Francis was present. 

At the Basilica of Santa Maria Rotonda, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all martyrs and also known as the Pantheon, a beam of light exploded from the open oculus in the domed roof of the ancient building. 

The beam reached infinitely into the sky from the roof’s central opening and could be seen at least 25 miles away. What was once a Roman temple dedicated to all the pagan gods, the church served as a canvas for the light show. The show cast rapidly changing images that ranged from the architectural to the mysterious. Using the imposing front faces of three famed basilicas and several other architectural monuments in Rome, the show started on October 20 and was repeated on Sunday.

Apart from the Pantheon, the Basilicas of Sant'Agostino and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, and the former Guido Reni barracks, also served as canvases for the video projections. Also on hand was the alternative rock bank New Candys, as well as prominent artists. This Solid Light project brought a series of three-dimensional stereoscopic images on the facades of the classic churches. 

The organizers of the light show stated: “The artistic light project recalls the perfect geometry of the architectural structure of the Pantheon and therefore of the Basilica of Santa Maria ad Martyres, transforming the oculus into a powerful light source: the light, taken as a symbol of God's revelation and of its presence in history, it emanates from the basilica as a bridge between the earth and the sky, as an element of communion between historical reality and divine transcendence.”

The project had cooperation from Italy’s Ministry of Culture and the Vicariate of Rome, thus ensuring Vatican approval.

Solid Light and Spacecannon formed the collective that put on the show. They built on experience gained during a similar light installation at Ground Zero in New York City that served as an illuminated memorial to the thousands of lives lost during the terrorist attacks at the Twin Towers in 2001. Light technicians were led by Michele Cinque and Valerio Ciampicacigli.

Last year, a similar projection of images on Basilica Santa Maria Sopra la Minerva was opposed by Catholics who condemned what they believed were diabolical images and messages. The famed basilica houses the tombs and funerary monuments of saints and prominent Catholics of history. For example, St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), a Doctor of the Church who was a Third Order Dominican, and Dominican friar Blessed John of Fiesole, who is known better known as the artist Fra Angelico (1395-1455). Also once entombed there was St. Thomas Aquinas, whose remains were kept there until 1511 when they were removed to Naples. Several popes are also buried there, as well as Byzantine philosopher George of Trebizond. 

In 2015, the Vatican hosted a "climate change" light show projected on St. Peter's Basilica that included howling, grunting, and roaring animals, along with images of overcrowded city centers, depictions of pollution, and negative portrayals of industrialization. Numerous critics noted the shows connection to paganism, the occult, and new age spirituality. 

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