Catholic Architecture, Part 10: Vatican II

All things are set apart for use in divine worship should be truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful signs and symbols of heavenly realities.

Sacrosanctum concilium, 22

In this tenth and final episode, Dr. McNamara looks back at the Second Vatical Council and makes a claim that may surprise many people (except those who follow this blog!). Namely, that a careful reading of the documents of Vatican II reveals the traditional nature of the Council

Vatican II was traditional? Yes, in fact. The language of the Council fathers speaks over and over of continuity with what came before. This continuity with our traditions extends to concepts of beauty. He makes the point that the Council’s words should not be misunderstood or misinterpreted because they happened to be written at a time when traditional concepts of beauty were out of favor. 

In short, there is nothing in the documents of Vatican II that should lead us to conclude the Council was calling for some kind of revolution in how we build and decorate our churches. 

2 thoughts on “Catholic Architecture, Part 10: Vatican II

  1. Good information presented in a quiet, unemotional, intellectual and convincing manner. Thank you for sharing Denis McNamara’s observations about Catholic Church architecture and Vatican II.


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