Austrian architect begs Pope Francis for help, as he plans to sue bell-ringing cathedral

Wolfgang Lussy claims the cathedral's bells ring 222 times a night

Kashmira Gander
Monday 09 February 2015 20:03
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An exhausted Austrian architect, who has begged Pope Francis to help him stop the cathedral bells near his home ringing at night, is suing the catholic institution.

Wolfgang Lassy, 57, penned a two-page letter to Pope Francis in which he asked his Holiness to help him stop the night time chiming, at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Linz.

The architect has struggled to sleep for years as the bells ring a staggering 222 times a night - including four times an hour and 28 times at midnight - according to his lawyer.

"Sleeping is so stressful for me. I often have to take sleeping tablets to get any rest," Lassy told the Heute newspaper, according to a translation by The Local Austria.

Lassy bought his home in Baumbachstrasse in 2004 but began suffering from fatigue in 2010, he told the Krone newspaper. He says selling up would be a last resort.

According to measurements taken by Lassy, the bells are illegal as they create a 77-decibel din at their peak.

By law, noise levels should not exceed 50 decibels in residential areas, although this does not apply to churches.

Calling the Cathedral a “noise machine”, Lassy hopes to see it’s bells turned off at night, as is the case at Vienna’s Stephansdom.

Lassy’s court hearing against Linz Cathedral Parish will start on Friday. It is yet unclear whether Pope Francis will step in to help the architect.

The battle comes after a pastor in nearby Mühlkreis stopped his church bells ringing during the night, in a trial phase designed to see if it would improve parishioners' sleep.

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