Those popes who bear the name, "Pius," are the greatest guardians of the Church against heresy. This blog is a watchdog for modernism in the Church. In reality, outside this blog, the members of the board temper their criticisms and opinions with prudence and charity so as to help souls in their journey towards Christ. But sometimes, for the sake of their own sanity, the authors of this blog just need to blow off some steam. The result is Totus Pius.

08 July 2006

Photo Contest

The other day, a friend of Totus Pius, Joseph, posted an image of one of the most hideous "worship spaces" we have ever beheld.

This despicable image and the report of the papal visit to NYC have inspired us to proclaim the opening of the Totus Pius "The Bad and the Ugly" Photo Contest - a look at structures that must be anathamatized.

You are to email photos of your favorite (or least favorite, as the case may be) churches and chapels to us at . You are required to included the name and location of the church.

Each week we will then select the best submissions and post them on this site.

Churches of all denominations will be accepted, though higher ranking will go to those which are Catholic. Both interior and exterior shots will be considered.

Though each image will ultimately be critiqued for its own uniqueness, in order to establish some firm base of comparison, we have devised a scale of rank which is as follows:
  • Association:
    • Catholic - 3 points
    • Episcopalian or Lutheran - 2 points
    • Other denominations - 1 point
  • Date of construction
    • pre-1940 - 3 points
    • 1940-1962 - 2 points
    • post-1962 - 1 point
  • Location of Our Lord
    • front and center - 0 points
    • off to the side - 2 points
    • hiding in a corner or side chapel - 3 points
    • Protestant Church, so He's wasn't home to start with - 0 points
In the bad and ugly departments Post-Vatican II wreckovations are rampant. Therefore an additional grade will be given to those which fall in this category.
  • Wreckovations
    • stripped sanctuary - 6 points
    • removal of confessionals - 5 points
    • relocated/recycled confessionals - 3 points
    • removal of altar rail - 3 points
    • recycled altar rail - 1 point
    • whitewashed walls
      • over murals/frescos - 7 points
      • over geometric/floral/other design - 5 points
      • over unknown - 3 points
    • removal of stained glass (presuming the original stained glass was nice)
      • replacement with clear - 5 points
      • replacement with new stained - 3 points
Any historical information you supply will help add to your church's score.

The current scale is based largely on what is commonly seen and expected - the higher the score, the worse the church. But bad and ugly is the point of this contest.

More point categories may be added at our discretion. We are also open to the suggestions of the faithful.


Erik said...
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Boots said...

Joseph, M.T.S. said...
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Joseph, M.T.S. said...
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Papa Sanctus Pius V said...

Yes, there are two different scores as not all churches have suffered wreckovations.

Yes, a higher score in both sections means a more poorly designed church.

For the location of the tabernacle, you bring up and excellent point. In creating this system we had in mind your average American church following American norms. We should probably give side chapels the same rank as front and center; but in American churches we have often found Eucharistic Chapels little more than back closets. Such closets we do not find dignified or worthy of Our Lord - and therefore deserving of being marked up for further disgrace of Our Sovereign King. We shall strongly consider your advice however.

As for the last question, yes the prot church would receive a much lower score, because we are merciful graders and since they do not possess the full Truth, neither can they totally understand beauty. We therefore have given them a handicap, if you will, for their ignorance. A Catholic Church, being part the One True Church possessing full Truth has no excuse for hideous design and vileness. Therefore they are marked up further for their abuse, misuse, or unwillingness to use the gifts given to them.

Kip said...

Don't they know God will never hear their prayers in a cheap building like that?

They probably pray to him wearing synthetic fibres and last season's fashions, too. And one can presume he will curse them for driving second-hand domestically made cars.

And don't get me started on the second-tier colleges they go to, we all know that sort of person will never be allowed into heaven.

After all, doesn't the book say 'the chic will inherit the earth'...?

Raindear said...


If poverty accounted for the ugliness of many churches, that would be unfortunate, but not blameworthy. But I will take the liberty of assuming that the churches critiqued (and occassionally ridiculed) by this website are those unsitely churches built at great expense or undergoing costly and elaborate renovations to reflect a misguided, modern understanding of worship.

Anonymous said...

My God, but what a hideous heart you have.

Can we score that?

