For Italy’s 25000 Mormons, it might be great news for them as their first temple has been completed in Rome. The towering white temple is a clear indication of the fact that their faith has eventually reached the heart of Christianity.
Italy’s first towering white Mormon temple stands on Rome’s unremarkable outer border and far away from the Vatican. The first Mormon temple is enclosed between the city’s ring road and a shopping mall will be devoted over three days starting on 10th March by Russell Nelson. Nelson is the president of the world’s 16 million Mormons, who regard Russell as ‘The Prophet’.
Pope Francis, whose Church members are around 1.3 billion and who lives in the Vatican, about 18 km away, won’t be present for the event. The Roman Catholic Church does not acknowledge the Mormons, formally known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because of their differences over doctrinal issues.
However, it does not worry about Italy’s Mormons who till now have had to travel to the Swiss capital Berne for the adjacent temple. The new building forms a part of a 15-acre (6 hectares) religious and cultural centre that looks like a U.S. college campus.
In an interview, church elder Alessandro Dini-Ciacci told that the temple that has been just built is an assurance of their belief in Jesus Christ as the world’s saviour. Rome being the centre of Christianity is the place where apostles Peter and Paul, the early apostles of the Church of Christ came to teach and revealed their testimony.
A delegation from the office of Vatican for Christian Unity, spearheaded by a bishop, visited the temple last month in a symbol of friendship, Dini-Ciacci and a Vatican official stated. The temple has been covered with white granite from Sardinia. Statues of Jesus and the apostles are made of fine Carrara marble, as are the baptistery and most of the floors. With the oil paintings containing biblical scenes, Impressionist-style works characterizing the Italian countryside and chandeliers of crystal gold, most rooms look like those of a luxury hotel.