The city, the region and the diocese of Rome have agreed to speed-up the commissioning and the construction of 26 new churches on the outskirts of the capital. The diocese had hoped to have 50 new places of worship open for the millennium jubilee in the year 2000, but so far only 19 of these have been completed and five commissioned. The new agreement between the mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, the president of the Lazio region, Francesco Storace and Monsignor Luigi Moretti, the vice-regent of the Rome diocese, to fast-track the re-zoning and commissioning process should now give the remaining 26 churches a push in the right direction. The support from the city and the regional authorities is a recognition that the churches are not only centres of worship but also essential points of reference in parts of the city which have few other support systems available. Many of the new buildings also envisage the construction of meeting places, sports facilities and cinemas.
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