NOT ALL that is beautiful is good.

This is what Prof. Regalado Jose, cultural heritage consultant of the UST Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST-CCCPET), said of architectural imitations, like the dome of the Sta. Clara de Montefalco Church in Pasig.

“When you imitate something, what you produce is not good,” Jose said.

Aside from poorer results, Jose said that imitating designs results in the loss of architectural identity.

“You lose the opportunity to develop Filipino architecture,” Jose said.

The dome of the church was patterned after the dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, which was designed by Michelangelo, chief architect for the project in 1546.

Jose also criticized the need to build the tallest church in the country, or to mention it as such. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has issued guidelines church construction, and one provision states that a church “should not be ostentatious.”

The late Jaime Cardinal Sin initially discouraged the idea of building the Sta. Clara de Montefalco Church because he thought the idea was ambitious.

“The search for the ‘mostest’ should be discouraged,” Jose said. “(The) move to (build) a grand church could be a deterrent to faith.” He explained that people tend to feel lonely in large places. He thinks that this is one reason why Catholics have switched to more welcoming and intimate religions and sects.

Although Llorca has earlier remarked that the church is only a good reminder that people can accomplish much if they work together, Jose said that the 57-meter-high church may fuel criticisms about alleged church affluence among poor churchgoers.

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“It’s not good to see a beautiful church sitting in the midst of poverty,” Jose said. N. S. Melican


  1. i agree with the Prof. i had been a living witness of how it is there at Sta Clara de Montefalco, the labours and longs hours spent in working out this dream of building the tallest and the biggest church in Pasig, the aspirations and hopes of the Parish Priest who began dreaming for the his parishioners and yet i who belong to his flock had felt miserable and lonely merging with the vast space and new edifice , maybe because i had been brought up attending Mass rubbing elbows and looking eye to eye to my pew mates whenever we say Peace Be with You !!!! well so much with my ramblings ….. this is just my say on the topic …… but in my heart Clare of The Cross stay !!!!!


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