Church leaders respond to Notre Dame fire


Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry joined the Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and the Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris to issue a statement on Facebook last night, as firefighters finally brought the blaze at the cathedral of Notre Dame to an end:

The cathedral of Notre Dame is more than an icon of the city of Paris; it is an ancient place of worship at which Christians have gathered for nearly a thousand years. In this most sacred of weeks in the Christian year, all Christians mourn the damage caused by the ravages of a terrible and destructive fire in that holy place.

The Episcopal Church throughout Europe, with its seat in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris, expresses its sympathy to the people of Paris and to all who sense the immense loss of this priceless and historic house of worship. We extend to Archbishop Aupetit and to all his people our sincere condolences and our readiness to offer any hospitality that would be of help to the community and congregation of Notre Dame in this most holy season of the faith we share. And we send our prayers in this week that ends in what we know to be the sure and certain promise of resurrection for the future life and restoration of this monument of Christian faith.

The Right Reverend Mark D.W. Edington
Bishop in Charge, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

The Very Reverend Lucinda Laird
Dean, American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Paris

The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
27th Primate and Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church

This morning, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, tweeted in English and in French:

Coventry Cathedral, in turn, tweeted that they will hold their Evening Prayer service tonight in the Cathedral Ruins, as they lament with Notre Dame.

Reports overnight suggest that the iconic Rose Windows of Notre Dame, along with the towers and much of the vaulted ceiling, and the church organ have been preserved. Workers rescued many works of art and religious relics yesterday, but much remains to be assessed. President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild the cathedral.

As the world’s attention was riveted on Notre Dame last evening, a smaller fire was extinguished at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the south-east corner of the Temple Mount, one of the holiest sites in Islam. A guard room fire was thought to have been caused by children playing. Newsweek, reporting on the Al-Aqsa fire, added that

The Palestine News Agency reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office “expressed its deep regret Monday over the fire that broke out at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in the center of the French capital of Paris, which caused the collapse of the cathedral tower.”

“The Presidency confirmed its solidarity and sympathy with our friends in France over this incident,” the outlet added.

Live coverage of the situation at Notre Dame in Paris continues at the Guardian and multiple news sources. The full story of the Al-Aqsa Mosque fire is at Newsweek.

Photo: Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/AFP/Getty Images, via the Guardian

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JoS. S Laughon

Additionally, one prays that they do not commit a second sacrilege by building a concrete monstrosity like in Coventry.

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Christopher SEITZ
Christopher SEITZ

We live 45 minutes south of Paris. Remarkable is the deep Catholic faith in France, often dismissed, but especially strong in the equivalent of 'millenial' Americans. Watch the prayers, religious singing, instinctive dropping to spiritual knees. Holy Week is a rich experience here. Now given a new death and resurrection contemporary link.

St Germain des Prés is as we speak totally full of the faithful praying.

A helpful before and after ci-joint:

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JoS. S Laughon

Absolutely horrid. I think on the words of the Provost of Coventry Cathedral when the church burned down in 1940 due to the Blitz:

"That night the city burned and the mother church of the city burned with her. Can't help feeling there's a sort of emblem of the eternal truth that when men suffer, God suffers with them. And yet the tower and the spire still stand, soaring to the sky, and I feel that's an emblem of the eternal majesty and love of God. It was the spirit of our forefathers that built that grand building. I believe that the spirit is with us still and will help us to rebuild it when we've served and suffered a while little longer -- build it again to the glory of Jesus Christ."

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