International Conference “Benedict XVI on Church Art and Architecture” to be held in Cork

“Benedict XVI on Church Art and Architecture” at The Sheraton Hotel, Fota Island, Cork, Ireland on Sunday-Monday 12-13 July 2009.

The Conference Key Note Address will be made by His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney. He is a leading member of the Australian Hierarchy who has written and lectured extensively on subjects ranging from Divine Worship, to social justice, Catholic education, Christian marriage and family as well as on Australian political and social issues. He has made a significant contribution at international level through his chairmanship of the “Vox Clara” Committee charged to oversee the liturgical translations into English as well in the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and in the Pontifical Councils for the Family and for Justice and Peace. He hosted the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney.

Cardinal Pell writes widely in the religious and secular press, in academic journals and publications in Australia and overseas. Oxford University Press published his Issues of Faith and Morals in 1996. Other publications include The Sisters of St Joseph in Swan Hill 1922-72, Catholicism in Australia, Rerum Novarum – One Hundred Years Later, Catholicism and the Architecture of Freedom and Be Not Afraid, a collection of reflections an homilies published in 2004.

The Conference will be chaired by Professor D. Vincent Twomey, S.V.D. Since 1978, he has been a member of the Ratzinger circle of doctoral and post-doctoral students that meets once a year for a week-end seminar. In 1986, he founded The Patristic Symposium, at Maynooth, to promote the study of Patrology and has organized six international conferences on the subject.

Other Speakers will include:
Ethan Anthony
Topic: The Third Revival: New Gothic and Romanesque Catholic Architecture in North America.

Since 1998, Ethan Anthony has served as President and Principal of HDB/Cram & Ferguson (Boston), after maintaining his own practice and earning his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Oregon. A member of the AIA and the INTBAU College of Traditional Practitioners, Anthony has taught at Roger Williams College (1984-1989), the Boston Architectural Center (1985-1989), and was a visiting critic at the University of Notre Dame in 2004. In 1993, Anthony received the IFRAA Honor Award for Unbuilt Architecture and in 2004 he received the Golden Trowel Award from the Texas Masonry Institute for Our Lady of Walsingham. Most recently, Anthony travelled to Andalusia, Spain to accept the honour of Premio al Arquitecto (Award to the Architect) from the MACAEL, in recognition of his use of stone native to the region on Syon Abbey and Private Mausoleum projects. Anthony is also an active lecturer and author. Some of Anthony’s recent speaking engagements have been at the Layman’s Club of Saint John the Divine in New York, NY, the Sudbury Historical Society in Sudbury, MA, the American Church in Paris, France, and the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA. In addition to his book, The Architecture of Ralph Adams Cram and His Firm (WW Norton, 2006), Anthony has written for various publications.

Dr. Helen Ratner Dietz, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Topic: The Nuptial Meaning of Classic Church Architecture

Dr. Dietz wrote her doctoral dissertation on “The Concept of the Nature of Man in the Sermons of John Donne” (University of Michigan, 1971.) She has taught literature at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and literature and art history at Shimer College in Illinois. Her most recent publications are “The Eschatological Dimension of Church Architecture: The Biblical Roots of Church Orientation” (Sacred Architecture, 2005, Issue 10: Journal of the Institute for Sacred Architecture, Notre Dame, Indiana.); “The Male Priesthood: Wearing the Jewels of the Bride,” (Homiletic and Pastoral Review, November 2007, Vol. CVIII, No. 2.); and A Lenten Reflection on the Beginning of the Passion of Christ, Family Resources Center of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, 2007. Her online publications include a tour guide of selected Henry J. Schlacks Chicago-area churches written for the Henry J. Schlacks Society, and the website which contains accounts of the traditional acculturation of the liturgical observance of the conception of Christ on March 25 nine months before Christmas. Most of her writing time is now spent on a book on fifteenth-century liturgical art. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband George. They are the parents of two grown, recently-married sons.

