Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reimagining the environment for worship

Richard Vosko, Catholic priest and liturgical design consultant, (yes he runs his own private business) whose motto is, "God's house is our house" is responsible for much of the liturgical design changes that cropped up in the spirit of Vatican II. Even though he is not an architect, his list of "accomplishments" include a recent first place award from the Catholic Press Association of the US and Canada.

Some of his larger designs include the renovations of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester; (there was much uproar over the stripping of the altar and the removing of the pews, and the desacralizing of the Cathedral).



Here is a photo of the sanctuary of Sacred Heart Cathedral before the new design. Notice the pews and a beautiful statue of the Sacred Heart in its centre.






After the renovations: a barren sanctuary, devoid of all its former beauty, and chairs to replace the pews, with the old altar now hosting chairs for the choir so they can be front and centre, in the position of importance that was once reserved for God.



San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, built in 1738, was also redesigned at the hands of Father Vosko.

Here is a photo before the renovations. It is a beautiful Cathedral, clearly not in need of any modern design concepts.



















Here the altar is stripped of its former beauty. The smaller photo shows rows of benches facing each other in the sancturay, which appears to be positioned so that the choir can entertain the congregation.




Below is a 1980 photo of the high altar of St James Cathedral in Seattle, another casualty of the spirit of Vatican II cathedral rapist father Richard Vosko.
On Easter Monday, April 8, 1994, work began to significantly renovate the Cathedral so that the high altar was replaced to change the focus of the Mass by moving the altar to the center of the church, once again changing the sacredness of the altar where heaven meets earth in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to a casual, people centred worship space.
Another Cathedral, well known as a liturgical monstrosity that barely needs naming is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, which was also one of Father Richard Vosko's larger projects.Father Vosco equates the architecture of the Catholic church with the simplicity of a home. His book is even titled, "God's House is our House - reimagining the environment for worship." The book could have just as easily been called "Horizontal Worship - or How to remove the focus from God and place it on each other."

And it shows in the wrecktovations he is responsible for.

21 comments:

Terry Nelson said...

Omigosh - he did what the protestant reformers did in Europe during the reformation! Only this has been allowed, even endorsed by Catholic hierarchy.

318@NICE said...

Luther and Calvin finally got their wish.

Carolina Cannonball said...

you just reminded me it was high time Dick made the Wall of Shame over at Warm & Fuzzy.

Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Where in the TEXT of Vatican did it call for this?!

Ian said...

I would never live in a home that looked like one his projects.

Ray from MN said...

Terry mentioned the Protestant Reformation and the raping of the Church.

Don't forget all the other epidemics of iconoclasm that have occurred throughout the years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iconoclasm

AquinaSavio: said...

I can just see the sign at the door:

"Come on in! Take off your shoes and put your feet up! This is YOUR house!"

WH said...

From seeing what has been done to those churches leaves me to wonder if Fr. Vosco is on Kiko Arguellos (Neocatechumenal) payroll. They are into stripping churches- putting the Altar (excuse me table) in the center of the assembly-and getting rid of statues. They view our use of statues as idol worship.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was Fr. George Rutler who once commented that, instead of conforming the secular to our churches, our churches are conforming to the secular.

Seems that this "priest" is a modern-day Philistine or Babylonian who would destroy the temple of the LORD in the holy city.

Viva Trent!!!

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Vosko is an evil man: period.

The design for St. James is blatantly masonic: so blatant it actually becomes deniable.

James S Blenkinsopp said...

It looks like a Swedenborgian "New Church" design concept. Cathedral rape is an apt description.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Hey GL...have a look at my post "Masonic Architecture"...

Michael Leggett said...

Zwingli Got His Wish In La La Land

Michael Leggett said...

Masonic in thought & deed

jim klasz said...

First to find some really marvelous Churches let me direct you to 'The Lion and the Cardinal'(www.danielmitsui.com/hieronymus) it will be worth the trip.
Secondly this quote from Will and Ariel Durant's "Rosseau and the Revoloution" (New York ,Simon and Schuster,1967)concerning architecture in that time of the flaying of the faith "...Art disciplined itself from incalculable curves and supeflous decoration to the sober simplicity of straight lines and structural form.It was as if the decline of Christianity had taken the heart out of the Gothic exaltation,and left art no recourse but to a Stoic reserve shorn of gods and clinging to the earth."(page 111)
Perhaps the same might be said of our grim age where The Church is mocked and shunted from the Public Square and by the attempt of some Architects to deprive Her of Her magnificence and vitality .

paramedicgirl said...

Thanks for the link to the Lion & the Cardinal, Jim. Very beautiful blog, indeed!

pippa said...

Thank you for including Sacred Heart Cathedral. I grew up in that church. Went to the Cathedral School. And what the bishop allowed to be done there is absolutely horrifying. It was a beautiful church and now it looks no different than the huge super-Churches of the South. Next thing you know, they'll be asking for money on TV.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I go to St. James in Seattle occasionally and found your site while trying to find pictures of its origianl high altar. Thank you.

Your 'after' picture of St. James is facing the opposite direction however. The organ in your picture is the original, near the main entrance. The real after picture indeed has an additional organ in it, and chairs. I've added a link to the aftermath here: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/usa/images/seattle/st-james-cathedral/service-trinity-sunday-c-sjc.jpg

The windows remain, but the high altar is gone...

What a shame.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Sheesh - how long have you dopes not been paying attention? Everyone one of these is just another example of a ROMAN CATHOLIC church stripped and then desecrated by the Satanists/Calvenists... For all of you who are amazed and suddenly disgusted - this has been going on for FOURTY YEARS - pray with your whole mind, heart and soul that these evil tables are not being used for evil when you're not paying attention. How many times will you let this happens before you stand up? How can you be so numb?

Anonymous said...

Stop criticizing it. God has said that we can't have anger and hating everyone. You have the right to dislike the architecture, although god said we have to be peacefull, so chill out.

paramedicgirl said...

Anon, (I spell God with a capital "G").

I don't have anger over how our beautiful and sacred Catholic Churches have been stripped and laid bare; I have a great deal of sadness and emptiness for all that has been lost. Religious art is like a prayer, it elevates the heart and mind to God. (there it is again, spelled with a Capital G)

Traditions have been disregarded, and sacred architecture has been delegated to the dust bins and the closets in this modern reformation. Catholic history is rich with artistic interpretation and architecture that often seems to be divinely inspired. It is impossible to see any divine inspiration in the rape of these Cathedrals and Churches I have highlighted in my above post.