Juxtaposition: Demolition of churches

At the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald I saw two stories side by side.

First, the sad tale of the purposeful demolition of a large church in Germany for the sake of expansion of coal-mining.  HERE

Sad photos of the demolition and the replacement church.  A sketch of the condition of the Church in Germany.

Next, also at the Catholic Herald, there is a story about how the Benedictine “Beer” Monks at Norcia, Italy, are raising their monastic life up from the ruins of destructive earthquakes.

Look frequently at the site of the Norcia monks.  I always link to them on the sidebar.  The tale of their rebuilding is amazing.  HERE

Also, I note in that story that those of you in the UK can attend and event with the Prior of Norcia.

The Prior of Norcia will celebrate a Sung Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, London, at 6:30pm on February 2, the feast of the Purification of Our Lady (Candlemas). The Prior will also speak at the St Benedict Dinner, a fundraising event for the monks in London on February 3. If you would be interested in attending please email Jessica Dalton: js310@st-andrews.ac.uk. You can donate to the monks of Norcia at en.nursia.org/donations

I’d be there if I could.  They are great.

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8 Responses to Juxtaposition: Demolition of churches

  1. Imrahil says:

    Well, no, that is not a sketch of the situation of the Church in Germany. Let it be seen as symbolic for the quite existing but quite different problems of the Church in Germany by who will: but it is in itself only a sketch of the situation of surface mining (only done for brown coal, in Germany, because there is no black coal available sufficiently near the surface). The thing is, for surface mining you have to demolish the village, Church and all; if you flood a village to get water-power, you can keep the buildings intact and visitable to divers (I guess), though the Church, of course, must be profaned likewise before.

    The strange thing is, though, that brown coal is both the dirtiest coal available, and surface mining the most landscape-destroying and least traditional way of mining available. One would think that with all this talk of protecting the environment and keeping pollution down, we’d cut the burning of brown coal for electricity (it is just about only used to burn for electricity; no chemical use, etc., unlike black coal) brown-coal first and then take care of the rest. Instead, we cut nuclear power shut down our below-daylight mines for black coal first to import it from elsewhere, giving up mining technology in the process; then we shut down the nuclear power plants; and then apparently we somewhat begin to shut down black-coal plants (fuel being imported in the meantime), and all the while, we open a new surface-mining field.

  2. Andreas says:

    Looking at the photos of a beautiful historic Catholic Church such as this being destroyed always leaves me with a sickly disquieting feeling for such powerful images symbolize very well the tenuous state of our faith here in the German-speaking lands. To rub coal dust into the wound, one need only take a look at the ‘new’ church edifice being built to replace the beauty that is sadly no more (http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/01/11/historic-german-church-demolished-by-mining-company).

  3. APX says:

    People think I’m crazy when I tell them that it’s more economical to disassemble old churches and relocate them and build a new foundation with classrooms and a hall than it is to build new more “functional” churches. I ran my “crazy idea” past a priest who was a civil engineer prior to entering seminary (late vocation) and he agreed with my proposal.

  4. Jonathan Marshall says:

    Why do all new churches have to be so depressingly ugly?

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    I like APX’s idea. We are foolish indeed to just demolish old churches (and other older buildings) without giving plenty of consideration to how we could save it or relocate it. How awful to take down one of these structures that you will never be able to duplicate, and put up some terrible contemporary thing that will not have the integrity nor the architectural beauty.
    That being said, and as much as I love all Catholic churches of prior eras, I’d rather see any of them blown to outer space than sold or used as a mosque.

  6. Uxixu says:

    While it’s sad, this is what is SUPPOSED to happen and is preferable to being put to profane use, as happened to our beautiful old cathedral in Los Angeles when they built the new monstrosity. Churches aren’t normally museums and while it would be preferable to preserve priceless sacred structures, in reality they have to be payed for by someone and the German Church is bleeding.

  7. VanSensei says:

    Surprise, the German church wasn’t being transformed into a mosque.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Recently the monks of Norcia took a hike through the snowy mountains on a day pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Rita at Cascia. They have a post about it on their website (December 8 “A Winter’s Journey”) and a great photo of bearded monks wearing backpacks.

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