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Ugly As Sin: How They Changed Our Churches From Sacred Places To Meeting Spaces And How We Can Change Them Back Again

3 Ratings: 3.3
2001 non-fiction book by Michael S. Rose

How Catholic churches are being sapped   of their spiritual vitality — and what you can do about it The problem with new-style churches isn't just that they're ugly — they actually distort the Faith and lead Catholics away from Catholicism. So … see full wiki

Author: Michael S. Rose
Genre: Religion, Design & Architecture
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Date Published: 2001
1 review about Ugly As Sin: How They Changed Our Churches...

At last...a voice speaking up for those of us who are fed up!

  • Dec 12, 2008
Make no mistake about it.  Michael Rose clearly has a point of view.  Rose is a conservative Catholic author who has now written a number of books that present in an interesting and succinct way why so many of the so called "reforms" adopted by the Church have clearly backfired.  For a very long time I have felt that the majority of new Catholic churches being built today are just plain awful.  And so I when I came across Michael Rose being interviewed about "Ugly As Sin:  How They Changed Our Churches From Sacred Places To Meeting Spaces And How We Can Change Them Back Again" on the global Catholic network EWTN I rushed out and got a copy right away.

This book validates nearly everything I have been thinking and feeling over the past two decades.  Whenever my wife and I walk into one of these new Churches we just shake our heads.  They resemble auditoriums or theatres but rarely do they look like a church. There is nothing sacred or inspiring about them.  Rose points out many of the problems inherent with these new structures.  In most of these new Churches the tabernacle, which should be front and center and the main focal point in a Catholic Church has been relegated to the sidelines.  I recently visited a Church in Connecticut where the tabernacle was not even located in the main Church!!!  Instead is was in a seperate room off to the side with one small bench and kneeler available for Eucharistic adoration. And in this Church the vestibule has been renamed the "greeting room".  According to Rose, these churches have been designed more as places to socialize than as the sacred House of the Lord that it is supposed to be.  Rose examines the origins of these problems and reinforces his arguments with page upon page of photos from some of these churches.  And the problem does not end there. Older churches have not escaped the madness.  In the suburban parish my wife grew up in the Church was recently renovated.  All of the statues were removed and when the job was completed you could hardly distinguish this Church from a Protestant church.  Again, there is absolutely nothing inspiring about it.

Rose urges parishioners to speak up and get involved when decisions are being made about new construction or renovation.  He also points out that some architectural schools have begun to address the problem by offering courses in tradtional Church architecture. And there are signs that the next generation of priests and younger members of the laity are beginning to demand more traditional Chruches.  It is a trend worth keeping your eye on.  Whether you agree or disagree with Michael Rose, reading "Ugly As Sin:  How They Changed Our Churches From Sacred Places To Meeting Spaces And How We Can Change Them Back Again" will help concerned Catholics get up to speed on the issues involved.   A fascinating subject!    Recommended.
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April 15, 2009
First of all, I love the title.....how appropriate! I've been in many of these so-called churches and indeed they're not very desirable to the eye or soul for that matter. I grew up in a time when things weren't as casual as they are today and there was more respect. I agree with DesignDude that people are often scared off by traditional church settings. Too bad!
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