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The Renovation Manipulation: The Church Counter-Renovation Handbook Paperback – January 15, 2000
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"Michael S. Rose has written more than a warning about the physically and spiritually destructive process that often results from Catholic church renovations. He has provided priests and parishioners with armor to resist a calculated and misguided onslaught of what he terms the archi-liturgical establishment. Roses handbook should be required reading for all parish building committees; it will not be found on recommendation lists of liturgical consultants!" -- Thomas Gordon Smith, University of Notre Dame School of Architecture
"Well-documented, The Renovation Manipulation is an excellent resource for Catholics struggling with renovators who want to change their parish churches. In examining the problems that occur when renovations are undertaken without a true consensus among parishioners, Michael S. Rose has done a service in delineating the problem and providing resource and information to counter the elitists who want to change the look of churches as a means of changing the Church herself." -- William Donohue, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
At the beginning of the third millennium, there is much to reflect on concerning the rich architectural heritage of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, attacks against these sermons in stone continue by some who lack vision and appreciation of the past. Michael Rose's new book lays bare the intentions of these modern iconoclasts and brings to light the Church's consistent teaching on the importance of preservation of Catholic art and architecture. His recommendations for defending the churches built by our grandparents are practical and steeped in experience. I highly recommend it to every church preservation committee. -- Duncan Stroik, editor, Sacred Architecture Journal
From the Author
For the past four years in my work as editor of St. Catherine Review I have spent considerable time reporting on church renovation disputes, showing exactly how "divisive" the proposals for, and results of, these renovations are. Many post-Vatican II renovations, allegedly predicated on the desirability of building "community" in liturgical worship and parish life, have produced the opposite effect: disunity, discord and alienation sometimes leading to an abandonment of the faith.
Proponents of the post-conciliar church renovations would have us believe the Second Vatican Council called for a new paradigm in the design of Catholic churches, one that justifies radical remodeling of existing structures. Although renovation enthusiasts are fond of invoking the Council, when challenged they cannot cite one relevant passage from the Council's documents to support their claims. The direction these renovations generally take is not one based on Church teaching or even officially approved theological doctrine. Rather, Catholics are being asked to accept the new church designs on the basis of subjective and contrived opinions that are passed off as authoritative mandates of the Church.
The man in the pew instinctively resists the design proposals. But church renovators have learned much in the first two to three decades of their profession's experience with America's Catholic parishes. Today's renovators, those who comprise the archi-liturgical establishment, form an elite few whose modus operandi is to effectively "deprogram" and "re-educate" parishioners in their new paradigm through a carefully devised process, one that is less than honest.
Since I first began reporting on church renovation projects I have heard from Catholics all over the country. Almost all describe the same dishonest process and the same architectural results. Others tell of warning signs of an impending project-capital fund drives, for example, for "repainting" or "restoration" or "expansion." Many simply say: "This once happened to us!"
In short, there is a blueprint for the renovation process. It has been tried in countless parishes across the continent and too often been ruthlessly implemented over the complaints of confused parishioners.
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Over the past 30 years, as the tempo mounted in a drive to drastically remodel churches, few laymen and women had the relevant Church documents at hand to defend their territory when the professional liturgical designer hit town. Faithful Catholics were thus largely helpless before claims that the Second Vatican Council mandated the proposed flood of innovations in church architecture, design and liturgical practice.
Normally docile though they are, most Catholics do not want their houses of worship to look like high school gymnasiums. They are uncomfortable when commanded to watch each other pray across a central table altar, rather than to gaze reverently at a crucifix above the altar. They are offended when the tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved disappears into a broom closet beside the furnace room. But they have lacked the documentation to prove that these orders represent merely idiosyncratic interpretation by a self-designated elite.
In The Renovation Manipulation, Michael Rose explicates the problem and provides exactly the documents needed to enable the faithful -- both lay and clerical -- to defend and preserve the liturgical forms, art and architecture of the Catholic church according to the authentic norms of her tradition and the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
He has done his Church a great service, and done it thoroughly, articulately and with civility. His book is highly recommended.
A previous review said the book was completely out of context and served to divide. What the author failed to acknowledge is that the arguments explained in Rose's book are all real and all wrong. Division is good when the truth is brought forth. "Consensus" based on falsehoods is never right.
The quotes used by Rose show that what we currently experience is not what the council intended. Even when adding the caveats to them that the previous reviewer did, the quotes still speak volumes against the church stripping we see today.
This book is a great manual for any parishoner who may be in a parish which is about to undergo a major overhaul or a new Church is in the process of being built. Once you read through this book, one will understand how to defend against the Protestant renovations being discussed. Manipulation has become a key in replacing the tabernacle with a chair or removing the altar rails or side altars, and this book will show that these renovations have no precedence in the history of the Catholic Church.