Goodbye, Andy
By Our Own Powers?


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I guess the only positive is that it could have been worse. No loss of life, and much of the structure still stands.

Yes, and according to at least one thing I read all three of the rose windows are still there. A huge relief. It seems a significant timely reminder and warning, though.

An outward sign of loss of inward grace--although the cathedral is still grace-filled.

I am so glad about the windows. That would have seemed the greatest loss to me.


Yes, wonderful about the windows. There are some very good, detailed graphics and photos of the damage up on the BBC website.

I'm so relieved that it is still standing. I felt sick last night at the thought of it being destroyed. I can hardly believe that the windows survived! Apparently the towers were vulnerable but ably defended by the firefighters. Had those portals and that facade been destroyed it would have been so awful.

Those pictures at the BBC are amazing. It's hard to believe the pulpit and pews are still there. I guess the fire was in the roof, and fire (as Aristotle taught us) goes up, not down.

I'm donating some money to the reconstruction fund. I wish it could be funded by a grassroots campaign. I keep reading about billionaires and corporations putting up absurd sums, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I agree. But then as I understand it the French govt actually owns it, which makes our relationship to it a little odd.

Thanks for the link, Marianne, that's very informative.

"An outward sign of loss of inward grace"--yes. Not total loss of course as you say, but loss.

It appears to be much better than we could have expected, and it looks like some of the area that burned was slated for repair already.


Repairs were in progress, as I guess you know. That seems to be part of the reason why fears that it was arson haven't gotten much purchase. There's lead involved with the roof (ceiling?) somehow, along with hundreds-of-years-old wood, and I wonder if the repairs being done required working with molten lead. Pretty obvious risk of fire there. I guess maybe in the coming days there'll be some details about all that.

One aspect of the significance of the event is that fire is also purifying. I was thinking of that when I did this post.

Very happy that this is not as bad as it initially appeared to be! I went to bed Monday night worrying that I was going to wake up the next morning to news of a total loss.

One of the things that worries me about the massive lump sums French moguls are contributing is that it might buy them undue influence over what is done with the money. Already some people are saying that, well, the reconstruction doesn't have to look exactly as it did, it should reflect our own times, etc, blah blah.

This is the city, after all, that, for all its beauties, has permitted some jarring architectural projects -- the Pompidou Centre, the Eiffel Tower, and that cold-as-ice pyramid in the middle of the Louvre, for example. One out of three is not a reassuring track record.

It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, though, and so maybe it can't be changed much at all. A piece on the UNESCO website says after an assessment of the damage "UNESCO would accompany and support the authorities in the recovery, rehabilitation and rebuilding of the damaged heritage site based on accurate documentation based on archival material, photos, films, historic documentation, plans and drawings."

Let's hope...I hadn't consider the possibility of, um, improving it.

There are some vandals in places of influence:

“The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” says Patricio del Real, an architecture historian at Harvard University.

The NYT doesn't use the words "Catholic" or "Christian" in discussing it:

Anyone who can say what Patricio del Real said should not be allowed anywhere near the church.

Wishing you a very good and blessed Triduum.

Thanks, and likewise to you.

The desire of so many Westerners to disown and destroy their own civilization is going to be marveled at by historians in the future, as indeed some of us marvel now.

Tourism to the rescue? From a piece up at Crisis Magazine:

The damage to Notre Dame is a wake-up call not only for Christians who have let their faith lapse, but also for dyed-in-the-wool secularists. Though run by the Church, Notre Dame, like other historic churches in France, is owned by the French state. Notre Dame is important to France not only because of its history, art, and architecture, but also because it is one of the main reasons that people visit France. Notre Dame draws more visitors than the Eiffel Tower. Many who visit the Cathedral come not just as tourists, but also as pilgrims. For them, “Our Lady’s” Cathedral means far more than one more historic site to check off the list. Ironically, secular France’s greatest attraction is a spiritual treasure.

French President Emmanuel Macron promises to raise enough funds to rebuild Notre Dame within five years. But to what purpose? For the greater glory of God? To worship and praise him? Not quite. The damage to Notre Dame could be a fatal blow to France’s tourist economy which is already reeling from rising crime rates and the constant threat of terrorism brought on by mass Muslim migration. Macron’s haste to rebuild suggests that the state is far more dependent on the Christian faith than it had thought.

"more visitors than the Eiffel Tower" really surprises me. Though now that I stop and think about it maybe it shouldn't. Anyway, that's an interesting aspect of the thing.

I hope y'all read of the hero priest who rescued the Blessed Sacrament and the crown of thorns.


Described by Steve Skojec as "a hero priest with great facial hair"

Yes, I had read about him. Very moving.

Good to hear from you. I hope all is well for you over there in Taz.

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