The Church of the Resurrection, part 8

Wouldn’t it make sense to tear down the decrepit and untended Church of the Resurrection that had stood for over 800 years?

The Franciscans entertained that idea in the 1930’s. They contracted Antonio Barluzzi to design a new, magnificent temple. His resulting design, published in 1940 was sweeping, contemporary and enormous.

Of course there was no chance it would ever be built. It would have required completely discarding the Status Quo and it would have given the Latins a greater control of the sacred site. It would have also required the demolition of nearly a third of the Christian Quarter.

On top of that, Barluzzi was a Fascist and by 1940, Europe was at war. The British would not allow it, even if the Orthodox churches had agreed.

But, under the terms of a treaty between Mussolini and Hitler, had Rommel’s Afrika Korps succeeded in taking Egypt, then Jerusalem probably would have fallen to the Axis Powers. In the hands of the Italians, the Status Quo would have certainly been abandoned and the new church built. Think of the history that would have been lost.

By the end of the war, it was clear Jerusalem would pass to the Jordanians and they would never approve the project.

(As a personal note, I find Berluzzi churches to be garish and unattractive, so I for one am glad that this particular church was never built.)

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