Friday, May 25, 2007

In the Spirit of Vatican II


Guess who? Nope, that great big opening in the centre of the abdomen is not a birdhouse and this is not a faceless scarecrow either. It's a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Frances de Sales Church in Muskegon, Michigan, built during the Second Vatican Council.

Oops, someone dropped all their papers! What are those things? Oh, I know, it's an invitation to trample the Stations of the Cross. Do Catholics do that? Of course not, we pray them. But here, kids can use them for hop scotch, and people can walk on top of them. Of course, probably no one actually recognizes them as the Stations of the Cross.

Do you see the twelve Apostles in this picture? Me neither. Apparently those twelve pillars in the sanctuary were built to honour the Apostles, but hey, this is a Spirit of Vatican II church, so who really needs statues, anyway? This New Church has cast off the old beautiful, ancient traditions and calls to a new and dynamic people of God, who are ever willing to embrace new and differing needs and ever ready to move forward into the spirit of modernism.

26 comments:

Karin said...

Ahhhh...run, run as fast as you can...it looks like something the DEVIL would build...it does not look like something that a Catholic let alone a whole bunch of Catholics would meet in to worship GOD!

Anita Moore said...

It just looks pretty damn ugly to me.

Father Tim said...

What an ultra-cool church! Wow! All that concrete must have been pretty inexpensive and also expresses man's alienation from mankind, which is something I like to ponder. If I could find out who the artist was on that Mary statue, I'd commission him for the reflecting icons in our spiritual maze garden.

Lynne said...

Communist Goal #22 -

Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

Source

I'm not saying I believe Communism is behind much of this crap but it certainly would explain a lot if it were...

paramedicgirl said...

Father Tim, that monstrosity was created by a womyn, Barbara Saint Denis of Muskegon. It would go well in your spiritual maze garden. I doubt if it's been blessed. You could use it for a scarecrow and a birdhouse.

Feathered Friends said...

that is very sad indeed:(

frank said...

iam needing help in my post!

Joan said...

There are much more attractive buildings behind the former Iron Curtain.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what you are so upset about?

Is this not a house of the Lord?
Is this not a place where the sacred mysteries are celebrated, the word of God proclaimed and explained?
Do not the people of God come togther to worship and celebrate the sacraments here?

If it is not to YOUR taste, then OK - your observations are merely personal. And as you set yourself up as a no doubt very educated critic of Vatican 2, I can only summaise that you are more wise than the gathering of Cardinals at that council.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

That is sooooooooooooooo horrible.

Hey GL I have a special treat for you over at my place. Get yourself a cup of tea before you pop over.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Orwell just shuddered.

hazardx said...

HAHA! "womyn"

Good call!

--Unitas

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Wiser than you Anon the Ignorant, as the council Fathers did not authorize such iconoclasm during the council...in no way was this filth authorized.

Karin said...

Hey there Anonymous...or is it really JOYSONG sticking her putrid little head over the fence again??

Jeffrey Smith said...

It gets worse. Marcel Breuer's services, as an architect, did not come cheap.

Anonymous said...

Whoever JOYSONG is I am sure she doesn't deserve your obviously infantil vitriol.

Typical conservative/fundamentalist rehtoric is the replies to my comment -we are right, you are wrong, we have the truth, you don't

la la la.

Yeah. Good one.

Try a little compassion and grow up.

Anita Moore said...

Anon., let's have a look at the teachings of Vatican II on this subject (as opposed to the "spirit of Vatican II"). From Sacrosanctum Concilium, from paragraph 122:

Holy Mother Church has therefore always been the friend of the fine arts and has ever sought their noble help, with the special aim that all things set apart for use in divine worship should be truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of the supernatural world, and for this purpose she has trained artists. In fact, the Church has, with good reason, always reserved to herself the right to pass judgment upon the arts, deciding which of the works of artists are in accordance with faith, piety, and cherished traditional laws, and thereby fitted for sacred use.

From paragraph 124:

Let bishops carefully remove from the house of God and from other sacred places those works of artists which are repugnant to faith, morals, and Christian piety, and which offend true religious sense either by depraved forms or by lack of artistic worth, mediocrity and pretense.

And from paragraph 126:

Ordinaries must be very careful to see that sacred furnishings and works of value are not disposed of or dispersed; for they are the ornaments of the house of God.

Sara said...

That church has issues.

Anonymous said...

Major ones!

I am withdrawing now before this becomes a bun fight.

Suffice to say, we need to remember the Holy Spirit did not stop moving at the Second Vatican Council - and this concerns buildings as much as the rest of church life.

Anita Moore said...

Suffice to say, we need to remember the Holy Spirit did not stop moving at the Second Vatican Council - and this concerns buildings as much as the rest of church life.

Interesting how Vatican II becomes the justification for wreckovations or whatever other kookburger ideas are dear to the hearts of liberals -- until they're confronted with the actual teachings of Vatican II, at which point they try to minimize or dismiss them.

Terry Nelson said...

Actually, this type of architectural iconoclasm began before the Council. My local parish Church was buit in 1961, and is just as sterile. In Minneapolis there are several Churches built before the Council that are similar. St. John's Abbey in St. Cloud MN is an example of Breuer's work. As Jeffrey pointed out, it did not come cheaply either, and concrete is an expensive medium, to be sure.

I'm not a student of architecture, but much of this emanates from the so-called International Style, and I do believe there is a predominant Marxist/socialist influence, just as there is in certain schools of modern art.

If you investigate, the liturgical movement, as well as architecture, was well underway before the Council. When they opened the windows - things got in and things, "came out" so to speak.

My opinion of the last photo - it looks like something from Star Wars. It is certinly not conducive to prayer and recollection.

Anita Moore said...

Actually, this type of architectural iconoclasm began before the Council. My local parish Church was buit in 1961, and is just as sterile. In Minneapolis there are several Churches built before the Council that are similar. St. John's Abbey in St. Cloud MN is an example of Breuer's work. As Jeffrey pointed out, it did not come cheaply either, and concrete is an expensive medium, to be sure.

I am reminded of something P.J. O'Rourke wrote after describing the superabundance of concrete block buildings in some Communist-bloc country: "Commies love concrete."

Terry Nelson said...

I did a post on this and linked to you, finding it so darn provacative. Also, in searching the net, I came across some modern pagan images of Gaia, the earth mother, which resemble the statue you show with the hole in it. Which suggests to me that neo-paganism may also be slipping into contemporary church art and architecture.

mamabird said...

I never saw anything uglier in my life.

If I had gone to church in that place as a kid I would have become an athiest!

Thankfully I grew up in a lovely church filled with LOTS of beautiful picutres and statues that I could look at while the grownups did their thing.

The REASON the church had pictures all over the walls in the first places was just SO people who could not read or afford a bible COULD learn the bible and the catichism from them!

Wow.
that alter is the scariest looking thing.

>CHILLS<

~D~

Anita Moore said...

Also, in searching the net, I came across some modern pagan images of Gaia, the earth mother, which resemble the statue you show with the hole in it. Which suggests to me that neo-paganism may also be slipping into contemporary church art and architecture.

Interesting. Yet not surprising, in an age when one can hear quotes from neo-pagan guru-ette Marianne Williamson from the pulpit.

Hilarity said...

looks to me like Barbara Saint Denis of Muskegon has some "issues" with motherhood and Our Blessed Mother's role in salvation.

Empty space where the womb is supposed to be.

Now what do you think Dr. Freud would make of that hey? Nice symbolism there honey. Got mother issues do we?