The snobbery and the jeering, sneering attitude exhibited here is disgusting.

Where is God in this? Where is Christ in this kind of childish, mean-spirited nonsense?

Anonymous said...

Or better yet...

Why not post a picture of yourself and all the other happy little people who are so quick to stick their noses in the air and mock other people's places of worship? Then we can score you based on the way you've cared for and clothed your bodies...

The scores for that would probably be pretty interesting...

Anonymous said...

You have a problem with the criticizm of architecture??? What's up with THAT?

We have legitimate complaints about worship spaces which have literally been RUINED due to some person's misguided understanding of what Vatican II actually never said.

And you turn your post into a personal attack when the subject at hand is a BUILDING. Not very logical, is it?

Papa Venerabilis Pius XII said...

In proving Raindear's point, We refer Our readers to this $189.7 million monstrosity:

Anonymous said...

It's just plain mean. Y'all are probably just a bunch of people who missed out on being popular in high school so you do stuff like this to make yourselves feel superior to others.

You're not criticizing architecture. You're pretending to criticize architecture so you can really criticize anyone or anything in an attempt to feel special and better than someone.

God doesn't care what the building looks like. He cares what's in your heart.

And what's in your heart is uglier than any picture of any building you post here.

What's the point here? Why do you need to do this? How does this serve God?

And like I said, post a picture of yourself - let's see what houses the Eucharist every Sunday after you've received. Post a picture of your home and your furnishings so we can offer up our criticisms of what you can afford and your taste. Let's see if you've respected the body God gave you, the body from which you worship Him and in which He will reside. Let's check out your wardrobe, your car, your job, your office. Let's see if you rank high on some purely subjective point system someone else comes up with.

Because that's what God's going to do on judgement day, right? He's going to look at your house and your furniture and your clothes and the kind of job you were able to get and how good-looking you were compared to other people.

bearing said...

Whew, somebody needs to lighten up.

Raindear said...

From the Testament of St. Francis of Assisi(emphasis added):

"And these Most Holy Mysteries I want above all things to honor, to venerate and to be placed in precious places. Wherever I will have found written the Most Holy Names and His words in unlawful places, I want to gather them together and I beg, that they are gathered together and placed together in an honorable place."

Through their holiness, saints live in intimate friendship with the Lord. For this reason, they are able to discern His will more clearly and more often than other men. St. Francis, who observed the strictest of poverty, exhorted his followers to house the Eucharist and Scriptures in "precious" and "honorable" places. If he thought the building important, we can take this as a strong indication that God does too.

Anonymous said...

What makes a place precious and honorable is not the shape of the building or the color paint upon the walls or the furniture or drapery.

What makes a place precious and honorable is what is in the hearts of the people who keep that place.

What good is the most beautiful cathedral in the world (which will never be more beautiful than a single thing God created, no matter how much gold or jewels or fine cloths or rare stone it is made of) if the people who keep it are nothing but a bunch of small-minded, childish louts who have nothing better to do than snigger at people they personally don't think are as good as they are?

Raindear said...


You make an important point - when we engage in worship, internal disposition is the most important thing. However, being both bodily and spiritual creatures, our interior disposition is strongly influenced by external surroundings, bodily posture, etc.

From the Summa of St. Thomas:
"We pay God honor and reverence, not for His sake (because He is of Himself full of glory to which no creature can add anything), but for our own sake, because by the very fact that we revere and honor God, our mind is subjected to Him; wherein its perfection consists, since a thing is perfected by being subjected to its superior, for instance the body is perfected by being quickened by the soul, and the air by being enlightened by the sun. Now the human mind, in order to be united to God, needs to be guided by the sensible world, since "invisible things . . . are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made," as the Apostle says (Romans 1:20). Wherefore in the Divine worship it is necessary to make use of corporeal things, that man's mind may be aroused thereby, as by signs, to the spiritual acts by means of which he is united to God. Therefore the internal acts of religion take precedence of the others and belong to religion essentially, while its external acts are secondary, and subordinate to the internal acts."

Btw, it is hard to take your personal criticisms seriously when you make them with such bitter discourteousness.

Papa Sanctus Pius X said...

