The architectural decline of Catholicism
written by Edoardo Consonni
“Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam, et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam”. The words that Christ addresses to Peter are fiery words, imbued with an indistinguishable majesty, worthy of a king, worthy of Christ, of the Son of God. Words that echo in the mind, that bring you that sense of amazement, which clings to yours fragile bones, when you are in front of the Milan Cathedral. A concentrate of chills, a hair raised on the skin for each glorious pinnacle. How not to be surprised, in front of the majestic and magnanimous facade of the Cathedral of Orvieto, the immense Florentine dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, or the frightening momentum of the Cologne Cathedral. The Gothic invites us to look upwards, to get out of the cloudy and sticky carpe diem, to go out “to see the stars”, as the master Alighieri reminds us. Even the Romanesque, however, with its geometric essentiality, with its simplicity of construction, welcomes the faithful and cradles it within its majestic brick walls. Romanesque and Gothic are and remain two architectural styles that perfectly embody the second of the three kingdoms of the Our Father, or the kingdom of the Church of Christ. At this point it is necessary to make some reflections. I say it is necessary, because unfortunately we have not been able to preserve this attention towards the construction of these buildings. I say it is necessary, because the depravity and the total absence of moderation of the “modern churches” is alarming. Who is not collapsed before the complete ugliness, the indecent monstrosities of modern churches? Who has not experienced a scandal in front of the non-sanctuary of St. Pio of Pietrelcina by Renzo Piano, the super-church of the Sacred Face of Mario Botta in Turin, the non-knew-of-being-a-church of New of Managua (Nicaragua )? Churches that look like Chateau d’Ax warehouses, where you enter and a sense of religiosity falls under your feet. Indeed, it does not even fall, because you do not even receive a particle of religious atmosphere. Altars with human heads embedded inside, crucifixes so deformed that seem to be drunk, with eco-sustainable depictions, from the waves of the sea to the blue whales. But I say, but how are we doing? Architects who challenge each other with blows of blasphemous constructions, to make Picasso turn inside the tomb as well, who remains the undisputed guru in the field of artistic horrors. Then think: Our Lord Jesus Christ will return, at the end of time, to find what?Will the King of the universe, the Son of God, return to earth, and will we welcome him with glass greenhouses without bell towers? With perverse and repellent concrete shells? But what the hell are these? Does this welcome the King of kings, the Savior of the world? The construction crisis reflects the crisis of values. A church that preferred the transcendetal to the transcendent, who preferred to disguise and not stand out. In this the ‘medieval retrograde Carolingians’ were not wrong at all. Find an ‘ugly’ Gothic church: you won’t find it. When building a church, it was clear what was going on. The house of God, the domus aurea. The ecclesially correct is slowly devouring the artistic beauty (and not only) of the Catholic Church. And should these “in step with the times” non-churches represent progress? But what if they keep them, the “artistic commissioners”, these embarrassing reproaches! I prefer to be medieval, but to liquefy myself in front of the perfect beauty of the Gothic, rather than being in line with progress, and having to attend Holy Mass closed in a hangar for helicopters, with a nice sign exposed on the outside with the words “Hey, you , I am a Church “.