Francis Cardinal Arinze Francis Cardinal Arinze
Function:
Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Roman Curia
Title:
Cardinal Priest of S Giovanni della Pigna
Birthdate:
Nov 01, 1932
Country:
Nigeria
Elevated:
May 25, 1985
More information:
www.catholic-hierarchy.org
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English Church Architecture
Sept 12, 2004
From the Keynote address to the USA convention of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, at the Omni San Antonio Hotel, October 7-11, 2003.

Church architecture, earlier mentioned in this paper, is so important that I would like to return to it here. The shape of the church building has its importance. As someone has said, a gym that looks like a church is still a gym. Some questions can be of help. Does this church building help to raise people's minds to God, to the transcendent? Where are the tower, the bell, the Cross? Within the church, is the sanctuary clearly distinguished from the rest of the church? Why were the beautiful altar rails that have been there for one or two centuries removed against the wishes of many of the parishioners?

Why is it so difficult to make out where the tabernacle is located? Where is Our Blessed Mother's statue or image? Is iconoclasm back? I am aware that the renovation of church buildings can be a contentious issue. Bishops and members of Liturgical Commissions have the delicate task of weighing all sides of the question. But before the hammer or compressor machine is applied to objects that have touched the devotional sensitivity of the people for decades or even centuries, those who have to take the decision cannot avoid asking themselves whether there are reasons weighty enough to upset so many people and ask the parish or diocese to pay for the exercise.
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