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
10 months 2 weeks 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

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden meets with attendees during a campaign event, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
The only Democratic candidate whom a majority of poll respondents viewed as very or somewhat religious is former Vice President Joe Biden, who appeared at public events on Ash Wednesday with ashes on his forehead.
Michael J. O’LoughlinFebruary 27, 2020
Anyone dissatisfied with the current state of elementary and high school education might ask why we don't return to classical educational models.
Matthew D. WalzFebruary 27, 2020
A street scene in Bartella. Photo by Rami Esa Saqat and Fadi Esa Saqat.
With the liberation of parts of Iraq from ISIS in 2017, Iraq’s Christians returned home to two unwelcome developments. Their homes had been burned, looted or destroyed by ISIS and Iran-backed groups who helped defeat ISIS—known as Popular Mobilization Forces—now controlled their towns.
Xavier BisitsFebruary 27, 2020
Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 26, 2020. (CNS photo/Cristian Gennari, pool)
The pope’s spokesman said “his other meetings proceed regularly.” His words were intended to downplay the concern that his condition might be in any way serious.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 27, 2020