Restore Catholic Christchurch Basilica says USA writer

Christchurch basilica

A writer living in the United States has made a plea for the Catholic Christchurch Basilica to be restored.

Writing in First Things, Stephen Schmalhofer opines: “Let us hope that Macauley’s unknown traveler will arrive with plenty of practice sketching the restored cathedral domes in Christchurch.

“To honor the blood and sweat of the missionary New Zealand Church and the genius of Francis Petre, the Church must rebuild Christchurch Basilica.

“As New York City considers the reconstruction of McKim, Mead, and White’s masterpiece Penn Station, the Diocese of Christchurch has an opportunity to rebuild and celebrate a great Kiwi Catholic architect praised by George Bernard Shaw as the New Zealand Brunelleschi,” he said.

Schmalhofer warns that the row over the future of the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral should concern Catholics fighting for the restoration of the basilica.

He describes Bishop Victoria Matthews as “a utilitarian posing as an almoner.”

He says her position as being “part of a long and ignoble tradition. ‘It would be better to use the money for the poor’ (Jn 13:29) is the voice of betrayal, not benefaction.”

“Pope Francis has urged Christians to go to the periphery of the world,” write Schamalhofer.

“If we go to the periphery, we must prove by our sacred architecture that those we find there now occupy the same pride of place in the Church as Borgo Pio.”

Schmalhofer lives in ConnecticutHe has a B.A. in history from Yale University where he was an Ivy League champion football player.

He is a partner in Teamworthy Ventures, an organisation that seeks “to develop long-term relationships with talented and trustworthy entrepreneurs and teams, and we invest in their ventures at the seed, early or growth stage.”

His parish church is Saint John the Evangelist.

According to Wikipedia, Pope Benedict XVI raised Saint John’s Parish to the dignity and title of Minor Basilica on July 16, 2009.

The designation is based on its sanctuary size, historical importance, art and recognition within the Diocese.


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News category: New Zealand.

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