Church Remodeling #FAIL: 13th Cent. Dominican Church changed into cafe

From The Courtier comes unwelcome tidings that brave new frontiers in the search for tackiness are being opened up in the Netherlands:

That’s right – this lounge is located where the high altar of the Church used to be.

The Courtier, with palpable regret, pens the eulogy for this once-sacred space.



  • Ryan Haber

    I agree with Paul. The state of our faithfulness is the real question. We have let things come to this pass. Others are just trying to make a profit by salvaging the situation. Revolutions, anyway, always turn old things to new uses.

    In my area a number of plantation houses were seized after the Civil War and made into city halls and then community or arts centers. The Stalinist regime seized churches to use as stables and brothels. Here we see the consumerist regime seizing – by hook or by crook – the houses of God and turning them into coffeehouses.

    And we, any of us who buy into the only-apparent opposition between equally materialist capitalism and socialism, any of us who commit or submit to usury, who shop on Sundays… we feed the materialist revolution with its capitalist/socialist smoke-and-mirrors and sell ourselves to its slavery.

    The people who bought the church (from whomever) probably never thought it was sacred. In their conscience, they are being cute but not sacrilegious. We who supposedly believe that somethings, of God, transcend mere material interests and susceptibility to fiscal necessity, have nonetheless alienated those precious things into the hands of heathen in order to save our own economic skins.

    Shame on us all.

    • KCHawk

      Excellent post Ryan.

      It reads like the beginning of a great homily a Priest could use to introduce the concept of distributism and subsidiarity to his parishoners.

  • Nan

    Greg Smith, Mass isn’t a meal. It’s a bloodless re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

    • greg smith

      Nan: I agree. The Last Supper however was probebly a Passover seder where Jesus said “This is my body ……This is my blood.” One interpetation was that this was the first mass. My point was NOT that we ought to do this, simply that the mass has evolved over the history of the Church.


    Thom: I’ve often thought that when people say they want to return to the old (original) mass, it would resemble a Passover Seder. This layout would be actually more authentic. However, as displayed by the masters of sacred paintings 1) The table would be roughhewn wood 2) It would be in an upper room (easy to build one with our high ceiling churches. 3) The celebrant would be seated in the center, rather than the head of the table. 4) The congregants would drink four cups of wine, not just a sip and 5) a full meal would be served. I’ve gone to Seders every Passover since I was 18 and learned from them. Every week might be a bit much but it would resolve the complaints about the 46 minute in-and-out mass . Just a thought.

    • susanna

      Mass isn’t about passover or Holy Thursday, it’s re-enacting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Why would anyone who believes in Jesus and the new covenant participate in an old testament seder?

      • greg smith

        Same way my Jewish wife goes to Christmas mass!

        • susanna

          Ok for her, but you are participating in a ritual of those who reject Jesus Christ as the messiah. Early Christians gave their lives rather than participate in anything that did not acknowlege Jesus as God. Diocletian might have thought it nice if Susanna offered some incense to the goddessd Diana, but she preferred death.

          • GREG SMITH

            SUSANNA: Nothing personal, but, I’ve decided that I’m not going to get involved with debates of my or anyone else’s religious practices. I saw the quality of discussion at Califonia Catholic Daily diseinigrate when that happened there. I wouldn’t want it for this excellent forum.

    • Quanah

      What in the world does this have to do with the above post??!!

  • Patrick

    There’s a church in Pittsburgh that was turned into a brewery (The tanks are under the still remaining Ciborium) and pizza place, very sad indeed.

  • Hannah

    It does not escape notice that the central ‘table’ happens to be in the shape of a cross. Hmmm (ugh!)

  • Paul

    Rather than blaming the people that bought the church, and used it for a different purpose, perhaps it would be better to think about what caused this to happen. The church was evidently sold by the Roman Catholic Church, and the blame rests entirely on them. My old church was sold and became a mexican restaurant, and don’t even get me started about that gay nightclub in Los Angeles that they call “the abbey”. I don’t want to know what goes on in there…

    • Dan

      I think not. The Church has no share in the blame for this gross irreverence. The building was properly deconsecrated and was no longer a sacred space except in history. The conversion of a former church to secular use grieves my soul for it indicates the loss of faith for a region as a whole.

      Having said that, let me add that I think the design of the cafe was a deliberate attempt to rub feces in the face of our Lord. There is not enough money in the world to get me to sit at that table.

    • Thomas Aquinas

      It is not the Roman Catholic Church, it is called the Catholic Church.

    • Orange County Kevin

      I’m a Tridentine-er and go to the Abbey in West Hollywood all the time. It’s fun. To my knowledge, the Abbey was never a Church. St. Ambrose’s is the local church in West Hollywood. It’s beautiful, and they do a good job reaching out to LGBT Catholics, despite the best efforts of people like you to rid us from the Church.

      Before you speculate on what goes on at gay clubs (the same thing that goes on in straight ones) why don’t you do your own reconaissance.



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