Quotes on architecture by Pope Benedict XVI.
For the purpose of trying to discern major shifts in the theory and practice of the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, the history of the tabernacle can be divided into four sections: the patristic period until Carolingian times, the Carolingian period until the Council of Trent, the Council of Trent to Vatican II, and Vatican II to the present.
There’s a scene that unfolds at weekend liturgies in the place where I worship with stunning predictability. At a point somewhere in the midst of the Communion Rite worshipers begin migrating toward the exit doors, lured, one assumes, by the promise of more exciting Sabbath hours spent elsewhere.
An American physician and native New York Catholic by the name of James Joseph Walsh once published a wonderful little book entitled Thirteenth, Greatest of Centuries, in which he extolled the virtues of that bygone era. There were indeed many such virtues, but as the great French philosopher and medievalist Étienne Gilson is reported to have once said about the Middle Ages: “I love studying them, but I’m glad I didn’t have to live in them.”
“People will again go up to the religious community building, whose architectural prominence will command respect, and which can only be approached along a triumphal axis. Its great internal space will inspire us again, not because of a sacredly mystic devotion that makes us long for a transcendental world, but because of a devotion characterized by a reborn Dionysian joy.” – Hendrik Petrus Berlage
At a recent occasion, Pope Benedict XVI has called artists “custodians of beauty,” as his predecessors Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II had done before him. This title is significant, not least because in the Catholic tradition beauty is understood as a philosophical and ultimately theological category.