A panoramic view of Florence, capital and largest city of the Tuscany region
Image: picture alliance / CPA Media Co.
Don Leonardo Guerri rang the church bells with great devotion for years. The neighbors couldn’t take it anymore. The environmental authority has now decided that the priest may only ring twice a day.
WA priest in Florence has been fined for ringing church bells more than 200 times a day. As the newspaper “Corriere Fiorentino” reported on Friday, Don Leonardo Guerri from the church of Santa Maria a Coverciano fought a four-year dispute with the neighbors.
Residents in the community to the east of Florence complained that the constant ringing of bells between 8am and 9pm disturbed their work, rest and sleep. It’s the worst during the holiday season, when the bells ring every half hour.
After petitions, lawsuits and investigations into noise pollution, the environmental protection agency (Arpat) in Tuscany now took action and imposed a fine of 2,000 euros, the newspaper further reported. In addition, the priest now has to be very careful when ringing the bell: He is only allowed to ring for mass and for evening prayer at 6 p.m.
“Don’t Overstretch Christian Devotion”
In view of increasing conflicts over bell towers in Tuscany, the Archbishop of Florence, Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, had already sent out an order in 2014 to limit noise pollution from church bells. He called on priests not to “overstress the importance of Christian devotion.”
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