This tweeted story tells of an Oslo professor who likens the Catholic church to McDonalds restaurants. While reading the story I had to smile. Let me explain…
I recently went downtown to see the newly renovated St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica in Toronto. The Catholic Church has reportedly spent $128 million on the reno. And since my name is Michael and I loved the vintage St. Michael’s Cathedral before the reno and its elevated status as a Basilica, I was looking forward to a visit.
Walking in, I noticed dull gray countertops that were once lovely old wood. Two new statues replaced the old, banged up ones. The new statues were somewhat nondescript, with a modern feel. Next, I noticed pews that looked more like veneer than real wood.
Then I saw padded seats covered by some artificial, textured substance trying to look like a weave—a questionable choice because, frankly, some homeless people and those struggling at the bottom end of the socioeconomic ladder attend that parish and the textured seats will probably soon be unhygienic. Bedbugs. Lice. They literally make my skin crawl.
On the other hand, there were nice aspects of the reno; particularly, three new statues of the Catholic archangels. And there’s flagstone tile on the way down to the new basement washrooms. Even though not full flagstones, I like the effect. One can imagine being a kid again, visiting some tourist attraction at Niagara Falls. And the washrooms, well, they were needed.
But overall, I felt that the reno had aesthetically devalued the (formerly) charming old place.
Returning home, I was tempted to blog about my experience using the headline, “I died and was reborn in McDonalds.” But because I didn’t want to sound like a rabble-rouser, I decided not to.
But today’s tweeted story brought it all back. So I thought, why not write about my honest reaction?