WelCom May 2019:
Catholics around the world watched with horror as the roof of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed with flames on Monday 15 April 2019. The fire broke out as the cathedral was being renovated. Flames tore through the 860-year-old cathedral’s timbered roofing destroying the roof and spire.
The following day, firefighters said the main structure of the cathedral had been saved and preserved from collapse. Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris Tweeted: ‘…it seems the towers of the facade of Notre-Dame are saved. The whole diocese prayed, and I joined the young people who were praying at Fontaine Saint-Michel. Let us remain united more than ever, in Hope.’
Messages of solidarity and sorrow poured in from around the world.
Soon after the blaze started on Monday evening, Alessandro Gisotti, the interim Director of the Vatican Press Office, tweeted the Holy See’s ‘shock and sadness’, calling the Cathedral of Notre Dame ‘a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world’. On Tuesday 16 April, Gisotti expressed Pope Francis’ closeness to the people of France. The Pope, he said, is praying for ‘all those who are striving to cope with this tragic situation.’
The Bishops of France said Notre Dame’s influence ‘extends beyond the capital’ and that it would remain ‘a major symbol of the Catholic faith’.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, said New Yorkers are united in sorrow with Parisians. ‘This Holy Week teaches us that, like Jesus, death brings life. Today’s dying, we trust, will bring rising.’
The spiritual leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, said the fire was ‘a huge loss for all humanity’, calling the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris ‘one of the most important monuments in the world.’
Source: Catholic News Agency