First of all, I need to introduce myself: my name is Michael Denton and I’m from what Tito calls the People’s Republic of Cajunland and what I call paradise: South Louisiana. As for my qualifications: well, like most other bloggers, I really have no idea what I’m talking about. If that’s a problem for you…well, then you probably don’t need to be reading blogs.
Anyway, today we heard the anticipated news that Los Angeles will soon see Cardinal Mahoney replaced with San Antonio’s Archbishop Jose Gomez. To read all about it, I suggest you head over to Rocco Palmo‘s site, as he is one of the few bloggers who actually does know what he’s talking about. In sum, Abp. Gomez is from the “conservative” order of Opus Dei and could be very different from his predecessor, who built a monstrous cathedral (not in a good way) and is known for hosting a Conference that annually provides Youtube clips for Catholics wishing to show others just how bad liturgical abuse can be. I don’t know if that’s very interesting though. While the liturgical element is certainly important, as the “Spirit of Vatican II” types are losing their foremost defender, I think we knew beforehand that Benedict was going install a replacement very different from Mahoney in liturgical views.
More important is how they’re similar.
Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral seems to be safe for now from the raging wildfires in Santa Barbara north of Los Angeles and from Orange County which is south of Los Angeles, both approximately 30 miles away. Sadly two firefighters have lost their lives in service to Angelinos.
Maps of the wildfires are temporarily out of service as servers have been overloaded for the Los Angeles Times, Google Maps, and Associated Content.
From the pictures it looks like all hell has broken loose. Smoke continues to envelope major sections of Los Angeles and the fluorescent red light from said wildfires give an eery glow to the landscape.
The beautiful architecture of Our Lady of Angels is at risk of destruction from these wildfires. The Cathedral’s exterior echoes the Famsa Warehouse District with its soaring brownish brick buildings and rectangular gray-stained windows. The Plaze of the Cathedral resembles that of your local community college with directionless paths and no shading.
The treasure trove of art that this Cathedral holds is breath-taking. Where else can you find non-Christian imagery than that on the giant bronze doors depicting images from pre-Christian Europe. These giant bronze doors are conveniently located away from the narthex. Neo-post-Christian artists such as Robert Graham decorated the door with an unveiled Mary showing her bare arms welcoming people to come in for happy-clappy Masses and liturgical dances.
Once your inside and find your way to the “church” you can marvel at the hand-crafted tabernacle sculptured by Max DeMoss. Mr. DeMoss designed the tabernacle to blend with the the rest of the architectural style of the cathedral which is delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.
As you turn around from those three deteriorating pipes sticking out of the ground called the tabernacle you can view the complete interior of the Cathedral of the Angels. Imagine one of those special liturgical celebrations as a Chinese dragon parades up and down the kneelerless rows with Cardinal Mahony waiting in the wings with pitchers of Jesus waiting to be distributed among the faithful.
What priceless treasures that this Cathedral holds that may well be burned to the ground along with the post-neo-Christian architecture.
One can only pray.
All information for this posting was done entirely from the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral website.
Pictures courtesy of Quintero from L.A. Catholic.