Rorate Caeli

The press gets religion


An Orange County bankruptcy judge ruled Thursday that the Crystal Cathedral, a monument to modernism in faith and architecture, will be sold for $57.5 million to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which plans to consecrate it as a Catholic cathedral. (Los Angeles Times)

Yes, that is exactly right.

"[L]et Professors remember that they cannot set St. Thomas aside, especially in metaphysical questions, without grave detriment. On this philosophical foundation the theological edifice is to be solidly raised. Promote the study of theology, Venerable Brethren, by all means in your power, so that your clerics on leaving the seminaries may admire and love it, and always find their delight in it. 'For in the vast and varied abundance of studies opening before the mind desirous of truth, everybody knows how the old maxim describes theology as so far in front of all others that every science and art should serve it and be to it as handmaidens' (Leo XIII., Lett. ap. In Magna, Dec. 10, 1889)." [Saint Pius X, Pascendi]

(Tip: RomanCatholicBlog)

23 comments:

New Catholic said...

Yes, we know they do not know what they are talking about - but even a broken clock...

GQREP said...

I saw this so called "Crystal Cathesral" in California last year, but never went into it. UGLY!

I had seen Schuller give his Sunday schpeels afew years ago, and was bored to death. He is alittle classier that the Rick Perry type Church....but nothing I would want to frequent.

Give me that ol'time religion....the Latin Mass..any day.

I do hope that when they consecrate this ugly church, which looks more like a huge greenhouse, they do "Catholicize" it with huge statues of the Virgin Mary, the saints, and maybe a giant hanging crucifix and an attractive alatr with tall candlesticks.

Just so as a Catholic Church, it still doesn't look Protestant!!

shane said...

I was a bit excited when I seen the photo of the barn on Roman Catholic Blog. It would make a big improvement on the Crystal Cathedral.

Knight of Malta said...

Think of Chartres Cathedral, by reference. The work of Catholics centuries in the making. Beautiful in design and dimension (the well in the Crypt is as deep as the highest steeple). Beautiful symmetry! Every stone and pane of stain-glass exudes mystery and meaning.

The "Crystal 'Cathedral'" (designed by a gay architect), by contrast, is an abomination; a horrific, modernist, stone-cold pile of you know what!

A Sinner said...

But then trads love the idea that pagan temples were co-opted and made into churches...

I see this as a victory over Protestantism, akin to consecrating the Pantheon a church.

This was like THE symbolic church of American Evangelicalism. And it failed and we got it in the end!

Aesthetic questions aside, score one for the good team...

New Catholic said...

Who knows?... perhaps stained glass as well...

It still can be "Catholicized", that is for sure: but remember the "liturgists" of our age; we may end up with a nave that is less Catholic, in its space arrangement, than the current one, even if filled with some apparently Catholic signs.

New Catholic said...

By the way, this is not Santa Maria ad Martyres ... This is not the Cathedral of Cordoba...

Knight of Malta said...

But then trads love the idea that pagan temples were co-opted and made into churches

True. The Pantheon is the first obvious example. But this Crystal "Cathedral" is as Ugly as Sin!

It's unfathomable the lack of Aesthetics after Vatican II. Pope Julian II, where art thou!?

But this isn't a joking matter. As the Church has always realized. Art and beauty are extremely important in the praxis of understanding to the average church-goer. Before the printing press, how else did they understand the truth of the faith?

Well, they did so by the Cathedral; through stained-glass, images inside and outside the Cathedral, and with the Priest's teachings. That is why iconoclasm was anethematized. Christ himself was a physical teacher in our midst. No mere ephemeral presence, but flesh-and-blood.

This Crystal Cathedral joke of a church will only denigrate the Catholic age-old tradition of providing a worship space worthy of Christ and His incarnation.

El Juan said...

The best way to convert this glass beast is to demolish it and start from scratch. What Protestant would convert when the place and worship being offered by Novus Ordo hippies looks no different than the "worship" being offered by the followers of heretics?

Alan Aversa said...

I forgot that Pope St. Pius X said art in addition to science in that part of Pascendi. Thanks for reminding me

Fortiter Pugnem said...

Perhaps instead of demolishing it...maybe it could be dismantled/
That is, could it be taken apart (like the London Bridge) and pieces sold here and there? Or would the costs associated with that outweigh the revenue? Obviously, a large part would have to be destroyed. But maybe they could sell the glass to GE at a discount for lightbulbs and at least get something out of it. IF (a big IF) they decide to tear it down.
However, IF(again) they did that, I would be concerned that my life was lighted by a Protestant church.

P.K.T.P. said...

"This was like THE symbolic church of American Evangelicalism."

Well, then, all we need is a wrecking ball.

To make this pile of glass more spiritual, I suggest that it be fire-bombed from outer space and replaced with a parking lot.

By the way, who is this "Schuler" person. Is he another one of these Jimmy Swaggarts? Jimmy Swaggart, the swaggering braggart. He has the figure of an L-shaped motel as the charge on his heraldic shield. Our bishops prefer to put the hammer and sickle on theirs.

P.K.T.P.

Peterman said...

It's great that the good guys took over a pagan temple but now to make even more of a psychological impact the thing should have a public demo with dynamite and a wrecking ball just to drive home the message.

Then something traditional and yet energy efficient could be built. The land alone was probably worth 60 mill.

Jack said...

