To return to our current text:
The department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has just made a further addition to its "advice series" entitled The Conservation of Places of Worship.
The full text may be viewed on line at this link:http://www.ahg.gov.ie/en/Publications/H
Helpfully. it indicates the following:
Editor: Nessa Roche
Series Editor: Jacqui Donnelly
Design: Bennis Design
Cover image by Patrick DonaldText by: Howley Hayes Architects
Contributors: David Lawrence, Lisa Edden and Edith Blennerhassett
All images are by the authors or DoAHG except where otherwise stated
The book consists of an Introduction, 10 chapters and a Glossary.Praxiteles
Praxiteles thinks that page 9 of our book of the week must be the real pits as far as accuracy is concerned. It states the following:
"In the Roman Catholic Church
early nineteenthcentury churches were mostly designed in either the
Neoclassical or the Gothic Revival styles, architects such
as John B Keane and Patrick Byrne working
competently in both idioms, although the churches
and cathedrals of Dominick Madden and William
Deane Butler were ubiquitously Gothic. From the 1830s
acclaimed architects of the High Victorian Gothic
were employed to build churches throughout
Ireland, facilitating ecclesiological principles, as
liturgical emphasis shifted from the word to the
The earliest of these was A W N Pugin,
who designed Killarney and Enniscorthy cathedrals,
together with several fine churches in County Wexford.
In the 1860s his son, Edward Welby Pugin built up a
considerable, if short-lived Irish practice, run by his
partner George Coppinger Ashlin. This practice was
continued by Ashlin alone after 1869, and in
partnership with Thomas A Coleman after 1903. Their
main rival was James Joseph McCarthy, who designed
the chapel at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth and the
cathedrals at Thurles (unusually Romanesque in style)
and Monaghan, as well as completing that at Armagh.
Leading figures of the late-nineteenth century included
William Hague and William H Byrne, the latter joined by
his son Ralph in partnership in 1902".
Firstly, forgive Praxiteles for mentioning it, but did not the Princess Alexandrina Victoria succeed to the throne on 20 June 1836? So, how do we come to have "the High Victorian Gothic revival" in the 1830s? Are we to take it that the High Victorian Gothic Revival was reached within three and half years of Queen Victoria's accession? That must surely be a record on the scale of Darwinian evolutionism! At least in Ireland, the High Victorian Gothic Revival was, for the most part, inspired by French Gothic prototypes. Praxiteles is at a loss to think up of a significant gothic revival Catholic church built in the 1830s and inspired by French examples - indeed St Nicolas in Nantes was only built in 1844. Praxiteles is inclined to think that the HVGR took off in Ireland in the 1850s -nearing on twent years into the reign. One could easily mention in this context Sts Peter and Paul's in Cork, Cobh Cathedral, Clonakilty and Sts John and Augustine in Dublin.
Secondly, the quotation above from page 9 contains this most extraordinary statement: "In the Roman Catholic Church....From the 1830s acclaimed architects of the High Victorian Gothic Revival were employed to build churches throughout Ireland, facilitating ecclesiological principles, as liturgical emphasis shifted from the word to the sacraments
." Is this to be read to mean that at some stage in its history prior to the 1830s the worship of the Catholic Church overemphasised the word to the detriment of the sacraments? If so, then whoever wrote it does not have a clue about Catholic liturgy, little or nothing about Catholic ecclesiastical history and certainly nothing about Catholic Sacramental theology. If the above statement is to be read as such, then it raises even further questions about the writer's knowledge and understanding of the texts of the Second Vatican Council - to which no explicit reference is made. If the statement about 1830s prolifiration of emphasis on sacraments is to be taken literally, then what are we to make of Sacrosanctum Concilium's insistence on the expanded use of Scripture in the liturgy in 1963? The rediscovery of the importance of sacrament is an exclusively Protestant phenomenon and linked to the tractarian movement in Oxford and to John Henry Newman, et al. Praxiteles has no evidence to suggest that Newman, as far as liturgy is concerned, became a Catholic for any other reason than having found extant in the Catholic Church what had been lost at the reformation in the Anglican church. There is no evidence at all to suggest that he began a campaign to emphasise sacrament over word in teh Catholic Church. Please, put an end to this fuzzy thinking and have a bit of common sense.