Jesuits lead the way for Conciliarized churches everywhere

A few days ago I received a copy of a note from the diocesan offices of the Diocese of Rome about the renovation of the sanctuary of the mighty Jesuit church in central Rome called “Il Gesù”.  My soul groaned within me even before I read anything.  What fresh hell would the Jesuits concoct for their flagship, to lead the way for others to uglier, “gayer”, sanctuaries far and wide?

The passages that were really bothersome was…

The Church of the Gesù, mother church of the Society of Jesus in Rome, presents a renewed arrangement of the sanctuary in keeping with the Second Vatican Council.  Designed at the end of the 16th century – its dedicated 1584 – … the church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus at Argentina incarnates fully the spirit of the Council of Trent, with a single nave and attention focused on the altar.  There was needed, therefore, a liturgical update.


This concerns a reorganization in line with suggestions of the Council…. The new arrangement does not compete with the original, but complies with the concrete exigencies of a community which celebrates in the present day. It was necessary that the People of God could gather and feel like a single body..

I haven’t seen the changes yet.  I imagine, imagine, that there is now a “thrust” stage for a table altar and various concoctions that pull focus away from the main altar, because – you know – The People.

Mind you, “Il Gesù” is one of the exemplary Counter-Reformation churches in the world.  When you start changing something like the Gesù, you are saying something to the world about what the Church believes about herself, what our identity is.

More on this soon.


This will really help The People feel more like The People.

And I really think the People friendly inscription on the big iron shackle is great… People friendly Ancient Greek!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    That is really ugly, and probably some kind of offense against a historical building. Certainly it clashes with the rest of the building in every possible way.

    OTOH, it’s not actually sacrilegious or blasphemous, and it looks like an easy fix when better times come. And if you made a nice set of frontals, you could cover up the ugly altar sides completely, leaving only the weird doohickus.

    The doohickus itself could be wound around with light cloth and concealed.

  2. Lurker 59 says:

    That design is a prime example of people who haven’t read VII nor have an inkling of an idea of what Christianity, let alone Roman Catholicism is. It is not just that it is materially obvious that there is no faith present, there is not even an attempt to acquire or even mimic or even ape. It is not even a farce.

    It is just SJ stuff to be ignored.

    *side note: The One Ring to Rule Them All — Wonder what that says? Since everything else doesn’t understand Catholicism, the inscription is likely iffy as well.

  3. JabbaPapa says:

    The pagan ankh is a nice touch.

  4. Ave Maria says:

    These modernists seem to hate all things holy and/or beautiful.

  5. Fr. Charles A. F. says:

    I can’t describe the sadness and anger I feel at seeing this monstrosity. I used to go the Gesù nearly every day when I was studying in Rome. I found the north side chapel especially conducive to prayer. I’ll never set foot in there again if they turn it into a storehouse for rejected Ikea prototypes.

  6. WVC says:

    Only one thing comes to mind when looking at the photo.

    “Resistance is Futile.”

  7. Gaetano says:

    The one good thing about “renovations” like this is that they are so ugly, ahistorical, and architecturally dissonant that the errors they embody are manifestly obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

    I’m sure it cost at least $100K to produce, and destroyed the original marble floor.

  8. Uniaux says:

    Oh my. That looks like it came straight out of Mordor. It also looks like it took inspiration from that particularly infamous church in Germany, with the small square altar and all. And since they’re Jesuits, they might just embrace the same liturgical praxis as those Germans.

  9. James C says:

    Ah, the Jesuits. Over in Vienna they run the oldest church in the city. And they are hanging a rainbow homosexual pride flag from it:

    According to those who currently control our Church, this is Catholic and the TLM isn’t.

  10. Chrisc says:

    Is this more gay than it is protestant or vice versa? I’m stumped.

  11. Fr. Timothy Ferguson says:

    the altar, like their theology, is cracked. It is placed in a sanctuary that symbolizes the circular argumentation style of modern Jesuits – there are no sharp corners because there is no truth. It is a bland beige, giving little offense, but also providing no real beauty.

