Saturday, September 22, 2007

Who is Father Vosko?

Father Richard S. Vosko (although he does not tend to use the title or clerics he is a priest, and we will refer to him here only as Fr Vosko), is a priest from the Diocese of Albany, NY. He has been acting as a "liturgical consultant" for various Christian, Interfaith, and Jewish groups since the 1970's. It is important to note that he is hired in addition to a licensed architect.

Fr. Vosko has a developed quite a reputation, particularly with the advent of blogging. Many parishioners of various parishes have fought against his changes to existing church buildings or the construction of new buildings with pointedly "modern" design. The Catholic newspaper, the Wanderer has followed several of these cases, from the methods and structure of the meetings involving Fr Vosko, to the resistance to the changes, to the inevitable construction of Father's plan.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish has enjoyed a beautiful Church, built by our grandparents' parents. We have beautiful art: from the statues of Mary, St Joseph, and St Patrick to stain glass windows imported by our fore-fathers from Germany. In renovations after the Second Vatican Council the beauty of the Church was retained, indeed other than the moving of the altar forward and the removal of the altar rail it appears virtually untouched. We also have a relatively new pipe organ, to lift up our hearts with music. This is what is at stake.

Fr Vosko strongly believe that Churches must be updated to meet the principals of the New Order of the Mass. These updates involve stripping away the existing art from a parish, moving the Tabernacle out of the way, moving the altar to the center of the Church. With the Holy Father's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, recently coming into effect, it seems that any new church constructed ought to be able to be used for either form of the one Mass of the Latin Rite, discounting years of Fr Vosko's practice.

I encourage any who read this to Google Father Vosko and examine the arguments others have made over his methods, theology, and finished project.

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