Remember that prudery was the last sin Judas committed before handing over Christ. You are right that a group of sincere people in an ugly church is more pleasing to God than hypocrites in a beautiful one. How does it follow from that that we should not criticize churches that are objectively poor at being conducive to worship? We do not have theological opinions. Our mind is the Church and the Church and the saints uphold our point of view.

Anonymous said...

And just how courteous are you being to the people who worship in those buildings and who genuinely love God and are trying their best?

Or does it not count because it's all behind their backs?

Sorry, but cheap, petty humor that only serves to mock other people doesn't leave me feeling very courteous.

And it's funny how one of the biggest criticisms against Protestantism from the holier-than-thou Catholic crowd is usally about how Protestant worship and music is all about creating a mood, yet you're basing your justification for this on, ah, creating a mood.

Jesus went to the desert to pray.

He also told us not to pray as the Pharisees did - all showy and attention-seeking.

Is a modest cinderblock building more or less showy and attention-seeking than some big monstrosity all full of colored glass and topped with spires and bell towers and chock full of gaudy, gilded statuary and flickering candles and enough incense to throw half the congregation into a collective asthma attack?

No matter how you try to justfiy this, the bottom line is it's being mean about something someone else holds dear. And that's just immature and petty.

But, hey, run it by God. You'll get your chance just like the Protestants who worship in those buildings will. Death and Judgment Day - the great equalizers...

Anonymous said...

Just because something is not conducive to you personally worshipping does not mean it is not conducive to others and not pleasing to God.

Remember God? The guy who gets the final say? Or are you above him, too?

Anonymous said...

Oh...please show me where the Church and the Saints ever upheld mocking someone based on the building they could afford? Please show me where the Church and the Saints upheld holding an internet contest on your blog to find the ugliest (in your mind) church and to snicker at it?

Nevermind. Don't bother. People like you are your own Church and Magesterium.

Anonymous said...

To my fellow anonymous commenter,

You scare me, dude.

I understand and agree that we can't mock people who don't know any better or can't afford any better - that's un-Christian. But there's also such a thing as objective truth.

Also, you're wading really deep into this Jesus = tolerance thing... Can you please tell me what you feel Jesus would want us to criticize in modern society?


Anonymous said...

Jesus would criticize the same things in this society as did in the one in which he lived while on this earth.

He doesn't want us to criticize anything. He wants us to support and uphold each other in a loving, kind, charitable way.

Pulling pics of faith-communities' houses of worship and posting them without their knowledge in order to rate and mock them is not loving, kind, or charitable, nor does it uphold or support a fellow Christian community.

Where in the Bible does Christ mock houses of worship? He is angered by using houses of worship as places of trade, he is angered by the hypocrisy and superiority of the Pharisees, but never once did he mock a sincere man or community because of the architecture of their homes or temples or marketplaces.

The tone on this blog is disgraceful and not a thing of God. It is nothing but a cesspool of negativity and sneering, jeering mockery based on superficial, external and materialistic things.

This blog is really just a bunch of vain, silly old men playing at being popes on the internet and making fun of things they have no business making fun of.

How does mocking someone else's house of worship honor God? How does it honor the Kingdom? How does it serve one's fellow man?

Are these poor, sad old pantywaists going to pool their financial resources or their time and energy and build new churches for these people? No. They're just going to sneak around behind their backs and enjoy a few laughs at their expense.

Where in the Bible did Christ encourage the Apostles to go find the ugliest temples and rate them so they could all have a big old yukfest over them later on?

You ought to be scared. God is real. You really do get held accountable for stuff like this. It's not a joke. People like you say you believe but you sure don't act it.

Kip said...

Papa Sanctus,

Look at all these comments. You've been busted!!

Seriously, the wise heart loves reproof but a proud heart will never bend.

What seemed like a bit of fun has caused you to unintentionally hurt your fellow Christians. Hey, nobody's perfect, but I hope you will listen the 'counsel of the saints' in the comments above.

SUZANNE said...

The comments of the posters against this contest remind me of Judas when Mary Magdalene poured perfume on Jesus. "Why not sell the perfume and give it to the poor".

Their minds are so grounded ONLY in material needs that they can't see the necessity of artistic and sacrificial beauty for God.

