Rorate Caeli

Catholic Kryptonite

From the official website for WYD 2013 in Rio: pictures of the design for the "Campus Fidei" currently being set up in Guaratiba. This is where Pope Francis will hold vigil with the youth on the evening of July 27, and celebrate the closing Mass of WYD on July 28.





Sources: Rio 2013 and TPC.

72 comments:

Ad Quem Ibimus? said...

Sydney was done well, Spain turned out okay. I say this from reasonal experience.... By I think this one will be rolling out the barrel and bring on the clowns..... The pope was rumoured to say the circus is over!? I say it is just beginning. I think we shall see the the true colours from this pilgrimage.

New Catholic said...

What are those "horns"?

New Catholic said...

This was mostly decided under Benedict. But this post is about the ART and AESTHETICS of the stage, not the Pope. Limit your comments to that.

David said...

I don't even feel like laughing at it. It's just sinister.

The Bones said...

Look mummy, its a carnival!

Supertradmum said...

Do we not have any talented liturgically sensitive artists and architectures in the Church? This is hideous and looks like something from Star Trek.

Steve Mosquera said...

Are they trying to recreate Transformers anime Unicron???
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060305214247/transformers/images/2/28/UnicronDeathstarII.jpg

Adfero said...

We actually thought it looked like something out of Superman. But all suggestions are welcome!

Supertradmum said...

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/oh-my-goodness-this-is-horrid.html

Matthew Roth said...

FWIW, Msgr Marini used traditional vestments, and seemed to celebrate ad apsidem when he met with the local organizers. Now what will happen on the Papal level, I have no idea but if any liturgist in the Church today can prevent horrors in this monstrosity around, it is Msgr Marini. I am not even sure this is Marxist or deconstructionist, as is Brasilia Cathedral. It does certainly not focus on the mystery of the Incarnation...

Supertradmum said...

OK I have figured out the symbolism. The circle is the circle of life, a la Lion King with the yellow path reminding us of the Wizard of Oz and other ecumenical personages; the blue is the sea of relativism, which united all nations and the broken plinths in the background represent the ruins of Western Civilization.

The horns are the Straits of Gibraltar, which represent the meeting of the West and East in these happy days; while the Cross reminds us of the Church Militant standing alone in the prevailing darkness.

I am SO glad I figured this out...

Godfrey Wison said...

Fair enough ; and thank you for the information on when decided. But the post itself queried the issue of simplicity and poverty, no? Do you know who is the decider on the structure? Is it the host country alone? Or is there input from the "Vatican "?

jon pressley said...

Nothing like a big ol protestant cross overlooking everything. Giving up on crucifixes I guess. some days its hard to say I'm Catholic and take oneself seriously anymore. what a joke that scene is

jon pressley said...

Some days its harder to be Catholic than others. That stage is a joke.

Athelstane said...

What are those "horns"?

I think this is WYD's way of representing Juventutem attendees finding themselves on the horns of a dilemma as they try to decide whether and how to attend the main Masses in the Fortress of Solitude.

backtothefuture said...

Athelstane, you beat me to it. It does look like the fortress of solitude. They can use it for the next superman movie.

Tom Policinski said...

@Adfero and supertradmum: I think you're both right! It looks like a combination of Superman's cave, and the ampitheater thing created by the alien/"God" creature in Star Trek V.

Jared said...

Atheists accuse Roman Catholics of worshipping a little green man from outer space. With this kind of set up, it looks like we are proving them right.

Liam Ronan said...

There's something about it that's vaguely reminiscent of Evangelical Protestant Minister Robert H. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral in California.

JB said...



yes the sanitized cross is quite disturbing. doesn't seem Catholic at all. for the rest, yes it's the former set of Superman II I believe where Zod encounters Superman and Lois Lane.

Don't think this draws young people into the Church in any real way. Young people get when adults try to act "cool" to relate to them. It usually makes them walk in the other direction.

Mike said...

What are those horns indeed??? Yikes. The so-called modern aesthetic is SO predictable, so impoverished, childish, really. The predictability of it all is what grates the most. Imagine the joy in the hearts of Catholics if what were fashioned for the event was full of the light of tradition! Alas, not to be. Are the sentiments of the youth of WYD really so bereft of beauty?? Really?? The modern aesthetic is like a religion unto itself. And the vertical would seem to be the perpetually attendant heresy. I simply cannot believe that Catholic youth today would not respond to the instinctive motive for beauty and order. Instead, they are given a horned monstrosity - naturalistic, vacant, and circular, always circular! More's the pity. How dread the danger!

