Interior Proposed New Our Lady Rosary Church Greenville, SC – rendering by Matthew Alderman

This article on church architecture challenges modern Catholic Church architecture. What is it all about anyway? What is a church for?

Architects will quibble about the “form follows function” dictum, but assuming that there is at least some truth to it, we can then ask, “What is a church for?” If we are being merely practical about it, a church is for people to gather for divine worship. Therefore the seating should be comfortable. Everyone should be able to see the altar and the pulpit. There should be a good sound system and adequate amenities like air conditioning, heating and toilets and cry rooms and bride rooms. However, is a church simply an auditorium? Many modern Protestant churches are built with this criteria. All that is required is a large, comfortable, efficient space for everyone to meet.

The Catholic tradition offers something greater. When we ask what a Catholic Church is for the answer is more than simply an auditorium. Within the Catholic tradition the Church building has more than a practical function. Therefore if “form follows function” we have to ask what these other functions might be for  a Catholic church.

The reason so many modern Catholic churches have been built as auditoria and not temples is because so many modern Catholics don’t really believe in the real presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. They may say they believe it and give lip service and give a sort of theological assent, but there is no active belief–otherwise they would build a temple not an auditorium

Read the whole article here on Catholic Exchange.