Skip to comments.Should the Bishop Have Bought the Crystal Cathedral?
Posted on 08/22/2012 2:04:50 PM PDT by marshmallow
Three miles from Disneyland there is another famous theme park, which proclaims itself as Americas Television Church. The Crystal Cathedral, perhaps the first mega-church in the United States, is about to undergo conversion classes so that it can finally get the cathedra and bishop it has always wanted. The Diocese of Orange, California, has purchased the thirty-one-acre property and its four buildings for $53 million, a steal even in this real estate market. Realizing that recent cathedrals built from scratch have cost upwards of $200 and $250 million on the West Coast, retrofitting sounds like a financially savvy move. However, turning this prismatic beacon of televangelism into a house of God may be easier said than done.
Does this purchase signal a new role for Catholic charity: to buy up properties of bankrupt Protestant ministries? If so, there may be some good opportunities in the future. How does the bishop encourage full, active, and conscious participation in the liturgy by purchasing one of the buildings most associated with religion as theater? Begun as an open-air service at a drive-in theater, the church was designed around Rev. Schullers flamboyant preaching. Associated with glitz and money, it was the site of fancy and expensive holiday celebrations including trapeze artists, live animals for Christmas, and a lavish $13 million production called Creation.
Said to be the first all-glass structure built for religious purposes, it is associated with the feel-good theology of the 1980s. How to convert a building like this and at the same time disassociate it from its founder and his theology? Crystal Cathedral Ministries was a religion about self-promotion, and, appropriately, its main buildings were designed in disparate modernist styles by three well-known architecture firms: Richard Neutra, Philip Johnson and John Burgee, and Richard Meier. Each building is a personal expression....
(Excerpt) Read more at crisismagazine.com ...
The author seems to think that this former Protestant church can’t be re-purposed into a Catholic Cathedral, as if it is somehow permanently tainted. Strikes me as more of a rant than a reasoned argument.
Not holding my breath waiting for a dignified and Sacred Tridentine Mass to be celebrated in that monstrosity. A Woodstock Mass, sure.
It seats several thousand. If you can fill it, its a good buy. If you can't fill it, go and evangelize and fill it.
The Crystal Cathedral is a house of God. Hundreds of devout Christians worship there each Sunday.
I sure don’t think so! It has been my understanding that Catholic churches and cathedrals were created to reflect the glory of God and as such were made as beautiful as possible. Have you seen the Crystal Cathedral? It is one of the ugliest buildings I have ever seen! That’s just my opinion and today, many modern Catholic churches are also ugly IMO. Even if they got a good deal on it, I think it is a mistake.
No. I don’t understand it.
the meaning of thhe church is much more important than a mere building. must have been a slow news day, ir the press is trying to stir controversy
If it’s really that ugly it should fit right in with other modern buildings which could not be any uglier if they tried, and I’m sure they did.
If you want to see an ugly cathedral go to downtown Los Angeles and look at the Our Lady Queen of the Angels (AKA the Taj Mahoney). It looks like a giant warehouse. What a waste of money. I think it is good that the Diocese of Orange County is not wasting money like Cardinal Mahoney did. He insisted that his cathedral had to be bigger than Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Mahoney was a disaster.
Crystal Cathedral Ministries is a Christian denomination rooted in the Dutch Reformed Church that has numerous ministries and outreach programs. I disagree in many ways with their theology, but to say that the church is merely about self-promotion is grossly misleading.
And as for "modernist styles," how about the ultra-modernistic Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in Los Angeles? That could very well be the ugliest house of worship in the entire world.
weak article; nothing new here.
The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland is even uglier...absolutely horrific in every way! I like the old-time churches and cathedrals. They encourage worshipfulness and awe.
Excuse me, but our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, a living sanctuary of God. Enough of this worry if a physical building is acceptable.
What is it with the churches nowadays, these, whatchamacallit, gothic churches. Bunch a hooey if you ask me. All that expensive glass, huge windows, and fancy foo-fillerey, bah! Nothing but the futurist scribblings of a bunch of over-educated folks that went to expensive universities in France. What we need is a timeless style, something that goes back centuries. What's wrong with the Roman-style we used to use?
“How to convert a building like this and at the same time disassociate it from its founder and his theology?”
Doesn’t Crystal Cathedral have or had a big statue of Bishop Sheen in it? And it seems to me that a bishop has a lot to do with how ‘to disassociate a building from its founder and theology.’ For good or bad, sometimes starting with a Catholic building from scratch and disassociating like crazy. So go find the most liberal bishop you can, ask his advice, then do the opposite.
yes...if the price was right...
Just think of the savings to be had for the much reduced need for window washing. It might be easier to heat and cool, too?
One possible handicap --- un-reinforced masonry. Build a strong enough frame, with joists going wall to wall to help then support one another to give support for when the grounds get to shaking, and one can build walls from a lot of things. Including multiple layers of bricks.