Long-Skirts said...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Mass...

WORLD YOUTH DAY & VATICAN II !!!!!!!

Tom Policinski said...

Dear Protestants, we see your Crystal Cathedral, and raise you the Fortress of Solitude. Your move, Protestants, your move....

Alexander adulescens said...

Meanwhile, in Russia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7vOgQtyA_rE

In former Soviet Russia - you...pray in church.

- adulescens

backtothefuture said...

I showed my mom. Her reply upon seeing the altar "le corne di satana!"

K-Town USA said...

Where is the Wizard? I'm fairly certain this is Oz!

Ioannes Martialis said...

Hey,this has been going on since before I was born.

Are we seriously surprised that they're going to sing some vapid selection from the disposable "Gather Missal" They'll probably have liturgical dancers doing the samba during the Gospel reading.

Traditionalists should only be surprised if the next World Youth Day featured Baroque/Medieval/Puginist motif/aesthetics and there's no irony and sarcasm attached to it. And everything is in Latin.

Otherwise... yawn. Wake me up when the pope wears the Triregnum.

Angelo said...

What causes me the greatest concern is that because of architecture like this, the art of true architectural beauty has been on its demise. The talent is still within those who have it, but it is now discouraged by those who are the leaders of what is built. I remember on a Pilgrimage to Lourdes we were told of the new underground Basilica in honor of St. Pius X. It was ugly! Our Priest director described it as looking like a parking garage. And indeed it did.

Jack said...

What some people saw as horns I saw as a Gothic arch or possibly the outline of a Mitre.

I imagine the white rectangles outside the area are supposed to represent the people attending.

And the white rectangles behind it looked like beeswax candles to me.

I suppose it depends on where you mind is. Some seem determined to give the WORST interpretation of things.

In any case, it is only a temporary structure. Don't get upset over it.

JB said...



looking at this some more it is so off putting. any image of Mary seems totally absent. a huge "red flag." i guess we don't want the world's youth being "distracted" by her image or presence there. and yes what exactly are the pincers or horns up there? they almost seem to be wanting to pinch or get up after the cross. creepy. they have no aesthetic, religious, or structural purpose that I can see, and i've never seen anything like them even in the most modern churches. the empty cross is pure Texas mega church. not Catholic.

the scale of this spaceship also reminds me of Albert Speer's drawings for various buildings in Germany.

Common Sense said...

Isn't it this kind that we combat? This sundays' reading was taken from I St.Pet.3 and St. Matt.5 and Father took an oportunity to talk about Our Ladys' virtues. Although I've heard these sermons million times before, today it was the first time that I've truely realize how important it was to discuss Her virtues with our already adult kids. Only She can reverse this madness.

Genty said...

Will the Pope suddenly pop up on the, er, stage? I see no other way he'd get here. Beam me up, Marini.

Unknown said...

I love it.

Unknown said...

I love it. What a setting to present to the world's youth, Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, the Everlasting Spring, the Alpha and Omega yet our brother, our friend who knows us through and through and shed all his blood for us. Thank you fot letting us see it now. Only when Jesus, the Pope and the young people are present will the picture be complete. +

Johannes de Silentio said...

I see Richard Vosko has made his way to South America.

Dr. Mabuse said...

It's awful. The horns look like some weird Mithraic symbol. The white statues meant to be attendees look like little pillars of salt.

Dan Hunter said...

Talk about "turning the clock backwards",
here it is.

CONFUSION.

Calvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joe said...

Truth, Goodness, Beauty....well there goes Beauty.

Alexander adulescens said...

"Beam me up, Marini."

Made me smile!

"What a setting to present to the world's youth, Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, the Everlasting Spring, the Alpha and Omega yet our brother, our friend who knows us through and through and shed all his blood for us. Thank you fot letting us see it now. Only when Jesus, the Pope and the young people are present will the picture be complete."

You really took that away from this grotesque - thing? Christ? His precious blood? There is not even a corpus on the Cross.

