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The Cardinal was not amused. When Gerhard Richter, one of the world’s most expensive living artists, designed an abstract stained glass window for Cologne Cathedral, Cardinal Joachim Meisner could barely conceal his anger.  “It belongs in a mosque or another house of prayer, not this one,” fumed the city’s Catholic Cardinal, who chose to attend an engagement in Poland when the window was unveiled. “If we are going to have a new window, then it should be one that reflects our faith, not just any faith.”

Fair enough comment, but Cardinal Meisner has been immediately accused of "stirring up trouble towards Islam."

Apparently the atmosphere is raw in Cologne because of the popular opposition to a new mosque for the city’s 120,000 Muslims. The plans include high minarets that could visually challenge the towers of the cathedral, which reach a height of 157 metres. The Cardinal has gone on record about that too: “It leaves me with an uneasy feeling.”  The new window is garnering widespread praise, from the mayor, Protestant churchmen and art critics. Only the Cardinal, who has to celebrate Mass in the cathedral, has qualms.

It strikes me only the Cardinal has the guts to speak out.

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9 thoughts on “TROUBLE IN COLOGNE..

  1. It doesn’t look like any window in any catholic church I’ve seen, although its very nice, and must be nice when the sun shines through, but the cardinal is correct. All the catholic churches I’ve ever been in have figures of saints on them.

    He’s right to object.

  2. Hmmm, but wouldn’t it have been more correct if the Cardinal said it was more of a Protestant window?

    It doesn’t look a bit Muslim. Bit of an ecumenical indulgence? Sometimes (Sometimes!) Muslims are an easy target.

  3. Actually, the last people to alter the window design in the great cathedral was the Royal Air Force in 1943, when practically all the medieval stained glass was blown in. It was subsequently replaced by designs true to the original (from photographs), but in some cases more modern and in some cases even absract. From an aesthetic POV the Cardinal is right, I suppose.

    But best of all is this quote :

    "Mr Richter, who lives in Cologne, selected the order of the 11,200 individual panes of glass by random computer generation. The intention was to show that what appears to be coincidence is part of a divine design" !!

    So God does play dice after all, Mr Einstein.

  4. ‘Mr Richter, who lives in Cologne, selected the order of the 11,200 individual panes of glass by random computer generation.’


    ‘When Gerhard Richter, one of the world’s most expensive living artists,’

    My, a 12 year old Geek could have done that, never mind God.

  5. Hmm. smcg dunno what makes it look Protestant-y. I’ve never been in a Protestant church, but I’ve been in a mosque. Says something doesn’t it?

  6. I don’t see what’s Islamic about it :S

    But yes, not very traditional. I can understand him not liking it though I don’t really have a preference myself.

  7. Isn’t the problem in getting good help that they don’t do windows?

    I think the Cardinal has a valid point about an abstract window, but his reference to a Mosque was unnecessary.

  8. Didn’t anybody bother to approve the design before the work was commissioned? I think the window is beautiful, but it definitely isn’t "Catholic" looking.

    Poor Cardinal Meisner apparently didn’t get the memo on PC speech – hands off the muslims or they’ll get offended by God.

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