Friday, September 26, 2008

Oaklands Cathedral, USA

Fiat Lux : an introduction to the Cathedral of Christ the Light By Sean Bryan
Guess what? I found this extremely irritating. Apart from the "Omega Window", don't you think the same symbolism can be applied to any modern building? Pretentious, is that the right word?
Tell me want you think.
Michael Clifton said...
You might like to mention in your blog that I am operating a prize competition based on the Acts and the Epistles of St. Paul Prize £20 and moderation is on until Monday week. I did not like that Cathedral.

16 comments:

Fr. Gary V. said...

I don't like it either, Father. Bishop Emeritus Cummins was sold out by the modernist to build a museum or whatever.

Michael Clifton said...

You might like to mention in your blog that I am operating a prize competition based on the Acts and the Epistles of St. Paul Prize £20 and moderation is on until Monday week. I did not like that Cathedral.

Ma Tucker said...

Seems more satanic than Catholic really. I turned down the sound so as not to be distracted by some other take on what I was seeing.

CloisterM said...

Ugly, ghastly building. Cathedral I think not. I would worship anywhere but here.

PeterHWright said...

A fish shaped building which can float during earthquakes ? Oh dear.

I think I preferred the old church of St. Francis de Sales, Oakland.

I like a church to look like a church, be it Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, or Baroque. All these styles are essentially saying the same thing.

These modern buildings seem to me to be saying something very different from the older architectural forms.

Whatever this building is trying to say, I don't think I like it. No, I definitely don't like it.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

(lack of) Modern "Theology" at its finest I see. I know that this was the work of the previous Bishop there and not the current one. I always thought a Church was supposed to have a Catechetical dimension to it, I can't tell if there is one here.

Laurence said...

Was that the London 'Gherkin; architect's doing?

Ponte Sisto said...

Oh dear!

T said...

I really don't like for obvious reasons but I have to say that it's still much better than "Paddy's Wigwam" in Liverpool! That Cathedral is a truly depressing place to be...even if you are not a Catholic.

Anonymous said...

I'm in two minds about this cathedral. The use of the concepts of 'light and height' in ecclesiastical buildings is certainly very old and very impressive. I do like a lot of the symbolism in this church(the Cross is just as ancient though, and is at the centre of our Faith) - however colour is another important factor surely, and this church lack colour. I think a bit more thought could have been given to the devotional aspects and decoration. Maybe seven candles on the altar and a crucifix ? Visible images of the Sacred Heart, Our Lady and the saints, not hidden away in a crypt or in side chapels that are completely hidden away. I thought the video, however,a little too sickening, and it reminded me of 'Star Trek' too much - although I'm a fan of Star Trek, I don't think it is appropriate in this context. I personally like gothic and baroque churches, but much can still be done to make this a truly great modern cathedral.

fr. Martin G.

gemoftheocean said...

If I wanted to pray in a protestant temple, I'd go do that. This isn't even a good protestant temple.

Pity they spent all that money making it earthquake proof. The could have spent that money retrofitting churches in the diocese that could have used the retrofit.

[Or own church was retrofitted to make it much more earthquake survivable, without wrecking the church in the process - I'll see if I can find an article that was written up when that was done.]

IMO, art which has to be "explained" isn't very good art.

The silver lining of our diocese being hit by massive payouts for the priest abuse scandal, is there isn't enough money in the diocesan coffer to even think of replacing our St. Joseph's Cathedral. [Which looks like a cathedral...]

I find NOTHING interesting about the new cathedral. And I bet most of the put upon residents of the Oakland diocese do either. It looks like it was designed to sacrifice pigs in there.

Henry said...

Horrible. Horrible pretentious commentary. But the environment around is horrible too. The scale of the buildings is crushing.

torchofthefaith said...

Dear Father

Thanks for your great blog!

If you think this one is bad, (and I do)then you should see the Cathedral of Saint Mary and the Angels in Los Angeles which we visited in the summer of 2005.

We left after less than half an hour... disturbed and unhappy. By God's grace we visited the original California Missions next and found deep peace.

God bless - Alan and Angeline

miss book said...

Millenium Dome meets Sydney Opera House?

William McDermott Peoria, Illinois said...

The Cathedral itself is not to bad, I like the use of vertical space to integrate it into the urban landscape around it. Those of you who like statues shouldn't worry though, I remember visiting the Cathedral in San Francisco. It is very modern, all glass and wood, but in what was obviously an afterthought demanded by the latin community a somewhat gaudy shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was added. I laughed aloud when I saw it not so much because it was so out of place but because the architects had to modify their plans to accomodate the very human piety of God's special people, the poor and unsophistocated. Reminds me of the Robert Frost line from the poem, The Death of the Hired Man', “Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.”

The narrative accompanying the video was,however, unbelivably pretentious, but then that's California.

Anonymous said...

Ugh ugh ugh. While I do kind of like the Omega window, the rest of the place is pretty ugly and the commentary gave me goosepimples.

Where is the tabernacle??????

Antonius Morel