  12. Son of Saint Alphonsus says:

    At least they didn’t take a sledgehammer to it like they did in Boston. The once famous Church of the Immaculate Conception is now luxury apartments or some such. The modern Jesuits ruin everything they touch.

  13. Gab says:

    Looks like props assembled from the Game of Thrones set.

  14. Dave P. says:

    Looks like something from a Grade B 80s Sci-fi movie…

  15. TRW says:

    “the concrete exigencies of a community which celebrates in the present day” sounds fancy, but it probably just means : “the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”
    Chesterton said it best in Orthodoxy:
    “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”
    These folks want to reinvent the wheel and actually think they’ll be lauded for their folly. The sheer hubris. My home parish recently renovated (wreckovated) what was already a very modernized sanctuary. Apparently, the resurrectifix that was there for years(it was admittedly tasteful, FWIW) wasn’t in keeping with the “noble simplicity” called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium. Duplication of symbols and all that, blah, blah, blah. It was explained to us rather pedantically in the parish bulletin by our new pastor, ever so pastorally. Gone is the large wooden cross and Risen Christ. Now we have a stained glass, equal-armed cross(sans
    Christ) suspended over the altar( oops! I meant table). There really must be something to this embracing of the equal-armed cross. Maybe because it was used by pre-Christian pagans? Anyhow, their adamance in getting rid of the old and embracing the new is astounding(uh…they’re not quite embracing the new, since the aged folk-music and everything else they champion is already beyond irrelevant). What was noticeably absent from my home parish this morning: children. Anyone under 30 was conspicuous. Most were in their 70’s. My wife and I are in our 40’s with children of various ages. I think I saw maybe one other family. Mostly septuagenerian couples. I used to get angered by their antics, but the demographic collapse is so imminent that I’m not concerned they’ll “win” whatever battle seems to be taking place. They simply won’t be around that long . Their children already don’t go to Mass, let alone their grandchildren. Meanwhile, the one TLM we have available nearby is always full of life. Families and children of all ages. The writing is on the wall. Another parish in our ” Family of Parishes” is about to undergo a massive renovation. Who is it for? It’s as if they’re in complete denial of what’s coming. Have at it, folks. Have at it.

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  17. Suburbanbanshee says:

    This particular equal-armed cross has marks for the Five Wounds on it, and looks very much like it was stolen from Visigothic Spanish square crosses. So that might actually be some kind of (gasp) historical reference!

    Mind you, even the least well-made Visigothic crosses look prettier than that. Even the ones apparently made by local blacksmiths, out of plain iron.

  18. DeeEmm says:

    By the way, that thing suspended over the black box is not a cross, it is either an addition sign, or an x, or some other meaning that shouldn’t be there anyway. Jesus didn’t die on anything looking like that. And obviously that big iron shackle is “the one ring to rule them all.”

    To be honest, I think whoever put that MoMA reject there is laughing at us. Seriously.

  19. A professor (jesuit, strangely enough, but orthodox…one of the few which is why he was chased out of Universitas Fordhamensis) once opined, while we were on a trip to St. Ignatius in Manhattan for a funeral, that desire to express things via beauty is a part of our nature gifted to us by our baptism, but the creating of banal ugliness is a consequence of our fallen nature and encouraged by Satan as a way to demonstrate our self-loathing.

    With that hideous ‘renovation’, I have no doubt who the Company serves.

  20. MaterDeicolumbae says:

    Re the structure of the “The Church of the Gesù”:
    I did not want to look at The People anymore at a church I used to attend because of its semi-theater in-the-round pews set-up. Sometimes I took my glasses off so The People were blurry (I have bad myopia); therefore, I couldn’t make eye contact with them across the nave. (Trying to avoid eye contact can be pretty exhausting.)
    I now attend daily Mass at two parishes where the Tabernacle, the Crucifix, and altar are located where they should be, in the front of The Parishioners. And I can arrive an hour early to have Holy Hour with Jesus in peace.
    Sunday Mass is at a FSSP parish (only a little farther away, 20-25 minutes) where there is a peaceful silence inside the church before (also time for a Holy Hour before Mass) and after Mass, where there ALOT OF MEN (including single guys) in attendance and the altar servers are all male.
    Refreshing I must say!!

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