Rorate Caeli

Filled with hot air

Is there a more visible sign of the Pharisaism of the liturgical revolutionaries (before and, stronger than ever, after the Council) than their criticisms of the supposed "unseemliness" of the "wealth" of traditional ecclesiastical architecture and art and the millions and millions they are ready to spend on their empty secular-like structures?

12 million euros have been spent in a convent for 7 Poor Clares in Ronchamp, in the Franche-Comté (France) - a project by well-known architect Renzo Piano, built near the infamous church of Notre-Dame-du-Haut, by Le Corbusier - financed by the Association Oeuvre Notre-Dame-du-Haut, a lay association that owns the site, but has the full support of the Diocese of Besançon.

Honestly, as Francesco Colafemmina, who reports this for Fides et Forma, comments, doesn't it sound presumptuous and ridiculous for a Vatican dicastery to lecture anyone (concerning a matter that is completely "negotiable" and eminently "debatable") on the need for a unified "system not only of governance, but of government of international economy and finance" and for a "World Central Bank" when scandalous waste like this takes place, for all intents and purposes, in the name of the Catholic Church? 

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

For Poor Clares? What would our beloved Poverello think? And Ste. Chiara?

Johnson said...

It looks like it was built in the 1960's (and furnished by Ikea).

shane said...

I really do pity the religious who joined in the 50s and 60s, who remained and remain orthodox, but are trapped in these wicked liberal orders by their vow of obedience. How sad.

Miles said...

Dear NC

Do you already know the new “sauna” of the Seminary of Braga? And to think that it was built not in the 1970’s or in the 1980’s, but in 2010!.. A fine demonstration of the ruling spirit among the Portuguese clergy, indeed! Below, I give you some examples it, in order to appreciate such “nice” work.

http://www.snpcultura.org/arvore_da_vida_capela_seminario_conciliar_braga.html

http://www.snpcultura.org/arvore_da_vida_a_capela_encantada_de_braga.html

http://www.imago.com.pt/projects.php?id=60&lang=pt

Anonymous said...

The recent Justice & Peace declaration is an obvious example of clericalism, of the bad kind, which is when priests become very dogmatic about irrelevant political or secular matters.

Moreover, it directly contradicts the motu proprio ''Bonum Sane'' of Pope Benedict XV. Bonum Sane criticizes the idea of a one-world government as being a mere proxy for Soviet-style political and economic tyranny.

"The advent of a Universal Republic, which is longed for by all the worst elements of disorder, and confidently expected by them, is an idea which is now ripe for execution. From this republic, based on the principles of absolute equality of men and community of possessions, would be banished all national distinctions, nor in it would the authority of the father over his children, or of the public power over the citizens, or of God over human society, be any longer acknowledged. If these ideas are put into practice, there will inevitably follow a reign of unheard-of terror."

Anonymous said...

Very sad. Only 7 Poor Clares. And I am sure they are all elderly.

Here in the USA, the faithful are encouraged to contribute a fund every year for "retired religious", because the Orders themselves are hard pressed to pay for the care of all their aged members.
Afew interesting facts about religious life (particularly for nuns) in the USA:
In 1960, before the disaster of Vatican II broke upon the Church, there were 537 Catholic Hospitals in the USA....nearly all staffed by communities of nuns. Today, there are less than 350 Catholic hospitals, with only 7 still staffed by nuns.
In 1960, nuns from close to 300 congregations and Orders in the USA accounted for 96% of the teaching staff in parish elementary schools. Today, nuns account for 2%. Lay staff accounts for 98%.

In my own Archdiocese of Philadelphia, there were 7,700 nuns in 1960, of which 5,500 were teaching in parish schools, or in Archdiosecean highschools, private schools, etc. Today, there are barely 200.
The four largest religious Orders of nuns in my Archdiocese had in 1960 525 novices combined. Today, they have 5!!!!
Our Archdiosecean seminary had close to 585 seminarians in residence in 1960, and close to 100 others studying abroad either at the North American College in Rome, or at the American University at Louvaine, Belgium (now closed). Today, seminarians specifically for Philadelphia total about 40, and the seminary has, since the late 1960's had to recruit other dioceses to send their few seminarians to our seminary in ourder to keep such a huge building and campus open.

