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The residents have decided: we shall violate the bans
Torricella Peligna. The parish community is without a usable place of worship for the rest of the Christmas and New Year holidays: several days ago all three of the churches in the village became inaccessible. Until Christmas only the parish church of San Giacomo was still accessible; the largest church, its history dates back to the seventeenth century. But for security and safety reasons this church has had to be closed, following on from an inspection by fire officers from the Casoli detachment and from the headquarters at Chieti, due to worsening of the lesions of the weight-bearing structures and above all a collapse of part of the roof of the left nave.
The second church in terms of size and importance, San Rocco, has been closed for quite a while, in accordance with a bye-law from the Mayor, Graziano Zacchigna, because the roof is still covered with eternit[see 1] (asbestos) panels. The third, Sant’Antonio, despite recently having had its roof repaired, is subject to infiltrations of water, which make it impossible to use. It is difficult to find a solution for this situation.
 "Eternit" – a light durable building material made of a mixture of cement and asbestos fibres, used for roofing and to lag pipes
The parish Priest, Don Giuseppe Di Pietrantonio, finds himself in difficulties with the faithful. One possible alternative would be to use the churches in the hamlets, those of the Madonna delle Rose or Sant’Agata at Collezingaro, but not everyone is able to get there, especially now with the cold and the snow.
The parishioners intend to contravene the Mayor’s bye-law and go back into the church of San Rocco which, they say, is only closed due to the presence of panels of "eternit": –"We shall enter the church and ask the Priest to carry out the services at least on New Year’s Day".
Torricella loses its Churches
Collapses and Eternit : the village’s 3 places of worship are inaccessible
The Parish Priest is thinking of transferring the Mass, the faithful say no
For Don Giuseppe this is another problem to overcome.
But there are serious problems about the reasons for the collapse of San Giacomo’s Church. Apart from the roof, lesions have become apparent both on the walls that had been reinforced using money from the 1984 earthquake funds, and also on the façade; moreover water has infiltrated the apse. Technicians from the Genio Civile (Civil Engineers) of Chieti and from the Superintendent’s Office have carried out investigations into this damage. In the meanwhile the Parish Priest, Don Giuseppe, although without any funds, has asked an architect to draw up a plan for making the structures of the church safe. (Walter Teti)
|English translation courtesy of Dr. Marion Apley Porreca|