What is the purpose of art? The purpose of art is to produce beauty which will raise one’s thoughts to God. Architecture is one form of art with many examples which meet this criterion.
The March/April 2013 issue of The Angelus contains an article entitled “Ecclesiastical Architecture” which presents an overview of Catholic architecture. The article gives a brief history of architectural designs from the 5th to the 20th century. Key features of each design are mentioned in an objective fashion; no one design is given preference.
Within the discussion of the 19th and 20th centuries, one church is singled out – the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp designed by the Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The author describes the chapel as “one of the most important examples of twentieth-century religious architecture”. Three photographs are included, showing an asymmetrical building that looks like a mushroom with a silo.
In architecture, as in all other forms of art, the created work is meant to raise one’s thoughts to God. For example, the height and depth of the Baroque cathedrals demonstrate how this can be done. By including the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut on the list of good examples, this article has the audacity to claim that this chapel fits the criterion of good Catholic art. The implication is that we should accept this type of art and learn from it.
To see photos of this chapel, view this link. As an aside, try to find the tabernacle. I could not.
Consider also this quote from the architect noted on the website: “Here we will build a monument dedicated to nature and we will make it our lives’ purpose.” Since when is a Catholic church dedicated to nature?
Further, the issue of The Angelus is dedicated as ‘A Catholic Primer on Art”. It is intended to instruct the reader on Catholic art. This article should come with a warning of what not to accept as true Catholic art.
Instead, the article serves as an example demonstrating that the SSPX has accepted modernist ideas.