Cover image for Ugly as sin : why they changed our churches from sacred places to meeting spaces and how we can change them back again
Ugly as sin : why they changed our churches from sacred places to meeting spaces and how we can change them back again
Rose, Michael S., 1969-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Manchester, N.H. : Sophia Institute Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
viii, 239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
NA4828 .R67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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How Catholic churches are being sapped of their spiritual vitality and what you can do about it. The problem with new-style churches isn't just that they're ugly they actually distort the Faith and lead Catholics away from Catholicism. Michel S. Rose, in these eye-opening pages, provides you with solid arguments and practical tools that you can use to reverse the dangerous trend toward desacralized churches and to make our churches once again into magnificent Houses of God

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Rose, maintaining that the architecture of Catholic churches should mirror both the liturgy of the Word and the belief system of the congregation, persuasively argues that the structural modernization movement has violated the three laws of church architecture. According to the author, a Catholic church must have verticality, reflecting a reach toward heaven; it must have permanence and durability, transcending the vagaries of space, time, nature, and man; and it must have iconography, sacred works of art verifying the church as a gospel in stone. Without these three elements, a church is merely a meeting space rather than a sacred place of worship. Unfortunately, many twentieth-century church architects have abandoned these three basic tenets in favor of a more streamlined, secularized approach. Offering photographic evidence of classic Catholic churches and spare contemporary structures, he presents both a visual and a theological case for a return to traditional church architecture. --Margaret Flanagan

Publisher's Weekly Review

With some books, the title says it all. In 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 rails against the post-Vatican II aesthetic which has, in his opinion, created churches that are "ugly," "banal" and "uninspiring." Looking at the 80 photographs that are interspersed throughout, one has to admit he has a good point; when he notes that one modern tabernacle looks like a birdfeeder, for example, he's right on the money. Readers will never doubt that Rose's agenda is to return to the halcyon days of Catholic architecture, but even those who disagree will appreciate his entry-level explanations of key architectural concepts and straightforward writing style. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Architectural theology may be something you have never considered, but editor and writer Rose (Renovation Manipulation) has, and here he explains why it is important to Catholic worshipers. Rose gives evidence on how new-style Catholic churches based on the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Environment and Art in Catholic Worship (Liturgy Training Pubns., 1993) reflect liturgical reductionism. He begins with three natural laws used in evaluating local churches: verticality (reaching to the heavens), permanence (transcending space and time), and iconography (the building itself as art). Modern church architect Edward A. Sovik is cited for fashioning an architectural change that negated these three laws and created a nondenominational meeting space. The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) encouraged active participation in the Mass, which, Rose argues, has resulted in a modern nonchurch. Rose's previous book was a call to action for Catholic laity and clerics to restore the sacred, while this book is more encompassing, ranging from a history of Catholic church architecture to restoration and preservation. For students of architecture and larger Catholic religion collections. Leo Kriz, West Des Moines P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.