The Georgetown Center for Liturgy has announced its new on-line liturgical art and architecture resource web site called EnvisionChurch. Though it uses cutting-edge technology, it uses outdated ideas from people whose time has passed. If you like the last gasps of the 1970s, theories of liturgical architecture which depart from the authentic meaning of Vatican II, and a “We Are Church” approach to liturgy and building, this is the place to go for information. Otherwise, consider it a list of people NOT to hire. A valuable resource indeed.
Here is a quote from the page: “In what ways does art help us to pray? How does it form our faith and shape our spirituality? What is art’s relationship to liturgy and popular devotions? How is art expressive of the cultures within a faith community? How can the identity of the community be best expressed through the artwork in its worship spaces? What does one need to know when selecting or working with artists? These are only some of the questions that will be addressed in “Reflections” on Art.”
Of course, one might want to ask instead: “In what ways does art make present for us the heavenly realities and “turn men’s thoughts to God persuasively and devoutly (Sacrosanctum Concilum, 122-123)?” In what way is the Catholic understanding of sacramental theology influential on liturgical art and architecture? How does the earthly community’s identity recede into the background of the Christus totus which includes the angels, the saints, the Trinity and the souls in Purgatory? Why should we never use the words ‘worship space’ and instead call the church a sacramental building? What does the Church teach?
Its list of consultants make no pretense of balance and includes the usual suspects, including notorious church wreckovator, Fr. Dick Vosko:
Paul Covino, M.A.
Associate Chaplain and Director of Liturgy
The College of the Holy Cross
Rev. Phil Horrigan, D.Min.
Director, Art & Architecture
Archdiocese of Chicago
Rev. Lawrence Madden, S.J., S.T.D.
Director. Georgetown Center for Liturgy
Sheila McLaughlin, M.A.
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Center for Theology & Ministry
at the Catholic Theological Union
Rev. Peter Phan, Ph.D.
Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought
Theology Department, Georgetown University
Sean Reilly, AIA, LEED AP
Kerns Group Architects
Meyer-Vogelpohl Co., Inc.
Rev. Richard Vosko, Ph.D.
Designer and Consultant for Worship Environments
Clifton Park, NY
Be afraid, be very afraid!