Benedictine double-take

Now this is more like it.

No… wait… another Lutheran church that looks more Catholic than most Catholic churches…

Pope Benedict is the Pope of Christian Unity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. bwjb says:

    I’m always amazed when our separated brethren “get it” when it comes to church architecture and/or liturgy, yet many Catholics don’t. Nonetheless, if the Holy Father keeps up the good work, it will be a beautiful Catholic church someday…

  2. Magpie says:

    We had a yoke just like that in our church, but they ripped it out in the early nineties. Along with the beautiful side altars. And the altar rails. And the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart statues. Yep. *sigh* Oh yeah, and they moved the tabernacle off to the side. And put the ‘presider’s’ chair where the tabernacle used to be in the centre of the sanctuary. And they ripped out the high altar. Yep…

  3. lofstrr says:

    I was in Sweden this last Sept. visiting extended family and seeing the sights. It was the first time for me. My favorite part was seeing the old churches and cathedrals. It was also the saddest part. They were beautiful and well kept by the gov’t but nobody used them. Of course the Church of Sweden is Lutheran but they were just like this, they were so very Catholic. Maybe someday after the Church of Sweden is finished dying these churches and parishes will return to Catholics.

    My dad took me to see the domkyrka or cathedral in his home town of Västerås. He mentioned with much pride that it dated back to the 12 century. It surprised him a bit when I mentioned that it meant that it was originally Catholic. “Dad, there was no such thing as Lutherans or protestants until the 16th century.”

    On the left side of the main entrance was a beautiful relief of our Lady with rays of light coming from her and surrounded by the 5 wounds of Christ. The rays of light made it remind me of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  4. Mariana says:

    From a former Lutheran in Scandinavia – that’s what better Lutheran churches look like!

  5. doanli says:

    bwjb echoes my sentiments exactly.

  6. John 6:54 says:

    How did Catholics become so architecturely challenged?

  7. Leonius says:

    “How did Catholics become so architecturely challenged?”

    By accepting the revolutionary new architectural theories of the 50’s and 60’s.

    The fashionable architectural theories of the 50s and 60s, so slavishly followed by those who wanted to be considered ‘with it’, have spawned deformed monsters which have come to haunt our towns and cities, our villages and our countryside.

    As a result of fifty years of experimenting with revolutionary building materials and novel ideas, burning all the rule books and purveying the theory that man is a machine, we have ended up with Frankenstein monsters, devoid of character, alien and largely unloved, except by the professors who have been concocting these horrors in their laboratories – and even they find their creations a bit hard to take after a while.

    The rest of us are constantly obliged to endure the results of their experiments.

  8. Maltese says:

    I love the title to Michael Rose’s book: “Ugly as Sin; How they Changed our Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces”!

    I also like this “No Place for God”:

    I think some square warehouses are the epitome of beauty compared to this monstrosity:

  9. JonM says:

    @ Maltese,

    Don’t forget, that was one expensive monstrosity.

    Liberals who love talking about disunity seem to enjoy very much testing the strength of bonds. A favorite of theirs is wrecking beautiful, old churches so that brand new barren ski lodges [guaranteed free of any statues] can serve as new journey centers.

    We hear a lot about Anglicans coming over, but what about Lutherans? Are there any conservative parishes left that realize what becomes of personal interpretation?

  10. pelerin says:

    In the link provided by Maltese we learn that the Los Angeles cathedral was built ‘for people’. How strange – I always thought churches and cathedrals were built for the glory of God!

  11. sejoga says:

    I saw a video the other day comparing European (Christian) birth rates with Middle-Eastern (Moslem) birthrates in Western nations suggesting that within 5 decades or so most Western nations will have Moslem majorities, assuming things don’t change.

    Moslems are notorious for taking the preexisting religious structures of an area that are no longer used and retooling them for Moslem worship.

    Perhaps the architectural monstrosities of the last few decades in the Catholic world are an attempt to create buildings that the Moslems won’t want to take from us when we don’t have enough people to fill them anymore?

    Or even a diversionary tactic… make it so they’ll want to take our ugly churches and then we’ll usurp the empty churches of the liberal Protestants when their congregations die out?

    The possibilities are endless. The only answer that’s not possible is that Catholic architecture has been built out of reverence for God in the last few decades…

  12. Maltese says:

    For some reason the Taj Mahoney reminds me of a wastewater treatment facility, but it does have a lovely, graceful and feminine statue of Our Lady inside!

  13. Yes, it looks somewhat Catholic. And Peter is there in the picture. But Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is absent.

    Actually, this photo shows us that some Anglican and Lutheran communities may have the outward trappings, but without Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and valid orders, they are throwing a costume party that, at best, disposes them toward the Catholic Church.

  14. patrick_f says:

    Looks Stone.

    What is the current canonical requirment for catholic churches? I had thought they had to be immovable, not withstanding ‘portable” altars.

    Can Altars be made of Wood? I think Fr Z’s is, and I know one of the oratories here, atleast the outside of it, is wood (very beautifully carved I might add (and very english looking)I have seen some that look metal… and some that were. Is it only a requirement to have an altar stone? if So Are they a standard size?

    I ask because I am contemplating building a portable altar for my council for when we have mass, rather then the make shift table and cloth we have…which honestly smacks of irreverence. I was thinking if I COULD make it, I could leave an inset for the stone, for when father says mass?

  15. adeodatus49 says:

    Looks like those Lutherans are just about set up for celebrating the TLM! LOM

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    Catholic education, esthetics and expectations have been progressively dumbed down for years. Many catholics don’t recognize our own music, claim our own architecture or know more than 1/2 dozen different sentences about our own history. Contemporary catholics have been the victims of the greatest deconstruction of all. It’s heart-breaking.

  17. HighMass says:

    One person’s answer to John 6:54 it is called “THE SPIRIT OF VATICAN II” or so our liberal brother say!

  18. HighMass says:

    Sorry John what I meant to comment about your commnet How did Catholics become architecturley challenged?? It is called by the liberals “the spirit of Vatican II

  19. Charivari Rob says:

    patrick f – “…current canonical requirment for catholic churches? I had thought they had to be immovable, not withstanding ‘portable” altars. Can Altars be made of Wood? …”

    You’re in the USA, right? This might be a good starting place for finding references or links to the specific canonical requirements:

  20. irishgirl says:

    I had to do a double take when I saw the photo-I thought Vincenzo was up to his photoshopping tricks when I saw the Holy Father in the pulpit!

    Yeah-why is it that the Lutherans seem to have it right when it comes to church architecture?

    I get a magazine called ‘Royalty’ which often has stories about the Scandinavian royal families. The cathedral in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Crown Prince Frederik married his Australian-born wife, the former Mary Donaldson in 2004, is named-ironically-in honor of Our Lady (Vor Frue, in Danish). Maybe it was built before the Protestant Revolt hit that part of Europe.

  21. Charivari Rob says:

    Magpie – “We had a yoke just like that in our church…”

    Magpie, I’m not familiar with that word in this context. I looked around in a few dictionary and architecture/church reference sites, and couldn’t find anything that seemed like a match. Since you itemized parallels for just about everything else in the photo, I assume “yoke” is another name for where the Pope is standing. Can you tell me about it, or point me towards a likely reference source, please?

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