Fr. Daniel Gallagher
Topic: The Liturgical Consequences of Thomistic Aesthetics some philosophical aspects of Joseph Ratzinger’s Aesthetics

Father Daniel Gallagher was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Gaylord (USA) in 1999. He holds degrees in philosophy and theology from the Catholic University of America and the Pontifical Gregorian University respectively, and has taught at the Center for Catholic Studies and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Michigan. His primary research interests lie in Thomistic metaphysics and aesthetics. He has published in the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics, PsyArt, the Journal for Christian Theological Research, Theandros, The Catholic Answer, the New Oxford Review, and other journals. He is the editor of the Values in Italian Philosophy series and a regular contributor to the Philosophy and Popular Culture series. Father Gallagher is currently assigned to the Secretariat of State at the Vatican.

Fr. Uwe Michael Lang
Topic: Louis Bouyer and Church Architecture: Resourcing Benedict XVI’s Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy

Fr Uwe Michael Lang is a priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in London. He studied theology and classics in Munich, Oxford and Vienna and holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2004 and worked in parish and school ministry until 2007. He has published various articles on Patristics and liturgical studies, including his doctoral thesis, John Philoponus and the Controversies over Chalcedon in the Sixth Century (Leuven 2001). His book Conversi ad Dominum. Zu Geschichte und Theologie der christlichen Gebetsrichtung came out first in German in 2003 with a preface by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and has since been translated into English, Italian, French, Hungarian, Spanish, Croatian and Dutch. Recently, he has edited and contributed to the volumes Die Anaphora von Addai und Mari: Studien zu Eucharistie und Einsetzungsworten (Bonn 2007) and The Genius of the Roman Rite: Historical, Theological and Pastoral Perspectives on Catholic Liturgy. Proceedings of the 2006 Oxford CIEL Colloquium (Chicago 2009). Fr Lang is a staff member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican and Coordinator of the Master programme in “Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy” at the Università  Europea di Roma. In September 2008, he has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Consultor to the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

Dr. Joseph Murphy
Topic: The Fairest and the Formless: The Face of Christ as Criterion for Christian Beauty according to Joseph Ratzinger

Mgr Joseph Murphy was born in Cork in 1968 and ordained to the priesthood for the diocese of Cloyne in 1993. An official of the Secretariat of State since 1997, he is also chaplain to the Associazione SS. Pietro e Paolo, a lay volunteer association based in the Vatican, is involved in academic formation work at the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome and is postulator for two causes of canonisation. He holds an honours B.A. degree from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and a Doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, with a thesis entitled “God and the Hierarchy of Being according to St Thomas Aquinas: A Study of the Role of the Hierarchy of Being in Questions 2-13 of the Prima Pars of the Summa Theologiae”. He has published articles in the Irish Theological Quarterly, in the French journal Kephas, the Legion of Mary publication Legio Mariae and the Cloyne diocesan magazine Pobal Dé. He also contributed to the Festschrift According to your Word, published in honour of Cardinal Desmond Connell by Four Courts Press, Dublin, in 2007. Christ our Joy: The Theological Vision of Pope Benedict XVI, published by Ignatius Press, San Francisco, in March 2008, is his first book. A French translation is in preparation.

Dr. Alcuin Reid
Topic: ‘Noble Simplicity’ Revisited

Dr. Alcuin Reid gained a PhD from King’s College of the University of London in 2002 for a thesis on twentieth century liturgical reform. His international speaking on liturgical topics has included the CIEL Colloquium in Paris (2003) and Rome (2005). He was the keynote speaker at the CIEL UK annual conference in London, England in May 2004 and at the Society for Catholic Liturgy conference in Columbus, Ohio in September 2007. He has edited and published a number of books on the Sacred Liturgy including the crucially important book “Looking at the Liturgy again with Cardinal Ratzinger: Proceedings of the July 2001 Fontgombault Conference” (St. Michael’s Abbey Press, 2004) and The Monastic Diurnal (2004). The second edition of his principal work The Organic Development of the Liturgy (Ignatius, 2005) carries a preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

Dr. Neil J. Roy
Topic: The Galilee Chapel: A Medieval Notion Comes of Age

Dr. Neil J. Roy is a priest of the Diocese of Peterborough, Canada. Majoring in Medieval Studies and Latin, Fr. Roy obtained a bachelor’s degree in arts (B.A.) at the University of Toronto. He subsequently earned a baccalaureate in sacred theology (S.T.B.) at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1985), a licence in sacramental theology (S.T.L.) at the Pontifical Athenaeum of Sant’Anselmo on the Aventine, Rome (1992), and an M.A. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto (1994). Awarded a doctoral fellowship by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, he earned a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto (2001). His doctoral dissertation in medieval liturgy is titled “The Rituale of Valva-Sulmona (Lucca: Biblioteca Statale 1781): a Twelfth-century Book of Ordines in Beneventan Script: A Diplomatic Edition with Introductory Study and Notes Emphasising Pastoral Considerations.”

Dr. Janet Rutherford
Topic: Eastern iconoclasm and the defence of divine beauty

Dr. Janet Rutherford is the Honorary Secretary of The Patristic Symposium, Maynooth; Irish National Correspondent, The International Association for Patristic Studies; and a Member of the book reviews panels of Byzantine and Modern Studies and The Irish Theological Quarterly. From 1996-2001 she was Research Fellow in The Institute for Byzantine Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast. She holds MTheol in New Testament Language and Literature and Ecclesiastical History, University of St Andrews, Scotland; and a PhD, The Institute for Byzantine Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast, for the dissertation An Imperative of Longing:Apprehending God in the 100 Gnostic Chapters of Diadochos of Photike. Among her major publications are One Hundred Practical Texts of Perception and Spiritual Discernment from Diadochos of Photike, Text, Translation, and Commentary, Belfast, 2000; ‘Sealed with the Likeness of God: Christ as Logos in Diadochos of Photike’, in Studies in Patristic Christology, T. Finan and V. Twomey ed., Dublin, 1998; ‘Byzantine Asceticism – A Stranger to the Church?’, in Strangers to Themselves: The Byzantine Outsider, D. Smythe, ed., Aldershot, 2000; ‘Pythagoras, Byzantium and the Holiness of Beauty’, vol. 71 nos. 3&4, Irish Theological Quarterly, 2006; ‘Praying the Trinity in Diadochos of Photike’, in The Mystery of the Holy Trinity in the Fathers of the Church, D.V. Twomey and L. Ayres, ed., Dublin, 2007.

Professor Duncan G. Stroik
Topic: Image of Eternity: the Church building as anagogical

Duncan Stroik’s architectural practice grows out of a commitment to the principles of classical architecture and urbanism. For nearly twenty years he has focused on the design of ecclesiastical, civic, residential and collegiate buildings, which combine his passion for durability, function and beauty. Stroik received his architectural education from the University of Virginia and Yale University. In 1990 Stroik was invited to help form and implement a new curriculum in classical architecture at the University of Notre Dame, hailed by the New York Times as the “Athens of the new movement.”

Stroik’s involvement in the new renaissance of sacred architecture has led to the formation of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and the journal Sacred Architecture, of which he is editor. He lectures widely on the principles of traditional architecture and Catholic church design. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered to be one of the first Classical churches in fifty years, while the chapel at Thomas Aquinas College has set a new standard for collegiate design. His practice encompasses work from California to New England, Wisconsin to Texas, including campus design, cathedrals, monasteries, commercial buildings, residences, and schools.

Registration & Information:

To register for the conference please contact:
The Secretary, Lee View, Rushbrooke, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland.
Tel: International + 353 21 4813445: Ireland (021) 4813445
Email: or visit
Registration Fee €35
Reduction for seminarians and students.