Orange Diocese In Official Cash Bid for Crystal Cathedral

No, this is not the Crystal Cathedral. Chartres Cathedral, France, XIII Century.

I have written some days ago about the possibility that the Diocese of Orange would bid for the “Crystal Cathedral”.

The Diocese of Orange has now made an offer, that at USD 50m in cash would appear more attractive (for the seller) than the alternatives examined up to now.

I can only repeat here that, whilst the intention to save money is in itself laudable (though questionable; this is a glass building, not something made for the centuries), such a building does not correspond to the message a Catholic Cathedral is supposed to send. If you want to see a sensible alternative you can look here, or at the photo above.

The Diocese of Orange has 1.2 million parishioners. For many centuries, Cathedrals have been built slowly, but in the right way.

I do not doubt that cheaper alternatives were available to our ancestors; but our ancestors did not go for the cheaper alternatives. They started to build cathedrals of which they knew that no one of the initiators would see them completed, and many of their children might not see them completed, either. Every one of those beautiful buildings is a tale of patience, sacrifice, and true faith. We see them today, and we are reminded of Christ not only through the way the Cathedral is built, but through the faith of those who built it. Proposals like “we need a Cathedral now so let’s find a fast solution”, or “there’s a building available that costs half, let’s take that instead” would not have ranked very high in popularity by our ancestors.

It is an indication of the shifted priorities that nowadays the “ready-made” solution should be preferred, because it costs less per seat.


Posted on July 23, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. On an optimistic note, maybe the property itself will be worth 50m in 25 years and they can just bull-doze it down and start over.

    • Brent, you mean the land? Funny that 😉

      I do think that the diocese is honestly trying to save money. I still question, though, the wisdom of such an approach. It seems a bit short-termist to me. But we are certainly not at the level of horror and ego-festival of the “Taj Mahoney”…..


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