Two linked headlines adjacent to one another at Gates of Vienna seem to symbolize the modern status of the City of Man versus the City of God:
Cash-strapped church closes until Easter
A church near Treviso is closing until Easter because of a plunge in offerings due to the economic crisis. Father Stefano Taffarel, parish priest at Fontanelle di Treviso, said his flock's less giving ways meant he could no longer pay to heat and light the church of Sts Peter and Paul.
Italian stores open as long as they want
A new law went into effect Monday allowing Italian stores to open and close whenever they please. Previously the law required that stores close after a certain number of hours per day, as well as some holidays, Sundays and one day during the work week. Bars and restaurants can also stay open non-stop. Intended to boost consumer spending, the relaxed rules are part of the emergency government's package of stimulus and budget measures that aim to raise 30 billion euros and lift hurl the country out of its debt crisis.
Shop, eat, pray? Uh, no. Shop and eat. Shop and eat. We have a new religion, the economy, open 24/7.