Father then commented on Our Lady’s altar, again displaying the characteristic ignorance of newchurch clergy:
If you’ve got an altar underneath the statue of Our Lady — think about that. It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s quite wrong. An altar where a priest is to come and say Mass with a statue of Our Lady behind it — where’s the theology or liturgy or anything else? It’s a contradiction in terms… ,
The Church, in whose name the learned cleric presumed to speak, begs to differ.
As the living tabernacle who first housed the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin represents the most liturgical figure one could imagine. In that same Roman Missal so commonly referred to by Fr. Pope Paul VI explains that “The Blessed Virgin Mary … ‘is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son.” I Cardinal Ratzinger also reflected the Catholic understanding in this brief statement:
Mary kept the living Word in the quiet peace of her heart and so was able to become mother of the Incarnate Word. That is why she is the ideal of genuine liturgical life. She is Mother of the Church and as such she also shows us the task and the highest goal of our worship: the glory of God, from whom mankind’s salvation comes.’
In a magnanimous gesture that completely missed the point of parishioner objections, Father then summed up the essential character of his new church — functional, sterile, clinical —when he continued:
So, to keep the memory of that [the side-altars], we’ve put the front of the altars on the side wall. But there’s no point in keeping those because the reason they were there is gone many years ago. I see those altars as something put there for a reason that is no longer viable … There’s no point in saying “Look we’ve had the statues for so long”, which, by the way, are not the best statues in the world … if you compare them with some of the statues you can get now…
No room for pious sentiment in this man’s church!