Sunday, January 3, 2010

Church Architecture

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Moyra Doorly is an English architect, journalist, and writer who authored No Place for God: The Denial of the Transcendent in Modern Church Architecture. She also started the Ouch! Campaign (Outcry against Ugly Churches) to fight back against iconoclastic trends that make for the ruination of sacred places.

Here's an excerpt: "The modern age has witnessed the construction of the most banal and uninspiring churches in history. The attempt to create a church architecture that would meet the needs of the age has resulted in churches that are unfit for any age. Contemporary church buildings, as well as being the ugliest ever built, are also the emptiest...Many commentators have noted with regret the elimination of mystery, awe, and reverence from the contemporary Church and her liturgy. Just as regrettable, surely, is the impulse toward self-worship that has declared the contemporary church building to be 'no place for God'."

Noting the similarities between her observations and experiences as an architect working with sacred buildings and the same liberalizing ugliness that has gone on in the Catholic liturgy, the past several months Moyra has been part of a public discussion with theologian
Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P. in which she asks him to elaborate on whether the SSPX has been correct after all.

The exchange is worth reading; it is being published online in the Catholic Herald.

Letter from a confused Catholic: Could the liturgical crisis stem from the Council itself?
- Moyra Doorly (July 3, 2009)

Reply a confused Catholic: The contrasts you draw are unnecessarily sharp
- Fr. Aidan Nichols (July 3, 2009)

Is the SSPX right about the liturgy?
- Moyra Doorly and Fr. Aidan Nichols (October 30, 2009)

We remain the Church of Tradition
- Moyra Doorly and Fr. Aidan Nichols (December 25, 2009)

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