The "New Cheese"

The Chiesa Nuova was consecrated in 1599, a jewel of the Counter-Reformation and the home of the Rome Oratory. With affectionate and silly humour, we used to call it the "New Cheese". Below is a wide-angle view of the nave and magnificent decoration of the Church.

And here, you see the wonderful High Altar:

Sadly, this podium and forward-facing altar is plonked in front, in the middle of the Church. I am told that students used to be taken to see this as an example of how the "New Liturgy" could be accommodated within a Baroque Church.

Below, you can see how the new altar and podium destroy the line of sight leading to the High Altar. I understand that the architect responsible for the podium etc. now has second thoughts and that there may be the possiblity of a restoration in the future.

One of my favourite stories of St Philip Neri is that he was commanded by the Pope to go in procession from San Girolamo to the Chiesa Nuova and that two nobles were to head the procession carrying his prized possessions. Pippo Buono eventually agreed with some reluctantance. He got his own back by insisting that the nobles were to carry the two possessions which he genuinely prized: his dog and his chamberpot.

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