Opposition is mounting in the Holy See to a spate of recent, ultra-modern churches, in Italy and abroad, by high profile architects.
"The lack of integration between the architect and the faith community has at times been negative," said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican's Pontificial Council for Culture. "Sometimes it goes wrong."
Cardinal Ravasi said a church built in 2009 in Foligno, Italy by the celebrated Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas, which resembles a monolithic concrete cube, has been "highly criticised".
In his native town of Merate in Lombardy, Cardinal Ravasi said the local priest needed to bring his own image of the Madonna to mass, because Mario Botta, the architect who designed the church, had not installed one.
"The problem is that in Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, things like the altar, the images, are essential, while architects tend instead to focus on space, lines, light and sound," said Cardinal Ravasi.This realization is coming about thirty years too late...so much damage already done.