What if Mary Magdalene had poured motor oil on Jesus' head? Would the act have been as beautiful? Of course not. Intentions matter, but the final result counts probably more, especially in someone who should know better. And Catholics should know better, but many left-leaning Catholics (and other Christians) obstinately persist in their ignorance about the function and necessity of beauty in worship.

We should know better, and that's why this kind of thing is worthwhile!

Kip said...


How proud and worldly you are!

And you have it _completely_ the wrong way around. We're not condemning the Mother church for her lavish and magnificent churches, not at all. That would be the equivalent of Mary, Judas and the oil.

You're pouring scorn on those who are beneath you in this world, and proclaiming yourself superior to them in God's Kindgom! Don't you see that??

Then when fellow Christians delivered a few words of reproof, you became haughty and stiff necked.

He who would be first will be last, remember.

Papa Beatus Pius IX said...

This is the most insane thing I have ever seen. I love how the person claiming that judging people is wrong and that we should act in perfect charity toward one another is acting UNCHARITABLY.

How about you realize your own hypocrisy, eh? If you're going to judge and hate our blog, the contributors, and the basic principle, fine - but DONT YOU DARE DO SO WHILE PREACHING TOLERANCE AND CHARITY.

Please, just think about what you're doing, seriously. You're complaining about us being uncharitable and rude, telling us to be more tolerant and loving, but then you choose to tell us to be tolerant and loving by making judgments about our appearances and our lives in high school? What is wrong with you? Seriously...just...examine the situation objectively...please.

And come to think of it, that's EXACTLY what we're doing: examining the situation objectively. Certain clothes are objectively inferior, certain houses are objectively inferior, certain churches are objectively inferior. The point being, God's house shouldnt be objectively uglier or cheaper than someone's own home. Sure, there are poor parishes. But there are poor parishes with rich people going to them. There are people attending Mass as a church which is uglier and poorer than their own home. Not to mention the hundred million dollar church that is ugly.

You're right, people's hearts do matter...but hearts are touched by beauty. If our churches were prettier, maybe our hearts would be too. If your criticisms were "prettier" maybe people would listen.

Papa Beatus Pius IX said...

Oh an as a followup, counsel of the saints refers only to those who know the truth and live it. From what I see I can tell that you're objectively wrong so you obviously dont know the truth...and youre certainly not living it by the lack of charity in your own comments.

Those who say that this contest is judging people rather than architecture, those who say that liberality in matters of architecture is evil, and those who uncharitably call others to charity, ANATHEMA SIT.

Anonymous said...

"He doesn't want us to criticize anything. He wants us to support and uphold each other in a loving, kind, charitable way."

Does that mean that we should confirm and support and uphold people in their sin?

We must be both truthful and charitable. Did Jesus support the sin of the people? No, he told them to sin no more. He accepted them as people but criticized the evil that they committed. Criticism is NOT absent from Christ's call to fraternal correction (Mt 18: 15-20). Criticism is NOT absent from Christ's cleansing of the temple and is certainly not absent from the letter's of St Paul. Check it out, you know, the Bible?

Kip said...

Honestly, I'm stunned - not by the gossipy snooty tone of the original post. Gossip is the most common sin of all. We call each other out for it all the time, and on occasion - when our thoughtless words have hurt someone - we apologise and repent of it...

don't we...?

I'm stunned by the prideful response to those of us who took offence at the post (it might just be two of us, I can't work out how many Anonymouses there are). OK, I for one was a little sarcastic in my first response - that's not nice either, I admit that.

But if you can't admit you were wrong over such a trifling matter - the sort of wrong that most of us commit and regret every day - I really worry about you...

It's easy, you'll feel better and you know you want to...!

Dean said...

Some of these older churchs were works of art, carefully and lovingly erected by the faithful over the course of years. To see the destruction wrought on them is to feel that it is an assault on God Himself.
An honest man worshipping in a shack would please God more than a cathedral full of luke-warm hearts, however the well built church which draws the eye heavenward may very well draw the soul there also.

Anonymous said...

How offensive is it to God to pretend and play at being popes and to pretend and play at declaring people anathema?

You're not doing this to serve the Kingdom. You're doing this to serve your egos and you're doing it to have a laugh at the expense of others.

You think you can justify this by claiming it's all about declaring truth, but do you really think you can fool God into thinking that's what you're about?

