Friday, March 3, 2017


I have shared this wonderful video from RT International's documentary collection on YouTube. It profiles the life of a Spanish man, named Justo, who has been building a cathedral in his small Spanish hometown for about 50 years. Justo has had no formal architectural or engineering training. He is designing and building the cathedral as he goes along. The town's people call it "Garbage Cathedral".

Justo tried to belong to a local monastery in his youth, but was ejected. Given the fact that he was then the potential heir of a family fortune in real estate and agriculture, I have to speculate that his behavior was too crazy for the other monks to tolerate. They used the excuse that he had been diagnosed with tuberculosis. His longevity seems to provide evidence that he was not that severely ill.

After a short time in Madrid, Justo returned to his village and worked on his parents' land. He had hoped to find a wife in Madrid, but says that he could find no woman prettier than the Blessed Virgin Mary. So, he vowed celibacy and resolved to build his cathedral. He inherited his parents' property. He has used the proceeds from selling it off to finance his project.

The story of lovably eccentric Justo says so much about Roman Catholic indoctrination's hold on Spanish life. The entrenched sanctification of family by religion is shown as empty. Justo inherited despite his impaired mental capacity. His mismanagement of his family's wealth had serious impact on the people of the community. Subsequently, his three nephews, who had profited from Justo's management of his estate by extracting money  and land from him in exchange for some grudging labor at the cathedral site, tried to undermine his efforts by beating up Justo's devoted assistant, a man who sold his own house to help Justo pay off some debts. 

Money, family, religion ... a troubling triad, exposed beautifully in this short documentary. I strongly recommend it.

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