Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Visiting The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland

We got to the cathedral just in time to join the daily 1pm tour. 

Here's the insides.  The outside is mostly glass and the building is shaped like a fish - an early Christian symbol.

The Christ image is from a computer image of an ancient sculpture that is created by putting many, many holes in the aluminum.

You can get lots of details about the cathedral from this site which appears to be notes for a class on the cathedral.  For instance:

Baptismal pool at entrance

"The new Cathedral, which replaced the Cathedral of St. Frances de Sales after it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, is located in downtown Oakland at the northern edge of Lake Merritt. The cathedral complex includes the public plaza, rectory (Bishops residence), chancery offices, conference center, a medical clinic, a bookstore as well as a café."

Here's the "reconciliation room" the modern version of the confessional.  The space was quite open and one woman on the tour with us said she could never confess there. 

There were bronze plaques for the stations of the cross at eye level around the cathedral and people were encouraged to touch them.

There was a similar set of organs above me when I took this picture.

The mausoleum above, and a closer view of the crucifix below.

They just ordained their new bishop last week.  From the National Catholic Reporter:

"In a joyful celebration that incorporated the many gifts of the diverse communities that make up the Oakland diocese, Bishop Michael Barber was ordained and installed as Oakland's fifth bishop May 25 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
With his brother Jesuit Fr. Stephen Barber and another brother, Kevin Barber, serving as lector, Bishop Barber, 58, became the first Jesuit to become the bishop of Oakland. He also is the first priest to be named bishop of Oakland. All previous bishops had already been ordained bishops."

The Cathedral has a healing garden outside so that people will not forget the ""those innocents sexually abused by members of the clergy."

The former Bishop of Oakland, who was appointed Archbishop lacross the Bay in San

Francisco, may not have forgotten those sexually abused, but he's strongly in the camp of those opposing the rights of gays.  Because of his strong stance against Prop. 8, his appointment to probably the gayest city in the US caused quite a stir last fall.

From the Christian Science Monitor:
He also led Church support for the 2008 voter-approved California state constitutional amendment, Proposition 8, that banned gay marriage.
While taking his place as the archbishop of San Francisco and two other area counties, Cordileone called the drunken driving incident a "regrettable mistake."
Pope Benedict appointed Cordileone to preside over the Archdiocese of San Francisco in July.
But there are some positives too:
"The archbishop is an advocate for immigrants and an opponent of the death penalty, but he comes here perceived as a one-issue bishop," Brian Cahill, former San Francisco Catholic Charities executive director, wrote in an editorial published in the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday.
Our plane is about to board as we head for another short visit with Z and M in Seattle - cut even shorter by a 50 minute delay of our flight.  So I'm going to post this now and correct errors later. 

And I discovered, looking up things for this post, that Yelpers review churches.  Here are the Yelp reviews of the Oakland Cathedral.

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