The Catholics here are proving themselves to be a bunch of elitist snobs and people who sneer at others' honest and sincere attempts to praise God. You think that because it's not good enough for you, it's not good enough for God.

You can try and spin what you're doing here any way you want, but God sees the truth. God always sees the truth.

There is something petty and immature about this kind of sneering and mockery and plain old sniggering, snickering meanness.

Again, why not post your pictures and the pictures of your homes so the world can judge you the way you've judged others.

And your comments about Protestants are vile. Saying they don't have the whole truth so they can't know real beauty! How dare you!

What is beautiful about what you're doing here? Where's the truth and the beauty in this kind of disgusting, selfish mockery?

Don't you even believe in God? It doesn't sound like you believe in anything but your own egos.

Banshee said...

The first thing St. Francis did, the first thing St. Francis was called to do... was to rebuild a neglected church that was falling apart. He did the work with his own hands, and when he needed money to buy new materials, he did not hesitate to draw attention to the sad condition that church was in.

We cannot fix architectural problems if we do not draw attention to them.

It wasn't St. Francis' heart that made that church great. It was St. Francis' heart that made him eager to fix that church, to make it reflect outwardly the grandeur of what God had done and would do inside it. By having a heart that longed to do proper honor to a church, St. Francis learned to do honor to the Church, and rebuild and reform her outward manifestation on Earth -- including the hearts of many Christians.

Anonymous said...

Right, dear. And I bet St. Francis used language like these fools used in the original post.

I bet he held a contest to find the ugliest church first, and then he rebuilt the winner.

I bet he made all kinds of snarky, mean comments about the church, too.

I bet he pretended to be a pope the whole time he was doing it.

Oh...and he REBUILT a neglected church. Are the people on this blog going to contribute their resources, time and energy to rebuilding and refurbishing the churches they mock here?

Nice try, sweetie, but it's a load of horse manure and you know it.

Anonymous said...

Oh...and since you're drawing attention to these "architectural problems" in an attempt to correct them, does that mean you'll be emailing this post to the pastors of all those churches? You know, right before you send them checks and building materials and your commitment to show up and do something about it. Something besides sneering at them, that is...

Stephen said...

Such a discussion is one of the many phenomenons of the internet.

Let's try to sum it all up:

1. The Papas says that some churches suck (suck= inconducive to worship of God)

2. The Anons say the Papas are judging, and that who's to say what a "good" church is?


- Can a worship space be ineffective or unfit?

Of course, if I built a church for God and made a side altar to Satan, Judas, and Hitler- that church would cease to be an appropriate place of worship.

-So there is some sort of effective worship space out there; but does God care about such things?

OF COURSE! Anons, go read the second half of the book of Exodus- meticulous details for the exquisite creation of the tabernacle, including such details as the candlesticks.

Also, everything in a place of worship must reflect WHAT WE ACTUALLY WORSHIP. Catholics worship vertically- God centered, not horizontally- community centered. Architecture, music, art, preaching- everything in a church must correspond to the actual beliefs of the Catholic church.

-Does the post of the Papas serve to help anyone?

YES! While readers most likely will not run off and write letters to their pastors, they will come to appreciate truly effective places of worship. Perhaps one day a reader will be on a parish council that is preparing to build a new church. Thanks to the Papas, they will have atleast some appreciation for the traditions of Catholic worship.

Anonymous said...

It's the tone. It's the tone. It's the tone.

First of all, criticizing non-Catholic churches for not being Catholic is ridiculous.

The language and the tone within the overall context of the tone of this blog is awful. It's just awful and shameful and a disgrace to anything good and holy.

What this boils down to is a lot of back-pedaling and rationalization for a lot of childish meanness.

But, as my mother used to say, consider the source...

We're talking about a bunch of people who play popes on the internet...

'Nuff said.

Papa Sanctus Pius X said...

Anathama sit.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Jeffrey Smith said...

Enough! I'm not a pope but I can spot the nonsensical judgements of new-age crypto-protestants hiding behind the safety of an anonymous comment. Everyone is able to judge garbage in the arts. If you disagree, argue the merits of the building in question. Don't condemn people for pointing out the truth about the emperor's clothes. If you don't like the tone I'd suggest you look at the smarminess of your own.

Brian said...

I like ice cream, you?

Curmudgeon said...

