As holy week began yesterday, tragedy struck in Paris as the 800 year old Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames.
Firefighters worked for hours to get the fire under control. The main sanctuary, the cathedral’s historic bell towers and some artifacts inside the building were able to be saved. But, the damage is still extensive.
Father Chad Partain with the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria provided his take on the incident today.
He says- “The centuries that it took in order to build the Cathedral of Notre Dame was an act of faith and at the beginning of Holy Week it’s sort of symbolic of the dying and rising, which is at the heart of our faith; that great pascal mystery. The fact that the relics of the true cross, the relics of the crown of thorns were able to be saved as well as the blessed sacrament…those are signs that the true essence of the church can never be destroyed; the church is not a building…it is the faith of the people and that kingdom is built in our hearts and so you know the building may be lost, but it can always be rebuilt; those relics being saved are of course a sign that the faith continues on…”
Before the fire broke out, the cathedral was undergoing a multi million dollar renovation project.
A large portion of the cathedral’s roof collapsed during the fire and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.