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Ugly as Sin
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 argues Michel S. Rose in these eye-opening pages, which banish forever the notion that lovers of traditional-style churches are motivated simply by taste or nostalgia. In terms that non-architects can understand (and modern architects can't dismiss!), Rose shows that far more is at stake: modern churches actually violate the three natural laws of church architecture and lead Catholics to worship, quite simply, a false god.
Not content to limit himself to theory, Rose takes you on a revealing tour through a traditional church and a modern church. He shows conclusively how the traditional church communicates the Faith, while the modern one simply doesn’t. In the process, he’ll give you a renewed love and gratitude for the gift of faith that is your traditional church — plus a keener sense of just what’s wrong with modern churches that look like anything but churches. Rose provides you with solid arguments (as easy to explain as they are hard to refute!) and practical tools that you can use to reverse the dangerous trend toward desacralized churches — and to make our churches once again into magnificent Houses of God!
“Church architecture has been one of the most painful examples of theological deconstruct-ionism. Rose gives a way out of the mess.”
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR
Author, The Journey Toward God
“Michael Rose draws a devastating contrast between traditionally designed churches and contemporary ‘functional’ ones that don’t, in fact, function. It is written with humor as well as with the passion we have come to associate with American Catholics who love their Church. And, unlike many critiques, this one ends with positive proposals that can be of real, practical help.”
Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP
Author, Looking at the Liturgy and Christendom Awake
“Church architecture should help people to pray. Michael Rose makes the case that much of contemporary church architecture is an act of war against prayer and the spiritual life.”
Charles E. Rice
Professor of law, Notre Dame Law School and author, The Winning Side
“With some books, the title says it all. In Ugly as Sin: Why They Changed Our Churches from Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces — and How We Can Change Them Back Again, Michael S. Rose rails against the post-Vatican II aesthetic which has, in his opinion, created churches that are “ugly,” “banal,” and “uninspiring.” Looking at the 80 photographs that are interspersed throughout, one has to admit he has a good point; when he notes that one modern tabernacle looks like a birdfeeder, for example, he’s right on the money. Readers will never doubt that Rose’s agenda is to return to the halcyon days of Catholic architecture, but even those who disagree will appreciate his entry-level explanations of key architectural concepts and straightforward writing style.”
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