Is it still too late for submissions? I offer the following wrecknovation, in Kansas City Missouri:

Anonymous said...

Out of Christian charity, I do not think it is proper to critize non-Catholic churches. They have a different belief system than us, a different style of of worship. And yes, of course, we have the fullness of truth. And yes, I am also dismayed at "renovations" of many of our Catholic Churches. However, if Protestants have a different belief system than us, we cannot expect their houses of worship to look like ours. (Although many Protestant Churches look more catholic than many Catholic churches).

SUZANNE said...

Any more news about the photo contest? I'd like to see the submissions.

Papa Sanctus Pius V said...

We plan on posting the results on Sunday, July 22. We have received many excellent submissions, and since they are so good, will possibly post them all over few weeks.

Along with them we hope to post in defense church architecture and rather than just making a mere mockery of these pitiful structures. We hope to use them to demonstrate the problems we see with many places – constructive criticism

Anonymous said...

Expecting non-Catholic churches to look like Catholic Churches is like expecting a non-English speaking person to speak with perfect English grammer. It's silly.

Papa Sanctus Pius V said...

Expecting non-Catholic churches to look like Catholic Churches is like expecting a non-English speaking person to speak with perfect English grammer. It's silly.

Well of course it is. That's why our "score system" gives the prot churches a very nice handicap. Of course we don't expect them to have a perfect church - they lack full knowledge of the Truth which only the one, true holy Roman Catholic Church has.

We thought about not including prot churches all together in this, but, anon, your comment just hit the nail right on the head: Just like someone trying to speak English, they might not speak it perfectly but they are still trying. As a native speaker, when they mess up in order to help them learn and benefit from their grammatical slips, you correct them - out of love, not contempt. They're still speaking English and if they want to keep speaking it and be comprehended by others there are some rules they have to follow.

That's what we're doing here.

If you're going to claim to be Christian and you want to build a church there are a few rules that you might want to follow - otherwise your worship space might not reflect a God-centered community but rather some human-centered mess.

Kristin said...

What is your ultimate goal? Hopefully, your ultimate goal is for Christ to use your blog to help bring Protestants into the fullness of faith, Our Holy Catholc Church. If so, do you think that will be accomplished by displaying pictures of Protestant Churches for open criticism by those who of us who do not share their belief system? Do you think a Protestant who has spent his or her life worshiping in their hometown Church, as imperfect as it may be, will be led into the Catholic church through such a disrespectful display of antagonism? I don't think so. Think about how angered we get when non-Cathlics criticize our religous practices...the celebacy of priests, ordination of women, not eating meat on Friday...we are angered because they are criticizing a belief system they don't understand, but we hold dear. We are called to proclaim the truth, but we are also called to be respectful towards other religions. I can not think of a more devout Catholic than Mother Theresa, yet she was very respectful of the people she cared for of other faiths. You would never find her critcizing the style of a non-Catholic Church, a mosque, or Jewish temple. She didn't have time for that, she was too busy loving and caring for people.

Anonymous said...

you guys are idealistic college students, who maybe have just discovered or rediscovered the beauty of our Catholic faith and fellowship. This is good, I was once where you are. You probably have a Catholic panacea pipe dream in your head of marrying a saintly man or woman, raising 10 children on a farm, homeschooling, sewing your own clothes and being surrounded by like-minded Catholics
living in a Catholic-utopia. But In 5-7 years you will mature, and discover that Christ calls you to love all sorts of people, that life will not always go according to your neat little plans, and that sometimes you have to meet people where they are at. In the time you are spending preparing this "ugly church" contest, you could be having lunch with someone on campus who is lonely, handing out sandwhiches to the homeless in your nearest could give a warm "hello" and smile to the liberal theology professor you can't stand, you could pick up the cigarette butts on campus and offer them to Christ as a silent and your fellow "popes" could sing for the residents of a local nursing home...and maybe really make a difference.

