Thursday, July 23, 2015

Iconoclasm in the heart of New York City.

Naked in New York: The Unceremonious Stripping of Our Saviour, by Steve Skojec. One Peter Five July 23, 2015. In 2001, Fr. Rutler is assigned to a parish struggling under the burden of millions of dollars of mortage and other repairs and over the course of twelve years, reverses its path -- bringing it back to financial health through careful stewardship, establishing the celebration of the Latin Mass and a stunning renovation of the interior with hand-made iconography from Chinese artist Ken Woo who spent six years of his life to the project, including 28-foot-high image of Christ Pantocrator. It becomes a center for liturgical, aesthetic and spiritual renewal.

In 2013, Fr. Rutler is reassigned. New pastor moves in, promptly does away with the Latin Mass, scolds his congregation for their backwardness and embarks upon a demolition of all the work that preceded him -- stripping Our Savior of its iconography (while vacationing in the Hamptons, no less), the parish now (once-again) mired in debt.

What's wrong with this picture?

I remember stumbling rather by surprise across this church while walking in Manhattan, entering the sanctuary and being completely stunned by what I encountered on the inside. The beauty of the altar and the iconography had to be seen to be believed. This was a rare treasure of NYC. …

As a Catholic it's just infuriating - reading this and the painful realization that this place will never be the same again.

But one needn't be a Catholic, Christian or even religious to be offended at the willful dismantling of a work of spiritual beauty AGAINST the collective wishes of his parishioners. ...

No comments:

Post a Comment