Our Archdiocese has a Poor Clare Convent too, and like these liberal Poor Clares in France, our Poor Clares also have discarded the holy habit, wear a short modern garb, and live in a newer monastery (mid 1970's) which looks similar to these photos. They are all aged, and have declined from a community of about 44 in 1960, to about 8-9 today. Have not had a novice from our Archdiocese in 35+ years.

I too pity the few remaining faithful nuns who entered in good faith in the 1940's, 50's and very early 60's. All the magnificent work of generations of Sisters has been destroyed in these 45+ years since the close of Vatican II.
For the very aged Sisters, and for those who have known the reforms as evil from the beginning...it must be heartbreaking to see what has happened to their own Order, and the Church in general.
Although I am only 31, I hope Vatican II is totally repudiated in my lifetime.

Tom Esteban said...

12million Euro's for 7 Poor Clares? Seems excessive, and not in line with the mission of the Poor Clares. I'd like to hear the other side of the story, though. Perhaps the convent cost a fraction of that and the rest was spent on something related. Perhaps the convent is for disabled Poor Clares and issues of access come up. I'm not looking for excuses, I just can't see this kind of thing happening without good reason (though I may be naive and too hopeful). I don't see how 7 rooms like the one pictured could come anywhere near 12 million Euro.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the chapel, however the spartan and simple cells are well within the tradition of monastic simplicity. I would like to see more crucifixes and icons though. That being said, I don't think we should idolize certain building styles. Not every monastery should or can look like something out of the middle ages. As for cost, traditional looking buildings cost the same, if not more, (i.e. multi-million dollar building campaigns at Clear Creek Abbey and the traditional Carmelite Monks in the USA). Like most of you, I prefer the traditional style but then again I don't have to live in the building and I am not an elderly woman who has to navigate a cold, drafty monastery. These women have devoted their lives to Christ, the pray and fast for the world. The deserve our respect because of their consecration. We should not judge these women because of furniture styles.

Knight of Malta said...

Iconoclasm and Jansenism redeux

Anonymous said...

As St. Bernard said regarding bad ecclesiastical architecture of his day:

"If we aren't embarrassed by the silliness of it all, shouldn't we at least be disgusted by the expense?"

(granted he was speaking of the opposite extreme--churches loaded with images of pagan, mythical beasts, and other oddities).

Fred said...

Where is the Prie Dieu in this nun's cell? Is she only to study at her desk, and pray in community?

Knight of Malta said...

Reminds me also of the Mammoth and Meaningless new church in Fatima. I guess we should also include the Taj Mahoney in with this group of disgraceful, $100,000,000 blightful-blunders.

scotju said...

This stark, lifeless architecture seen here reminds me of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Il. if it wasn't for the crosses, there would be no way to tell yo were in a Catholic shrine.

Jonvilas said...

Well, it is no surprise, that certain new-left jesuits pronounce the new world money governance. :)
I just wonder, how they are planning to do that new project, called "new evangelization". According to the first reports it seems that there will be a series of events that will change nothing or just a little bit. While the amount of money spent for that will be a huge one. However, it appears that it will be very much in the "spirit" of that "convent" as seen in these photos. I can imagine that to keep one's faith in the building like this would be quite a task. Unless, it is about being "nice". Sorry, for insulting those, who think otherwise.

Gratias said...

Looks like a bathroom to me.

Anonymous said...

A better example are the Benedictine nuns of Stanbrook Abbey:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD6kOL3MneQ

New Catholic said...

12:13 anon.: you would be amazed at how expensive an idealized 'clean', 'spartan', 'minimalist' look may cost...

Anonymous said...

Looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright creation. How edifying!

This isn't as bad as the Carmelite Monastery that was built in France to replace the Dijon Carmel

Delphina

Anonymous said...

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2011/10/more-carthusian-chant.html

Anonymous said...

YES!! They strain the gnat and swallow the camel.

honeybee said...

Ugh!! This looks like it came off of the site Unhappy Hipsters.
http://unhappyhipsters.com/

Anonymous said...

