Saturday, October 13, 2007

Self-hating RCs stuck in the 1970s
Like the master of ceremonies Pope Benedict had the good sense to replace. Note to the administrator of the shrine at Fátima: building big ugly self-consciously modern churches and rubbishing your people’s authentic piety (‘pilgrims from the poor north of Portugal often make the stony final approach crawling on hands and knees, with cloths to bind their bleeding wounds’) not only are wrong but if you’re trying to impress secular people they don’t work. The former is passé anyway. Post-modern architecture honours tradition: it has nice details and some warmth unlike the Bauhausian junk nobody really liked but built 50 years ago because they were told it was cool.

(I don’t mind an ugly 1950s building if the old religion is practised in it and I even like listening to Schoenbergian music so I can’t really be pigeonholed. It’s not about grandiosity or nostalgia. That said, better one of Archbishop Christodoulos’ village churches in Greece than a Taj Mahony.)

Today is the 90th anniversary of the last apparition there with the miracle of the sun. ‘I am the lady of the Rosary: repent and pray for the souls who have no-one.

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