Papa Sanctus Pius V said...

to Kristin and Anon, we advise you read the header of this main blog page again...where it notes that in real life the authors of this blog do temper their words, however this blog is a place to let us let of some steam from time to time when it feels like no one's hearing us. So of course our tone here is far more harsh than usual.
We aren't perfect - we'll give you that.
But, Anon, how do you know that we do not actually spend our day doing such charitable acts like you mentioned, but at the end of the day we come home and need to vent a little for the sake of sanity? Isn't it just a little judgmental for you to think that we are always so cold and cynical?
And note: READ THE ORIGINAL POST! THIS WAS NOT INTENDED TO CRITICIZE PROTESTANT CHURCHES SO STOP THINKING THAT WE ARE PICKING ON THEM because WE AREN'T. Most of the post deals with CATHOLIC CHURCHES. If anything, we are being ecumenical in including the Protestant ones.

Kristin said...

I did read your oringinal post...

"The other day, a friend of Totus Pius, Joseph, posted an image of one of the most hideous "worship spaces" we have ever beheld.

This despicable image and the report of the papal visit to NYC have inspired us to proclaim the opening of the Totus Pius "The Bad and the Ugly" Photo Contest - a look at structures that must be anathamatized."

Do you think it is proper to call any Church were the Blessed Sacrament is housed "bad and ugly?" It's still the Lord's house, even if the "wreckovations" leaves much to be desired. I'd rather be at Cardinal Mahoney's cathedral, that at a NYC night club. The Los Angelas Cathedral is still a holy place because Jesus is there. I don't think we should call any place dedicated to the worship of God (Catholic or otherwise) "ugly." I understand what you are saying with modern renovations, but you could say..."churches whose renovations we take issue with"....or "renovations that deter from the centrality of our Lord," or something like that. But ugly is a just an ugly word.

Anonymous said...

Will you be informing the parishes whose churches you'll be ragging on? Or is this all being done behind their backs just so you can have yourselves a selfish, mean-spirited little snark-fest in order to "let off some steam"/

I know I'll be informing the parishes you'll be ragging on. I think it's only fair and honest, given that you're hiding all this childish, schoolyard bully behavior behind the name of God.

If you're going to hold churches up for public ridicule, then it is only honest and decent to give them an opportunity to respond.

If you do it behind their backs, then that just makes you gossips and mean little schoolboys. And you won't find a church on the planet uglier than that.

Rob said...

Want to look at a real "poor" parish? Look at St. Patrick's in New York.
That came from the poverty of the Irish Catholics in New York. They put aside their pennies for years until they could build St. Patrick's because they felt that God's house should be extravagant--in contrast to their everyday lives.

Vote Franco (fdm) said...

If I can please submit The Holy Name Church in Manchester England for your consideration.

I have no photographs, but they have a web site: showing pictures and detailing the history.

I recently visted and was amazed at the work carried out. Post Vatican II it was I suppose never a popular/wealthy church so missed out on "restoration", but had the "necessary" changes. As you will see from the web site, it has been taken back to the original pre Vatican II layout.

It is the only church I know of with 3 Sunday services including one in Latin every week.

Unfortunately it's miles away from where I live.

bigmac284 said...

I hereby submit to venerable papa piuses for ugly church consideration, Christ the King Chapel of Franciscan University of Steubenville:

bigmac284 said...

Here is another picture of the sanctuary of Christ the King Chapel: Franciscan University of Steubenville:

Kristin said...

Hey, that's my alma mater! True, the chapel looks a bit like a spaceship, but I believe it was built in the 70's before the renewel took place. The preaching is solid at FUS masses, the students pious and reverent, the prayers are fervent. Jesus is gloried there and that is what matters. They also have a beautiful statue to Our Lady in the side chapel.

Anonymous said...

I just landed on this blog and may be i am late in the game. i am very surprised at the rhetoric i read here. what the Pius I to XII bloggers are attempting at is to look for wreckovations. A wreckovation involves a high cost, destruction of vintage architectural elements and a bad theology seeping thro the crevices. and the wreckovator stays at the wrectory having fun and wrum. how hard is it to understand it you posters? i am sick and tired of the tirades 'Jesus does not judge'. good job Pius blog authors. we can't help it if some posters don't understand your real intentions but grumble and rumble we had this beautiful parish church. it is a song in stone to the Glory of the Lord. Then here comes a spirit of vatican 2/quasi protestant/liberal pastor. he wreckovates the church and builds a 'sacred space'. the parish lost its beautiful church and has to live with an ugly piece. and also foot the bank loan for years to come. where will i tell of this sad tale ?