If, during the current conclave, I was tapped for Pope, the first thing I would do would be to write an encyclical insisting on the tabernacle being placed back in the center of the altar. How many times have you gone to Mass and could not locate the tabernacle? You get to your pew, genuflect, then realize that you are not genuflecting to the living presence of Christ, but an empty altar. The tabernacle, the holiest place in the church, is over in the corner, used as a side table to hold a vase of flowers and extra copies of this week’s bulletin.
As the American Catholic Church lurches closer into Protestantism (Vacation Bible School? Really, Catholics?), and as the sacristy lamps flicker out, modern church architecture does not distinguish the unique features of a Catholic church. How are we to keep Christ at the center of our lives if we can’t even bother to keep Him at the center of our Church?