[guest post by JVW]
Sad news to begin Holy Week in Western Christendom.
The famed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France was engulfed in flames on Monday leading to the collapse of the structure’s main spire. The intense flames leaped out from two of its bell towers minutes before the spire collapsed, and later spread to one of the cathedral’s iconic rectangular towers.
A church spokesman told French media that all of Notre Dame cathedral’s frame is burning after the spire collapsed.
“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told local outlets.
[. . .]
The deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Gregoire, told BFMTV that the cathedral has suffered “colossal damages.”
Paris emergency services said they were trying to salvage the artwork stored in the cathedral.
At least there does not yet appear to be any deaths attributed to the blaze. It’s very sad to see an elegant and historic church damaged so horribly. Not to push the point too far, but the burning building unfortunately stands as a metaphor for the Church in modern Europe.
Here’s the cathedral seen in better days, taken from a visit I made nearly six years ago. The spire has now collapsed, and apparently the roof is in danger.
I sincerely hope the French people have the will to rebuild this beautiful structure.
UPDATE: The parish priest from my boyhood passes along this poignant Tweet.
We unite our prayers with the people of France & the Archdiocese of Paris in this moment. In this Holy Week, we know and believe that for every Good Friday, God will bring forth a glorious Easter Sunday. This video shows us the Faith is alive in France! #NotreDame #NotreDameFire https://t.co/848cWj9xg8
— Bishop David Ricken (@BpDavidRicken) April 15, 2019
UPDATE II: Heartbreaking. It’s confirmed that the three iconic stained glass windows, the West Rose (dating from AD 1225), the North Rose, and the South Rose (both dating from AD 1250), have exploded in the fire.
— La Plume Libre (@LPLdirect) April 15, 2019
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This CNN story says that the rose windows have all survived contrary to previous reports. The organ supposed survived as well. What a relief.