Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons is a frequent contributor to Catholic Exchange. This is his latest article there, as well as a post on his own 'blog summarizing his chronicling of the story.
There was a time when the sheer beauty of Catholicism--its liturgies, teachings, and churches--was enough to attract converts. Knocking on doors was unnecessary. Philosophy's three "transcendentals"--beauty, truth, and goodness--all had a home in the Catholic Church. But many in the Church lost sight of those three values in the confusion that followed Vatican II. We've made progress since then in restoring a healthy appreciation for goodness, and truth has been served by the return to doctrinally-sound catechesis. But beauty, essential to truth and goodness, has proved elusive. Perhaps that is why Pope Benedict made a point of reminding us, in the recently-released Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that our priceless heritage of Catholic art and architecture communicates to us just as readily as do spoken or written words, that beauty is merely truth reflected.I share his lament.