No. This is a terrible, ugly, profane gift for young committed Catholics. Except the Cross, it looks like some bizarre space-themed gay night-club or the stage for a Rammstein concert.

#fail

- adulescens

Dymphna said...

It's like Space Odyssey 2001 or something from Krypton. Why waste all this money on a pep rally?

yoink! said...

Can't wait for this event. The world will see Christ in the gathering of so many faithful under the leadership and guidance of our Holy Father. Many conversions to Christ to occur!

As far as the superficial grumblings about the style of the architecture, they are just that.... stylistic preferences. I'm sorry it's not to your taste....

john-of-hayling said...

I don't think that we're in Kansas anymore!
If the Brazilian people are rioting over an increase in bus fares to help pay for the World Cup, how will this set go down?

Liam Ronan said...

Now I've got it! Those horns remind me of a passage from the Old Testament:

"Then Solomon was told, "Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, 'Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.'

Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, "Go to your home."

Vinicius said...

Organisation says these are not horns, but hands lifted

Timothée said...

They don't look like horns. It looks like arms reaching up to the cross, or lifting up high the cross. You want to see ugly and offensive? Take a look at the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro!!! The new one.

gerald may said...

Beauty is not relative but has an objective essence. Our response to this transcendental is subjective, however, our subjective response can be in conformity and harmony with the essence or it can be distorted due to our own prejudices, and be in non-conformity with the objectivity of beauty. Most of those who posted here have it right. It is objectively formless and grotesque. Indeed, it is a concrete example of ugly, influenced by postmodern philosophic and theological drivel. In addition, this church if you can call it that fits hand in glove with the formlessness of the mass of Paul VI. Old Catholic churches are beautiful because they were designed around the traditional Latin mass and guided by the classical perennial philosophy.

Mike said...

If 'Organisation' has to come out and say "these are not horns..but hands lifted", one is reasonably compelled to ask ..hands of WHAT lifted toward what or whom??

Sheesh…

And yoink, it is not a matter of personal taste. It is a matter of understanding the cultural, artistic and, one could even say, spiritual ethos of Roman Catholicism.

I can't speak for others, but I most decidedly did not mean to grumble, I meant to condemn the monstrosity outright.

R.C. said...

Respectfully...isn't this just a quick artist's rendering for spacing?

I mean, there are no details at all. The whole thing is roughed-out using only simple geometric solids.

For all I know, the crucifix is really going to be a very detailed crucifix, corpus and all. But when one is merely diagramming the space out, one wouldn't bother with the hours of wireframing required to put THAT in the picture. One would just wireframe up a cross with roughly the right dimensions, put it in the appropriate place, and go on to show where the people and pews and whatnot are expected to be located.

I'm not saying that this IS the explanation of the lack of corpus; but I think it could be. It's not as if the people in the diagram are given realistic features, either.

robert said...

Zarkon the Cosmic Overlord of Planet Xenu is pleased by your pitiful attempts to offer homage, puny Earthlings....my wrath will not be visited upon you today.

JM said...

Seems like an extravagant an ill-advised waste of money in a country that is fighting poverty. Squashing this would make much more sense thant he Pope living in humble quarters.

Common Sense said...

What I fear most is the upcoming civil unrest in Brazil and for that matter globaly. In these days I wouldn't travel abroad unless for a serious reason. I've always chosen to be a realist as opose to an optimist.

Sarah said...

Makes me feel sleepy...and kinda thirsty, too. Looks kind of like a water fountain.

JB said...



couldn't all the money spent on this better go to the poor? i was working my milagro bean field the other day and thought, why all this money on "world youth day"? then i thought, why doesn't the bishop of rome sell the pieta to feed the poor and, for that matter, all of vatican city? the poor are hungry are they not.

Alexander adulescens said...

@ yoink!

Posts like yours are quite telling and instructive you know. This is half the problem. There are three things that are not relative that have been declared to be by modernity: Truth, Goodness and Beauty.

Sacred architecture is not like other architecture. A private residence or bedroom can and often is guided by personal tastes. Other structures can be as well. But churches, cathedrals and anywhere else intended to be a place of worship should not be. We are upset precisely because this thing is.

