Last year the unimaginable happened as one of the most beloved and historic sites in all of Europe caught fire. The cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris was under reparations last April and caught fire. A cathedral monsignor of Notre Dame in Paris reports on the fragility of the historic site.
Msgr. Patrick Chauvet stated at the Christmas Vigil “Today it is not out of danger…It will be out of danger when we take out the remaining scaffolding. There is still a risk. We can say that there is a 50 percent chance it will be saved, but there is also a 50 percent chance that scaffolding could fall onto the three vaults. So as you can see, the building is still very fragile.”
Chauvet told an Associated Press “We need to remove completely the scaffolding in order to make the building safe, so in 2021 we will probably start the restoration of the cathedral. Once the scaffolding is removed, we need to assess the state of the cathedral, the quantity of stones to be removed and replaced.” The building was able to be rescued by emergency responders back in April.
This is the first time the Christmas service at Notre Dame has not occurred, with over 200 previous Christmases celebrated there. Chauvet told reporters, “There is heartache because we are used to Notre Dame and the midnight mass at Notre Dame is extraordinary. At the same time, it is a celebration of Christmas, it is a celebration of hope.”
Please continue to pray for Notre Dame, as difficult architectural decisions need to be made in efforts to keep the structure standing. The argument now is what kind of repair would benefit the Cathedral, a more modern approach or rebuilding similarly to medieval times. Many precious relics like the Christ’s Crown of Thorns, the Blessed Sacrament and the Rose Window are still intact. Pray for the builders in France as they work towards an agreement.