THE BUILDING of the Church of St Helen in the Poprad suburb of Kvetnica, which is owned by Seniorpark, a non-profit organisation that operates a seniors’ home in the town, will be donated to any organisation that will maintain the church’s original purpose.
The Poprad Roman Catholic parish had signed a 15-year agreement to rent the church from Seniorpark at an annual cost of a single symbolic euro last August, and Anton Opatovský, the administrator of the parish, told the SITA newswire that he had no idea why Seniorpark had now terminated the lease and announced an open competition to donate the church building to another organisation, adding that his parish would seek to obtain ownership of the building.
Representatives of the non-profit organisation made no comment to the media but the head of Seniorpark, Adela Dovalovská, posted a statement on Seniorpark’s website.
“Not everything said by a priest during a mass in church is the naked truth. Thus, I decided as a human being, as a citizen, as a believer, to donate the church to a foundation, religion, civic association, or non-profit organisation that acts in compliance with moral and ethical principles, does not manipulate, lie, hurt intentionally, connive, and that helps selflessly. Because a church should not be a place of hatred and a cradle of evil, it should in no case be demolished and it must serve believers who are not under the influence of envy and malice, I decided to donate it, instead of liquidating it,” the statement reads.
The Church of St Helen was built in 1910 and consecrated by the Bishop of Spiš. It served as a place of worship until the early 1950s when it became a storage place for government propaganda documents and bulletins for the next 40 years.
The church began to hold Roman Catholic masses again after 1989. Church members from Kvetnica and Poprad reconstructed the church and furnished it anew in the 1990s. At that time the owner of the building was the Institute for Respiratory Diseases. Later, ownership of the church building changed hands several times until it subsequently went to Seniorpark.
Seniorpark said it would form a committee to evaluate potential owners, who have been asked to state three reasons why they should be chosen, and to specify their goals and set out how the building will be used.
The non-profit also stated that any future owner must agree not to assign ownership of the building to anyone else for 50 years and to then return it back to Seniorpark.
23. May 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff