Vatican moves against multipurpose church buildings
    The Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Goods of the Church has warned that the trend towards 'multipurpose places of worship', and other forms of superficiality in church design, must be resisted.
    Bishop Carlos Chenis was speaking in Rome at the ninth Study Congress on Liturgical Art, which focused on the Church as steward of works of art.
    Church-design plans, therefore, "must be entrusted to teams of experts, thus avoiding a certain tendency that is creeping up to construct multipurpose places of worship," he said. "There cannot be something that is right for all."
    Bishop Chenis added: "One must never lose sight of the history of cultural goods as the continuity of the history of the Christian community. The value of the memory of the cultural goods themselves must live in time.... The ecclesiastical commission must mediate between the cultural changes and the need for liturgical renewal."
    Given the crisis of aesthetics, the bishop urged designers not to turn to what is "ephemeral." Rather, he urged them to "rediscover the splendor of spiritual values that must be the substance of the inspiration, values beautifully presented that reflect the essence of the Christian message."