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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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“Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod.”
— Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431)

Sacred Architecture and Brexit
published 17 February 2019 by Fr. David Friel

Salisbury N EDITORIAL in the Christmas double-issue of the London weekly, The Tablet, observes that, between Great Britain and the European continent, there is a notable link to be found in sacred architecture.

First, a disclaimer: neither Corpus Christi Watershed nor I have a position on “Brexit,” the matter of whether (or in what fashion) Great Britain should remain a part of the European Union or withdraw therefrom.

That being said, the point made in the editorial is intriguing and worthy of consideration by anyone interested in church architecture or in culture, more generally.

The relevant section is quoted here:

If Sir Simon Jenkins is right and England’s medieval cathedrals remain supreme creations of the national genius, it is worth noting that they were a Catholic—that is to say Roman Catholic—accomplishment, and very much the fruit of European creativity. The Gothic architectural style links Britain’s ancient cathedrals to some of the greatest buildings in Europe. But that is only one of dozens of ways Britain has benefited from and contributed to European civilization. 1

What strikes me about this observation is that it uses an uncommon criterion for establishing cultural association. More common criteria include currency, cuisine, customs, spoken and written languages, etc. To speak of architecture—and, more narrowly, of sacred architecture—as a means of connecting cultures is fascinating.


1   The Tablet: The International Catholic Weekly, 22/29 December 2018, p. 2.