The “Great Renewal” that wasn’t…

The New Springtime of Vatican II in one Building:
St. Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, Scotland

(image: tom Kidd / Alamy Stock Photo)

If there is one building complex in the entire world that is emblematic of the state of the Vatican II Church, it is probably that of St. Peter’s Seminary near Cardross, Scotland.

Conceptualized in the 1950s, construction began in 1961 and concluded in 1966. The Catholic Church left behind by Pope Pius XII (d. 1958) was robust and thriving, and so the seminary was constructed to house as many as 100 young men studying for the Catholic priesthood.

But then came “Pope” John XXIII (r. 1958-63) and his idea of a “great renewal” for the Church. His Second Vatican Council (1962-65) was supposed to usher in a “New Springtime” for the Faith, and to this day there are many who insist that that is exactly what the council produced.

However, as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. More than five decades after the close of the council, the Vatican II Church is in ruins, and even what is left is on an accelerated trajectory of total demise. The chief undertaker currently overseeing the demolition is Jorge Bergoglio, better known by his stage name, “Pope Francis”.

St. Peter’s Seminary had operated only for about 12 years when it ceased operations in 1978 due to a lack of men interested in becoming priests for the new religion of Vatican II, among other reasons. The building was deconsecrated in 1980 so that it could be sold, put to profane use, or demolished. It was not until 2020, however, that the archdiocese of Glasgow was finally able to hand off the “albatross around our neck” to another entity.

Interestingly enough, director Murray Grigor made a video documentary entitled “Space and Light” about this building in 1972, when the seminary was “in full swing” and the Novus Ordo authorities still had high hopes for its future. Watching this film, embedded below, gives one an even better idea of the hideousness of it all:

YouTube has numerous additional videos about the Cardross seminary, including this short TV documentary:

Here is an aerial overview:

Additional footage of the seminary when it was in use, and even of the construction phase, can be found in this clip:

Lastly, a mash-up of scenes from “Space and Light” with the building’s current state can be seen in this film:

Fittingly, the seminary’s architectural style is thoroughly Modernist, just as the theological content of the ideas once taught therein. “Brutalism” is the more specific term for this kind of deliberate architectural ugliness. Countless Novus Ordo churches in Europe have been built using this style, among the most notorious of which is certainly the blasphemous “Church of the Most Holy Trinity” in Vienna, Austria.

Many more photos of the former seminary in its current, dilapidated state can be viewed at Canmore and at Wikimedia Commons. However, we suspect you’ve seen enough.

The entire failed experiment of the “renewal” of Vatican II is summed up in the construction, use, abandonment, and decay of St. Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, Scotland.

And it was hideous every step of the way.

Image sources: (tom Kidd) /
Licenses: rights-managed / paid

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