Ecclesiastical museums and the pontifical letter on its pastoral functions

Maria Isabel Roque

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

1 Citação (Scopus)
11 Transferências (Pure)


The Catholic Church arrogates a long tradition of protecting and using heritage to complement its evangelisation ministry from the medieval ecclesiastical treasures included in museology proto-history. While these treasures have adopted museographic features, other typologies of ecclesiastical museums have appeared, demanding regulations that could orient their activities. After the Second Vatican Council, the Church became increasingly focused on guaranteeing a worthy destination for the objects left over from worship. In 2001, the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church published the Circular Letter The pastoral function of ecclesiastical museums, establishing that the ecclesiastical museum is an adequate solution for these objects, keeping them close to the cultural group of origin and providing continuity to its original catechetical function. Two decades later, a critical analysis of the Letter is proposed in the theoretical frame of museum studies. Considering the recovery object’s original meaning in the museum discourse, the connection to territory, and the interaction with the plural and heterogeneous audience, the conformity of the Letter with the museum theory is underlined. With a focus on its general accuracy, the aim of this study is to evaluate how the Letter remains actualised and adapted to contemporaneity in addition to the challenges and transformations now faced by museums.

Idioma originalEnglish
Número do artigo96
Número de páginas16
Número de emissão1
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 10 jan. 2023

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