A few thoughts:

1. About the illustration at the beginning of the posting, I prefer to say that the Bible is indefectable. The Word of God does not fail in what it sets out to do.
If you push "infallibility" too far, you wind up saying that bats are birds, as one of the verses in the OT does.

2. What does the quote from St. Pius X about St. Thomas Aquinas have to do with buying the Crystal Cathedral? Forgive me, but I don't see the intended connection.

3. Dr. Schuller and the CC are NOT expressions of Evangelicalism, but rather of liberal Protestantism, but I wonder how many people here see the difference. For example, when Dr. Schuller administers baptism (as I've seen him do on TV), he merely touches the candidate's forehead with water from a bowl. Evangelicals immerse.

Most holy Theotokos, save us!

Pascal said...

At least, looks like the sale has already resulted in one conversion to Catholicism:

From http://kathyschiffer.com/crystal-cathedral-was-the-holy-spirit-the-highest-bidder:

"According to Tim Busch, one member of the Crystal Cathedral’s board told him as the court proceedings drew to an end, “I like the way you guys have handled this, and I’m going to convert to Catholicism.” Wednesday evening in the courtroom, she walked up to the bishop and repeated that."

There's another interesting passage in the blog post I quoted:

"Schuller was always respectful of the Catholic Church, saying that the Roman Catholic Church is “the mother church.” He professed, “You are the church that has been here since the Resurrection, and you will be here 100 years from now.”

torculus said...

Perhaps this situation might be an opportunity for members of Schuller's congregation, who are surely tired of instability, to explore the Catholic Church's claims to uniqueness, i.e., the one true Church of Christ wherein the fullness of the Faith resides (subsistit in).

If they haven't already, a few local Catholic Garden Grove(rs) should begin inviting their protestant neighbours to keep warming the same pew in the same building but as Catholics.

Philip said...

The Crystal Cathedral has a fine very large organ, but terrible acoustics -- each seat has a loud speaker facing the person in the seat behind. The preaching which produced the Crystal Cathedral was at first outdoors in what was at other times an outdoor movie theater -- maybe that is where the separate speaker idea came from. At least one of the walls of the Cathedral opens like hanger doors, still for the purpose of allowing people parked in cars outside the building. It is going to need some very major 'rethinking' and 'renovation' to even begin to be used as a Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Philip said...

The Crystal Cathedral has a fine very large organ, but terrible acoustics -- each seat has a loud speaker facing the person in the seat behind. The preaching which produced the Crystal Cathedral was at first outdoors in what was at other times an outdoor movie theater -- maybe that is where the separate speaker idea came from. At least one of the walls of the Cathedral opens like hanger doors, still for the purpose of allowing people parked in cars outside the building. It is going to need some very major 'rethinking' and 'renovation' to even begin to be used as a Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Thurifer Tony said...

Dr Schuler was not a denomination unto himself, like many other TV evangelists are. Technically, he is part of the Reformed Church in America, whose beliefs are pretty much mainline Protestant. Dr Schuler's message was always upbeat and he preached a "possibilities" Gospel. I'm told that hymns were never in a minor key. It was all about joy and personal fulfillment. His catch phrase was "God loves you and so do I." I'm also told he had a great appreciation for the person and preaching of Bishop Sheen. I've been to the place as a tourist. When there is no service going on there is a great feeling of tranquility, probably due to the babbling fountains (yes, fountains) located down the main axis. It does have a large pipe organ (costing $2 million at least)but it is a pastiche of other instruments, I think. I'm afraid this cathedral is going to compete with Oakland and LA for "most disappointing new cathedral" unless some serious and costly renovations are done.

Knight of Malta said...

When Jesus said, "I make all things new", He did not mean to say, "I make all things modernist" (though some Vatican II-istas would have you believe so).

MP said...

It is ugly, but not just from a subjective point of view but from one of practicality. A Cathedral should resonate the Catholic Faith in its' fullest, with beautiful mureaus, paintings, art, sculpture, etc. One should walk in and be able to spend a lifetime and yet still never be able to have seen, examined, and lived all the stories that the art and lives of the Saints and Holy Family have to offer. With a few additional Catholic "identity" pieces, one will be able to have seen it all in a few weeks of attendance. Nothing to ponder anew when entering or leaving. Nothing new to reveal when strolling a different part of the Cathedral. Nothing to meditate upon while waiting for Mass to begin. Nothing....This will be a Cathedral of emptiness, devoid of the centuries old artistic value. All this nothing for 57 million dollars.

RD said...

Wait, it gets better:

'There were some among the audience who were concerned if the university could operate and preserve the sanctity of the Memorial Gardens. Lillian Forry, whose husband is buried there, said she prefers the Catholic Church, which has centuries of experience operating cemeteries and burial grounds.

'"The diocese has assured me that it will be an interfaith cemetery and I can even have my own minister perform my service when I'm buried there," she said.'

http://www.ocregister.com/news/chapman-327576-cathedral-board.html

And Wikipedia suggests that the deal will involve the Diocese of Orange providing "Crystal Cathedral Ministries" with a (former?) Catholic church to use in three years' time -- so this is a essentially a deal to *swap* church buildings at a future point in time with a lot of money changing hands up front! Sounds even more dubious than the credit default swaps that played a distinguished role in the 2008 financial crisis...

Kerry said...

At least those pagans believed in beauty!