People look East
In 2009, Michael S Rose's book "Ugly as Sin: When They Changed Our Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces and How We Can Change Them Back Again" was published.
In this book Rose details how the problem with many new-style Catholic churches is not just they are ugly, they can actually distort the Faith and lead Catholics away from Catholicism. Rose banishes forever the notion that lovers of traditional-style churches are motivated simply by taste or nostalgia. Rose shows that far more is at stake: many modern churches actually violate the 3 natural laws of church architecture and can and often do lead Catholics to worship, a false god.Rose shows conclusively how the traditional church communicates the Faith, while many modern churches do not.He has a keen sense of just what is wrong with modern churches that look like anything but churches.In the past magnificent Houses of God were built; I wonder who or what was behind the dangerous trend toward desacralised "worship spaces" or desacralised meeting spaces?This book received positive reviews from architects at Amazon.comPS - I ask for prayers for the child Enow Muhdin.
Apparently, for many, architecture, as a discipline, teaches that it can transform behaviour (even to an extent transform thought) by transforming space!The above book is a scholarly work that judges certain types of church architecture that are "ugly as sin" in a calm erudite way. It is NOT a book that simply says "These buildings are hideous and they destroy our faith and only an idiot would build one".What was behind, what was the causes/origins of so many "Catholic liturgical experts" pushing architects to create "worship spaces" ridding so many churches of so MANY important little details written out that for centuries made a Catholic church and end up with a building looking distinctly non-Catholic and feeling non-Catholic?
Sorry - the above had several typo/mistakes. SO:Apparently, for many, architecture, as a discipline, teaches that it can transform behaviour (even to an extent transform thought) by transforming space!The above book is a scholarly work that judges certain types of church architecture that are "ugly as sin" in a calm erudite way. It is NOT a book that simply says "These buildings are hideous and they destroy our faith and only an idiot would build one".What was behind, what were the causes/origins of so many "Catholic liturgical experts" pushing architects to create "worship spaces" ridding so many churches of so MANY important little details that for centuries made a Catholic church Catholic and instead end up with a building looking distinctly non-Catholic and feeling non-Catholic?
The so-called "natural laws" - a HIGHLY questionable proposition - of church architecture: Verticality, Permanence (Timelessness), and Iconography.How "vertical" must a church be? Who sets the standard?What style of architecture is "timeless?" (I would say none is timeless.) Is it Byzantine, Romanesque, Roman basilica, French Gothic, English Gothic, Renaissance, Brutalesque,...? Should the interior decoration reflect the tastes of 18th century Italy or Burtma or Ghana or Japan? Or maybe... "The Church has not adopted any particular style of art as her own…. The art of our own times from every race and country shall also be given free scope in the Church, provided it bring to the task the reverence and honor due to the sacred buildings and rites". Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 123 Iconography? Again, who determines what is proper iconography? Must it be statues and stained glass. Must the style be life-life, or are more abstract designs allowed? Are two dimensional icons acceptable in Latin Rire churches? Can one put sacred symbols in a mosaic floor, symbols that will be trod upon daily?
Sorry this is off topic but I am very disappointed with King Charles!It has been reported that the publication of the liturgy for the coronation has been delayed as Charles intends to follow the advice of people like Lord Harries, the retired bishop of Oxford, who since 2014 has urged that the next coronation should include readings from the Koran.I am and will continue to be disappointed in Charles who claims he wants to be a defender of faiths; NOT the defender of Faith, and he not demand that the liturgy for his coronation also includes readings from the overlooked Hindu’s text the Bhagavad Gita, the Sikh’s Guru Granth Sahib; and for those who have faith in secular humanism, perhaps, at minimum, a few choice ironic phrases from “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” should be included in the coronation liturgy if the goal is to be truly inclusive - and the new king truly show he is The Defender of Faiths.
To answer an above question, perhaps it was a Bugnini-factor influence, so that from circa 1970 there was a strong desire by many in the Church that there could be nothing in Catholic architecture or Catholic sacred art that could be a stumbling block for any Calvinist or Freemason ?
Fr K,I hope this is not going to lead to a dialogue in which it is claimed there are no real objective standards in art, architecture and music and subjective tastes and preferences are all there is!As in there are no real objective aesthetic standards to such an extent so as that no person can reasonably claim that:Salisbury Cathedral is a greater building than the 18th century London Masonic temple.Michaelangelo's The Last Judgement is really better art than any art of the famous or infamous Fr Rupnik SJ.Bach, Beethoven and Mozart actually composed better music than Kanye West or the latest Korean Boy Band.Gregorian chant is perhaps more significant, moving, profound and sublime etc than the music of Eminem or Snoop Dog.Are subjective tastes and preferences all there is in sacred art and ecclesiastical architecture?
Paul - Beauty is subjective. Examples I have offered before: Are the massive and magnificent floral displays in the entrance hall of the Metropolitan Museum in New York more beautiful than a minimalist Ikebana style display of two white irises, a sprig of baby's breath, and a small branch of curly willow? Is one more "appropriate" for a church than the other?I find the sparsely decorated chapel of the Trappist monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, to be every bit as beautiful, inspiring, and uplifting as the most over-the-top baroque/rococo masterpiece in Bavaria. Is the insidiously complex music of Paganini's 24 Caprices more beautiful than a very simple minuet by Bach?No, subjective tastes and preferences are not "all there is" is sacred art and architecture. But what one person or one age or one culture finds beautiful might not be judged in the same way by another person in a different age in a different culture. To try to turn preferences/tastes into something called "natural law" is stretching it a looooooooooooooong way.
