As Notre Dame burned, America watched with sorrow

Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  

Editor’s Note: The day before this issue [April 29] went to press, we watched on our newsroom monitors the devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. As of this writing, the fire has been extinguished and, while the cause and the full extent of the damage are unknown, much of this treasure of our Christian patrimony lies in ashes. Thanks be to God, no one was killed.

How do we make sense of such an event? Yesterday, a member of our editorial staff made an attempt. I share it here, a reflection by a young man about this 800-year-old symbol of our enduring faith.

Advertisement

Read his reflection here: Grieving the fire of Notre Dame during Holy Week

Matt Malone, S.J.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Michael Becker
5 months ago

Sad, but not a sad as the inability of the "Church" to deal with the sex abuse scandal. Does God directly intervene in our daily lives? Is he angry with His "fans?" Is the fire an expression of His anger?

Advertisement
More: Europe / Lent

The latest from america

Tania Tetlow, president of Loyola University New Orleans, remembers her friend and mentor Cokie Roberts, who passed away on Sept. 17.
Tania TetlowSeptember 20, 2019
To listen carefully to an arguing group is to gain a peculiar glimpse into the desires and anxieties of that group.
Pádraig Ó TuamaSeptember 20, 2019
His face painted red with urucum, a man participates in a march by indigenous people through the streets of Atalaia do Norte in Brazil's Amazon region on March 27, 2019. Indigenous were protesting a central government plan to turn control of health care over to municipalities, in effect destroying a federal program of indigenous health care. (CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey)
But the Pan-Amazon Synod’s organizers say much of the unhappiness with the its working document simply reflects Eurocentricism. Many critics “have little knowledge of the Amazon and in some cases have no commitment to its people.”
Eduardo Campos LimaSeptember 20, 2019
Dancers perform before Pope Francis leads a vigil with young people at the Soamandrakizay diocesan field in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Sept. 7, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
In all three countries, Pope Francis pleaded for protection of the environment. Mining by foreign companies to extract precious minerals has been a major problem in Madagascar and Mozambique. In Madagascar, deforestation is especially a threat.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 20, 2019