Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Mexican Church

Amy Welbourne has a story about a new Mexican church given by a congregation in the US. I think the Church looks hideous but that is not the point, I'll be interested in your comments, read the whole article.

While worshipers enjoy the luxury, however, townspeople walk along unpaved roads or past flows of fetid water. Young men sit on the curb drinking liter bottles of Estrella beer. Daily life isn't pretty -- countless residents migrate to the U.S. for something better.The 1,500 residents of San Antonio relied on money from immigrants in Illinois and other states in the U.S. to build this $1.3 million church, a staggering sum for a poor village.

People have said they have had difficulty getting to the story, try going through Open Book


Fr Justin said...

Sorry, Father: I tried, but don't have your influence with the Chicago Tribune! They demanded a password &c.

Rita said...

I do think it is right to see to the spiritual needs of a community first and temporal needs second. However this does seem a little too lavish.

Unfortunately, I'm reminded of some of the poorer communities in Malaysia which suddenly find themselves home to outrageously flamboyant, large mosques (Saudi money in this case)...

I couldn't read the original article but I am concerned about the sort of message it sends out about the "wealth" of the US? Isn't this a sure fire way to increase economic migration and the misery that brings to so many?

Physiocrat said...

I was not able to access the original story, it seems to be necessary to register.

But the ugliness is quite a lot to the point. A building for worship should be of good quality, but it should be proportionate to the quality of the buildings around. Man does not live by bread alone but man needs bread, and there seems to be a lack of balance here.

If people are living in mud huts, then their church should be a beautiful mud building, which is a perfectly possible thing to create, as the missionaries did in the Spanish colonial period. If you could insert a picture of an one of the adobe churches, the comparison will demonstrate the point.

And one of the most moving liturgies I have been to was in a pile of ruins. It does not need a building constructed with vastly expensive finishes.

Palatatial church buildings alongside hovels is a breeding ground for Marxism.

Anagnostis said...

Palatatial church buildings alongside hovels is a breeding ground for Marxism.

I do agree with you, Henry. The difficulty is not so much with "palatialness" itself, though as with the essentially "alien" character of buildings like this, which have no connection with the sensibilities, either domestic or religious, of those in whose midst they're introduced. Arty, airconditioned bourgeois minimalism, from the same gringo utopia as every new corporate headquarters or mogul's retreat will never speak to the heart.

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