One does not have to bring natural law into it...If one had to take 3 young Catholics, say from New Zealand, Vietnam and Kenya, to Europe - what do you think might move them more : Gregorian chant in a centuries old beautiful cathedral OR some of the latest liturgical creativity in Germany ?!Including for example, an obese, late middle aged German priest with a baseball cap on, and rapper gold chain and bizarre LGBT rainbow vestments rapping Christian songs in hip hop style in a Star Trek inspired "worship space"...?By the way, when Cardinal Muller or one of hundreds of Catholic bishops and priests like Bishop Schneider and Fr Hunwicke etc call a lot of the latest liturgical "creativity" to be at least liturgical abuse and at times even blasphemous...Is that just a matter of nostalgia, a matter of personal, subjective tastes and preferences and a failure to recognise legitimate modern aesthetic tastes and legitimate liturgical diversity?
I completed some college courses on Renaissance art -I think one can recognise some significant spiritual/religious continuity from early Byzantine art, to western mediaeval art then High Renaissance art, through Mannerism and the Baroque etc AND then recognising a true rupture - by any reasonable sane standard - post 1970 in many "Christian" art exhibitions...By the way, I had a devout, wealthy old aunt who funded an annual exhibition of, and prizes, for Catholic art. In the mid 70s shortly before her death, on seeing how Moses and St John the Baptist were portrayed in art at this exhibition in c. 1975, she changed her will so zero dollars from her estate would ever fund any more "Catholic art" exhibitions and prizes.
Paul,You are talking to someone who votes for abortion is healthcare so his palate is questionable
TJM. You are a liar. I never voted for abortion or abortion as Healthcare. Your perverse intoxication with lying is tragic.
Sophia here: A very warm welcome to you, Luckylady and Paul! God Bless you!
Father Michael, Do you think many modern priests are aware that while they may admire certain modern "sacred art" mere nominal Catholic but educated lay people and secular agnostic art critics can and have ridiculed such modernist sacred art exhibitions where, for example, several "messes" called "Epiphany" could be labelled "Nativity" and several messes called Nativity could be labelled "Epiphany" and no one could tell the difference, and each religious art work would still mean so little.What does it indicate when even secular heathen hacks can recognise when so called Christian artists are attempting to get away with blasphemy under the name of symbolism. And only laugh at such sacred art that has old testament prophets closely resembling Mussolini, Senator McCarthy or Donald Trump; or a gentle Judas quavering before certain feral fundamentalist followers of Jesus - aka as saints and apostles. And pity even mock such trendy progressive Catholic people who find such juvenile junk moving.
Fr K,Every time you vote for Democrats you are voting for abortion, it is as day follows the night! You are willfully blind to the intrinsic evils permeating that Party. A casual read of the Biden Administrations daily activities to promote abortion and the Party’s marketing for votes focusing on the right to kill the unborn is all the evidence one needs to show you really do not give a damn about the unborn - it’s just lip service. You are the Great Prevaricator!
TJM - You are a liar. As the Church PLAINLY instructs, a Catholic may vote for a candidate in spite of his/her pro-abortion position. You repeatedly portray me as supporting abortion, as believing that abortion is health care, and that is a bald-faced lie.
Fr K, I think you mean “taste” is subjective. Beauty is no more subjective or independent of our awareness of universal harmony than ethics are of our morals. Were are only gifted with varying degrees of aptitude in execution.
rcg - No, I mean beauty. Morality and Beauty are not, I would suggest, comparable in terms of their origin. Moral truths are divinely revelaed; I am not aware of any divine revelation that teaches us what is and what is not beautiful.
The following are the last 2 lines of a famous poem by John Keats:"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is allYe know on earth, and all ye need to know."
Fr K, they are not comparable in origin but in relation to their respective origins. Of course they map back to the same Originator. If the architecture does not facilitate knowing, loving, and serving the Lord then is failed. While all human endeavor falls short of God’s beauty there is no need to deliberately undershoot it in faux humility or adolescent displays of self-centrism as so many Church renovations display.
rcg - You say, "If the architecture does not facilitate knowing, loving, and serving the Lord.."Would you suggest that one type or style of architecture does this better than others? If so, how does it accomplish that?And if your preferred style is wholly unknown in a particular culture where the Catholic faith is vibrant, what might account for that?
Through introduction. It won’t be entirely unknown because architecture reflects nature. There are radically different styles even in the same culture depending on the setting. In the case of the subject Church elements were used that disconnected it from its own heritage.
rcg - "architecture reflects nature" Well, it can, but it doesn't always do so, nor is there a need for it to do so.If a culture has a style of architecture that it appreciates as that which is appropriate for worship, why not use what has already developed organically within that culture? Why "introduce" a foreign style, an unknown asthetic.What is the "heritage" that some have been disconnected from? Italianate buildings? Eurocentric languages?
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