29. November 2011 18:10
I recently took a trip up the coast of California and on the way, stopped and visited each of the 21 Missions. The history of California is evident at each of the Missions, which provided people with much more than religion and worship; indeed, they acted as outposts for food in a remote land, which ran parallel in time with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Most of these structures have been extensively rebuilt or remodeled . It is not a surprise, then, to learn that the Vatican has established a new commission to evaluate and approve the construction of Roman Catholic churches. Prompted by a large number of garage-style churches and other boldly-shaped structures that have little resemblance to a church, the commission’s goal will be to promote spaces that elicit an emotional response. Not unlike homes, where nurture, comfort and warmth are readily provided, churches are places of worship that should call out to the congregation, beckoning and welcoming with a strong sense of familiarity. The commission will be in charge of evaluating construction projects for churches of various dioceses. Regulations will be drafted and offer precise instructions to these dioceses. The architecture will reflect the purpose of the Catholic Mass, so a cookie cutter approach to design is not the goal. Raising the bar on architecture is a noble call.