Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What is Wrong With this Picture?

In the background is one of the most historic altars in  Rome.

In the forground is one of the most historic floors in Rome, with airplane carpet on lumber.

What is the problem?  Postmodernism.

Oh, everything is a discourse; everything is fluid; distrust of received notions; history is interpretation; non-conformity with past principles; sample everything; Ulysses by James Joyce; etc. 


  1. What church is that, John?

    But you know, in a strange way there is actually one positive thing to be said for low altars that are either hideously ugly or simply an incongruous mismatch for their surroundings, or both: Their very appearance cries out to heaven that they are out of place and unnecessary. And there are still those that have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

  2. Post-modern, no not at all. It is a modernist construct, it is not flexible it stands as a challenge to the past denying the verity of the past. It offers an alternative interpreation that is as fixed as the tradition, it claims to be radical, new and permanant. Thus clearly modernist, it is more Bahaus than Tracy Emin.

  3. Um, the portable altar is classical, not modernistic.

    The platform is postmodernism.

  4. L'arte del degrado.

  5. John,

    I currently attend a church in the states which had its interior "revised" in a similar post-modern style. Interestingly enough, over the past few years, as the children of the 60's and 70's have been moving on, the younger members of the vestry, along with the music director have been slowly transforming the liturgy back to pre-vatican II norms.

    You will be happy to know, that for the first time in 20 years we at the 10:00 Mass used the chancel and High Altar last Sunday. The portable table in the Lady Chapel has been removed, and low mass is said there facing east at 8:00 every Sunday morning. Furthermore, over the past few weeks, the carpeted riser on which the "people's altar" sat has been removed, to the joy of everyone.

    Our next steps will include training a corps of acolytes, purchasing new gothic vestment and altar appointments as well as new liturgical art for the sanctuary.

    Exciting times at my parish!!!

  6. Come to America and I can show you 98% of Catholic WRONG pictures.