Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Ugly Churches breed godless Catholics

The problem
with new-style churches
isn't just that they're ugly --

Holy Trinity Church, Copenhagen Holy Trinity Church, Copenhagen

they actually distort the Faith
and lead Catholics
away from Catholicism.

So argues Michael S. Rose in the eye-opening pages Ugly as Sin, the book that banishes forever the notion that those of us who love traditional-style churches are motivated simply by nostalgia.


In terms that non-architects can understand, Rose shows that far more is at stake: modern churches actually violate the three natural laws of church architecture and lead Catholics to worship, quite simply, a false god:

Holy Trinity Church, Vienna, Austria
Holy Trinity Church, Vienna, Austria


Not content to limit himself to theory, Rose in Ugly as Sin takes you on a revealing tour through a traditional church and a modern church.

He shows conclusively how the traditional church communicates the Faith . . .

Old St. Mary's Church, Cincinnati, OH
Old St. Mary's Church, Cincinnati, OH

. . . while the barren modern one
leaves you empty and alone:

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Cincinnati, OH
Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Cincinnati, OH


In the process, Rose gives you a renewed understanding, love, and gratitude for the gift of faith that is your traditional church:

St. Francis Church, Petoskey, MI
St. Francis Church, Petoskey, MI

. . . and a keen sense of just what's so wrong with modern churches that look like anything but churches:

St. Charles Borromeo Church, Kettering, OH
St. Charles Borromeo Church, Kettering, OH


Here are solid arguments (as easy to explain as they are hard to refute!) and practical tools you can use to reverse this dangerous trend toward desacralized churches -- and to make our churches once again into magnificent Houses of God!

Ugly as Sin (book cover)

Ugly as Sin
Why They Changed Our Churches
from Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces
-- and How We Can Change
Them Back Again
Michael S. Rose

256 pgs pbk $18.95

Includes more than 80 telling photos,
a glossary of church and architectural terms,
and other helpful appendices.


"Must reading for all who've seen butcher blocks replace altars, tabernacles banished to closets, and the faithful corralled into barren monstrosities that mimic the mall, the gym, and the warehouse."
Paul Thigpen
Blood of the Martyrs

"Church architecture is one of the most painful forms of theological destruction. Rose gives us hope."
Fr. Benedict Groeschel
Journey Toward God

"A cry of protest against a new form of blasphemy: in stone and cement."
Alice von Hildebrand
By Love Refined

"Written with the humor and with the great passion we have come to associate with good Catholics who love their Church. And, unlike many critiques, this one ends with positive proposals that can be of real, practical help."
Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP
Christendom Awake

"Michael Rose shows us here that much of contemporary church architecture is an act of war against prayer and the spiritual life."
Charles E. Rice
The Winning Side

"Even those who disagree will appreciate his entry-level explanations of key architectural concepts."
Publishers Weekly

Other books that
may interest you:

One Man, One Woman (book cover)

From global conferences to tiny parish gatherings, pro-family advocate Dale O'Leary has traveled the world defending marriage against radical activists intent on rewriting its age-old definition.

Now, in One Man, One Woman, the first book of its kind written for Catholics, O'Leary shares her knowledge and experience of every facet of the gay-marriage debate: politics, psychology, biology, religion, and social science.

With clarity and force she tackles the many myths surrounding this contentious issue, showing that:

* Gay people are not "born that way" (scientists have never found a "gay gene" and never will), but neither do they purposely "choose" their condition

* By their very nature, homosexual relationships reject the traditional marital ideals of permanence, fidelity, and mutual self-giving

* Since marriage is much more than just a private matter between two individuals, radically redefining it will inevitably have grave ill effects on all of society

*Jesus' command to "judge not" doesn't compel us to approve of homosexual behavior or samesex marriage (but we are called to speak the truth in love)

*Research has conclusively shown that children fare best with a mother and a father -- and gay activists know this

* The battle over gay marriage is but one part of a larger war against traditional morality and religion, and this war won't end even when the issue is settled

O'Leary shows how the redefinition of marriage in Europe and Canada has already taken a predictable toll on marriage rates, family stability, religious freedom, and children's well-being.