If you go into a real Catholic church or cathedral - everything means something. From the numbers of things to the shapes of them. The stone and marble is ancient and evocative and takes us up out of the time we by accident of history happen to be in and unites us with the Church of all times - for this is what churches looked like before and what they ought to look like in the future. It is continuity both ways if your party would just give up.

Sacred architecture is supposed to be an expression and exemplar of the one, holy, ancient, and timeless because ancient, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

And finally and most importantly, far raised above the caprices of human tastes and opinions - sacred architecture is meant to strive to be worthy of the God for Whose worship the edifice is constructed.

On all fronts this - thing, fails.

- adulescens

Alphonsus Jr. said...

Very interesting! The designs appear to flow from someone like the Raelian robed priest I met yesterday at the Taj Mahony who couldn't tell me where to find the Tabernacle. He's in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au5sQJBpgT0

Eric said...

This is gonna be, like, the best rock concert EVER! Wait. What is that cross doing there?

yoink! said...

@ adulescens, Mike and a few others...

Again, I'm sorry you don't like the architecture.

I hope and pray that you will be able to set aside your preferences and find Christ in the largest and truly inspiring (the objective kind of truth) gathering of our world's youth.


PS - adulescens - it is no "accident of history" that you are in this time and place... that belief would be decidedly un-Catholic, no?

Dymphna said...

Sending kids to a dangerous place like Rio is foolish.

Thom said...

@yoink Thank you for demonstrating again just how correct adulescens was in his comments. I beseech you, for your own good, to read more, much more, of Catholic history and philosophy before forming opinions on these matters. By the way, he is in good company when he uses terms like, "accident of history." Even a superficial reading of classic Catholic literature will reveal this.

As for the stage mock up . . . if the things that look like horns are supposed to be hands, why in the world did they make them look like horns? Of course, if they looked more like hands, that would be even creepier, I suppose. Typical shallow modernist art, bereft of all connection with the past or even common sense.

jaykay said...

"then i thought, why doesn't the bishop of rome sell the pieta to feed the poor and, for that matter, all of vatican city? the poor are hungry are they not."

And they'd continue to be hungry into the future even afer the "bishop of rome" has sold the pieta, and all of "vatican city" (free lesson: capital letters exist for a reason).

But, hey! here's an idea: maybe you can sell your computer and feed the poor with the proceeds?

yoink! said...

No accident here Thom. God's plan is perfect and I'm here according to it as are you and everyone here....

I assure you, I've read my share. I beseech you to not confuse ignorance with purposeful rejection of a particular school of thought.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Dan

Thom said...

@yoink I believe you misunderstand what is meant by "accident" in this case. The Thomist "accident" has a different meaning from the everyday meaning of the word. I'm sure we're all in agreement that we're alive at this particular time, filled with its own peculiar historical accidents, through God's will. I may wish I didn't live at a time when banal monstrosities like the "worship space" proposed above were accepted and promoted by a large number of Churchmen, but it is my cross to carry. Pax.

Bwangi Kilonzo said...

The directionless Church. Man, these parties need to end.

JB said...



Jaykay, you misunderstood my intentional sarcasm. and bishop of rome without caps was also intentional. this is a man who insists on calling himself that and bringing his office down to the lowest possible denominator.

Bwangi Kilonzo said...

Those horns need to go.

Teresa B. said...

Pope Francis will be celebrating mass in the Fortess of Ice?

Eric S. said...

Seeing the pictures of this sanctuary/altar, I just keep imagining something like this happening on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07cesYsbxBw

I hope and pray that it won't be the case, but considering some of Pope Francis' (Cardinal Bergoglio's) former Youth Masses, I won't be surprised if something similar happens.

In case you need reminding:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RJK0yULkCY

Wulfrano Ruiz Sainz said...

The Devil's horns.

jaykay said...

JB: I do apologise: didn't pick up on that - you certainly did an excellent impersonation of the whinging "I'm soooo humble" crowd that one comes across all too regularly. Milagro beans... heh heh heh. Don't forget the sandals and jute tote bag as well :)

ryan said...

Eric S., surely that must be some opening ceremony for the olympics or something like that. That doesn't look like a Mass.

Victoria Lyons said...

As far as I can tell, this stage wasn't used after all??? Since there was so much rain, bad weather and mud, they couldn't use that location.....they had to use the Beach. So I think this was never used??? Am I wrong? Seems like Almighty God did not approve of it either.....