"In my own Archdiocese of Philadelphia, there were 7,700 nuns in 1960, of which 5,500 were teaching in parish schools, or in Archdiosecean highschools, private schools, etc. Today, there are barely 200. The four largest religious Orders of nuns in my Archdiocese had in 1960 525 novices combined. Today, they have 5!!!!"

Renewal. Renewal. Renewal.

New springtime. New Mass. New Catechism. New Rosary. New Evangelization.

New. New. New.

And same old story — collapse of the Latin Church.

Mike B. said...

Your query 'why would the Church think it could speak to integrity in globalspeak?' reveals another query.
How diverse is the Catholic Church and how powerful are the global architects within? Malachi Martin's recurring themes consistently spoke to the invention of a need for Vatican II by Protestants and Masons. The capture of the 'one world religion' was paramount to globalists. There is very little that he warned us about that did not bear out to be true with time.

Michael F Brennan
St Petersburg FL

Prof. Basto said...

Knight of Malta hits the nail on the head: when I last visited Fátima, I was impressed by the iconoclastic nature of the new church built there across the basilica square. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Attende said...

I think that reading further than the article cited shows some ways in which the cost doesn't appear quite as gargantuan. It's evident that the commission is not just for 7 cells but for 12 plus Oratory, visitor centre at the entrance to the shrine, guest house with 8 places and some other public rooms. Together with this is considerable landscaping etc which mostly seems designed to fit the residences in with the famous Corbusier chapel. It also seems clear that as a major architectural "shrine" there are very large numbers of visitors other than those making retreats and these had to be dealt with. I don't know the average costs of building in France - but since that country seems phenomenally expensive in every other regard and VAT is probably a large part of the cost I doubt that this is really excessively expensive. Of course, I also think Renzo Piano is one of the most overrated contemporary architects whose many commissions are as notable for their blandness as well as for their utility. I suspect that it is precisely this uncontroversial combination that makes him so attractive a choice for people making necessary commissions that are bound to controversial if they are not rendered in an inoffensively plain manner.

Anonymous said...

I don't see a lot of space in the cell to do yoga, maybe the desk needs to be moved out of the way. Also, not sure where the statue of Buddha is but the rest of the place really has it's feng shui down.

Anonymous said...

Knight of Malta, I'm reminded of Liseux and all the modern hoo hah they got going on there. None of it beautiful. We joked on a recent visit that the place had been thoroughly JP2icized.

HSE said...

A Day Within The Walls:
http://www.cloisteredlife.com/poor-clares/

Thank you to the Poor Clare Nuns who pray unceasingly for us in this troubled world!

Alsaticus said...

I will disagree strongly : Notre-Dame du Haut of Ronchamp is a beautiful church, a truly spiritual achievement. There is a genuine feeling of a sanctuary/shrine when you're inside : I stress this point though it is in no way a plain or dull form outside. Modern architecture is not always a failure.

I've been there and I speak from experience : I confess I was surprised because Le Corbusier was not initially a good reference to me.

It was and it still is a Marian pilgrimage and has to be seen as that.
Moreover it was conceived after WWII destruction and consecrated in 1954 so with the Traditional Roman liturgy ...

New Catholic said...

"De gustibus...", right? Some think Le Corbusier was as close to a criminal as one can be in the specific work of an architect..., both in his own works and in his influence.

Anyway, this post was dedicated to Piano's work on the convent rather than to Le Corbusier's shrine church.

NC

John Reneau said...

This is just pitiful...

The Rev. M. Forbes said...

I do not mind modern buildings. As my studio teacher told us, you might not want to live with modern art, even good modern art.

The cell is strange. I think it may be unused.

I do like the light and the vistas. I am concerned about privacy. I think that the little terrace outside the cell is nice.

I will bet that the first picture shows a view inside the chapel which does not feel good. It loooks like the offices of an expensive divorce attorney.

I hope this provides spaces where the nuns may do their work and live theri lives with some comfort and seclusion.

The Rev. Michael P. Forbes
Rochester, Minnesota

M.Powers said...

I have a hard time with the ugliness of this space...Such a shame millions are often wasted with such ugly results.