Rorate Caeli

Renewal or wreckovation? The renovation of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, FL

The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida was closed earlier this month for renovations until next year. The reasons given for the renovations are both practical (relating to much-needed repairs, replacements and space requirements) and liturgical (the need to make the cathedral 'effectively serve the requirements of contemporary worship', in the words of the cathedral website -- see here.)

The interior of the cathedral as it stood in May, 2012:

And the planned appearance of the cathedral after the renovation:

The altar rail will be removed with parts of it being relocated to the area behind the altar (in front of the tabernacle) while the pillars holding up the sanctuary corona and surrounding the altar will also be removed to enable the congregation to "see everything". 

The diocese's official explanations of the renovations can be found in the following articles:

A cathedral worthy of the "New Evangelization" or an echo of the era of giant malls? What do you think, dear readers?