And there are ominous signs that radical social engineers are plotting a similar course for the United States: toward a future in which marriage is considered a quaint anachronism, and "intolerant" beliefs are strictly censored.

But there's still time to avert that course, she says, and to that end she includes a twelve-point practical plan for saving marriage for the next generation -- a plan that begins and ends not with anger, but with genuine love and compassion.

So whether you're trying to fight City Hall, answer the challenges of a relative or friend, or even quiet your own nagging doubts, One Man, One Woman is your single source for the facts you need to understand and defend the truth about marriage.

One Man, One Woman
by Dale O'Leary
336 pgs ppbk $19.95

Can a Catholic Be a Democrat? (book cover)

When I told my friend that our new book is called Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?, he shot back, "Can a Catholic be a Republican?"

That's a good question, since these days both parties endorse policies or engage in activities that contradict some or many Catholic teachings about abortion, poverty, immigration, war and peace, or other issues of life and justice.

But that's not always been the case.

Indeed, when author David Carlin was a young man, it was scandalous for a good Catholic to be anything but a good Democrat.

In the pews, pubs, and union halls of America's cities, millions of poor European immigrants and their children pledged allegiance to the Church of Rome and the party of FDR.

All that changed in the 1960s, with the rise of a new kind of Democrat: wealthy, secular, ideological.

Even as Carlin served the party he loved -- twelve years as a Rhode Island state senator and once a candidate for Congress -- he could only watch in dismay as its national leaders abandoned their blue-collar, pro-life, and religious constituencies and took up with NOW, Hollywood, and the abortion lobby.

So complete has been this transformation that we no longer speak of a natural alliance between Catholics and the Democratic Party.

Indeed, ever increasing numbers of Democrats are joining the ranks of us voters for whom "voting Catholic" means holding our nose and choosing the candidates in either party whose views are least hostile to our faith.

In recent years, the conflict between his faith and the policies of his party has grown so marked that author Carlin, a cradle Catholic, lifetime Democrat, and longtime Democratic legislator, now feels compelled to consider whether, in good conscience, it's even possible to be both a faithful Catholic and a Democratic true believer.

But Can a Catholic Be a Democrat? isn't partisan.

It's Catholic.

By considering the changes that have taken place in his own party these past fifty years (and that some would now bring about in the Republican Party, too), Carlin identifies the fundamental policies that we as Catholics must support, and the ones that we Catholics must never abide -- so that, regardless of our party affiliation, we can prudently work for (and will have the opportunity to vote for) policies consistent with our faith.


So what about the Democrats?

Carlin, a veteran sociologist, philosophy professor, and author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, shows that his party and his religion have now taken opposite sides in the Culture War.

He argues that on issues of human life, sex, faith, morality, suffering -- and the public policies that stem from them -- the modern, secularist Democratic Party has become the enemy of Catholicism; indeed, of all traditional religions.

Carlin shatters the excuses that Catholic Democratic politicians employ in a vain attempt to reconcile their faith and their votes, and then, with what he calls the "political equivalent of a broken heart," he examines his own political conscience.

As a faithful Catholic and a Democrat approaching his seventieth year, must he now leave the party he's called home since birth?

David Carlin's arguments challenge all religious voters to ask themselves the same question.

Carlin's clear and gracious arguments may not lead you to a more Catholic party, but they'll help you explain Catholic positions to your friends, relatives, and fellow party members; and they'll help you make your own party less hostile to the beliefs of Catholics.

That's important, because these days Catholic voters are the swing voters who determine the winners in close elections. The people who hear Carlin's voice today will win elections tomorrow.

You can help.

Order Carlin's book today, and buy extras to give to your undecided relatives and friends.

Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?
by David Carlin
256 pgs ppbk $14.95

Sophia Institute Press
Box 5284, Manchester
NH 03108

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