Notre Dame Fire

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TNLawPiper
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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by TNLawPiper » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:11 am

Jester wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:07 am
tuttle wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:59 am
rgcurrey wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:25 am
tuttle wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:10 am
Hovannes wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:43 am
On the news this morning it was announced that there will be an international competition to design Notre Dame's rebuilding.
With the long History of architectural abortions committed on Catholic churches since Vatican 2, I find this is a wee bit troubling.

Many bombed out churches during WW2 were lovingly restored to their original appearance and I hope Notre Dame receives the same, but being in France Image and a Catholic church now in the post Vatican 2 era
Image
and apparently a concern of french politicians
Image
who value Notre Dame as a tourist mecca Image
I'm becoming skeptical.
I heard that this morning as well and the skepticism was also immediate.

It also made me wonder who owns the building. The government or the church? Who will be responsible for selecting the 'winner'?
There has to be an outcry if they don't restore it in a historically accurate way, but then again I agree with Hovannes and am very skeptical.
Just read this on CNN:
On Wednesday, France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said France would launch an international architecture competition to reconstruct the spire, saying that the contest "will be organised in due course."

A committee will be set up to oversee the project and will decide whether the spire should be reconstructed or "adapted to modernity," he said.
"adapted to modernity"

gross.
Image
St. Michael's in Scotland.
That crown spire is 55 years old and aluminum because the tower could not support more stone.

They’ll still have to wait and see what shape the surrounding walls are in before the room or spire can be reconstructed. President Macron’s five-year timeline is not feasible.

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by tuttle » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:22 am

TNLawPiper wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:03 am
tuttle wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:10 am
Hovannes wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:43 am
On the news this morning it was announced that there will be an international competition to design Notre Dame's rebuilding.
With the long History of architectural abortions committed on Catholic churches since Vatican 2, I find this is a wee bit troubling.

Many bombed out churches during WW2 were lovingly restored to their original appearance and I hope Notre Dame receives the same, but being in France Image and a Catholic church now in the post Vatican 2 era
Image
and apparently a concern of french politicians
Image
who value Notre Dame as a tourist mecca Image
I'm becoming skeptical.
I heard that this morning as well and the skepticism was also immediate.

It also made me wonder who owns the building. The government or the church? Who will be responsible for selecting the 'winner'?
My understanding is the government owns Notre-Dame de Paris, but the Catholic Church is the beneficiary with exclusive right of use in perpetuity. The archdiocese pays expenses and does not receive subsidies from the government.
Thanks!
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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by Hovannes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:25 pm

Hmmm....what are the chances of that the spire being replaced with a more inclusive minaret, as a nod to the Jesuits?
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by Hovannes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:27 pm

Image
That must be a dandy lightening rod!
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by wosbald » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:51 pm

+JMJ+
TNLawPiper wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:08 am
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:42 am
Perhaps you two old ladies in pants could knock it off? You've just been handed the greatest miracle any of us have seen recently and this is how you repay Him?

Repent and rejoice is the message to us all, not carp about Vatican II, Oedipus President, or are personal tastes in architecture. No. Repent, turn inward, be salt and light.

By a miracle, the roof didn't collapse. So we are replacing the roof, boys, probably with steel girders, not building the Louvre.

And the interior will be appropriately restored, the parts that need it. Most remains.

Faith, Hope, and Charity, gents.
Hear.
Macron: "We will rebuild."

French Parliament: "Hold that thought. We must wait for the Self-Appointed Guardians of Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy and Orthotecture — the Concerned Christians of America (CCoA) — to weigh in."

Macron: "This just in." <pauses, reads, sighs> "America has spoken; the cause is ended. Shelve the plans for the Googie spire, boys."

ImageImage

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by hugodrax » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:59 pm

wosbald wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:51 pm
+JMJ+
TNLawPiper wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:08 am
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:42 am
Perhaps you two old ladies in pants could knock it off? You've just been handed the greatest miracle any of us have seen recently and this is how you repay Him?

Repent and rejoice is the message to us all, not carp about Vatican II, Oedipus President, or are personal tastes in architecture. No. Repent, turn inward, be salt and light.

By a miracle, the roof didn't collapse. So we are replacing the roof, boys, probably with steel girders, not building the Louvre.

And the interior will be appropriately restored, the parts that need it. Most remains.

Faith, Hope, and Charity, gents.
Hear.
Macron: "We will rebuild."

French Parliament: "Hold that thought. We must wait for the Self-Appointed Guardians of Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy and Orthotecture — the Concerned Christians of America (CCoA) — to weigh in."

Macron: "This just in." <pauses, reads, sighs> "America has spoken; the cause is ended. Shelve the plans for the Googie spire, boys."
Yeah, Charity is really, really hard.
Notre Dame de Paris, priez pour nous y comprise les Jesuites.

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by wosbald » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:29 pm

+JMJ+
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:59 pm
wosbald wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:51 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:08 am
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:42 am
Perhaps you two old ladies in pants could knock it off? You've just been handed the greatest miracle any of us have seen recently and this is how you repay Him?

Repent and rejoice is the message to us all, not carp about Vatican II, Oedipus President, or are personal tastes in architecture. No. Repent, turn inward, be salt and light.

By a miracle, the roof didn't collapse. So we are replacing the roof, boys, probably with steel girders, not building the Louvre.

And the interior will be appropriately restored, the parts that need it. Most remains.

Faith, Hope, and Charity, gents.
Hear.
Macron: "We will rebuild."

French Parliament: "Hold that thought. We must wait for the Self-Appointed Guardians of Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy and Orthotecture — the Concerned Christians of America (CCoA) — to weigh in."

Macron: "This just in." <pauses, reads, sighs> "America has spoken; the cause is ended. Shelve the plans for the Googie spire, boys."
Yeah, Charity is really, really hard.
Image

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by Hovannes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:58 pm

wosbald wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:29 pm
+JMJ+
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:59 pm
wosbald wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:51 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:08 am
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:42 am
Perhaps you two old ladies in pants could knock it off? You've just been handed the greatest miracle any of us have seen recently and this is how you repay Him?

Repent and rejoice is the message to us all, not carp about Vatican II, Oedipus President, or are personal tastes in architecture. No. Repent, turn inward, be salt and light.

By a miracle, the roof didn't collapse. So we are replacing the roof, boys, probably with steel girders, not building the Louvre.

And the interior will be appropriately restored, the parts that need it. Most remains.

Faith, Hope, and Charity, gents.
Hear.
Macron: "We will rebuild."

French Parliament: "Hold that thought. We must wait for the Self-Appointed Guardians of Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy and Orthotecture — the Concerned Christians of America (CCoA) — to weigh in."

Macron: "This just in." <pauses, reads, sighs> "America has spoken; the cause is ended. Shelve the plans for the Googie spire, boys."
Yeah, Charity is really, really hard.
Image
FRANCE So that's where all the Howard Johnsons went!Image
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by wosbald » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:01 pm

+JMJ+
Hovannes wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:58 pm
wosbald wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:29 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:59 pm
wosbald wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:51 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:08 am
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:42 am
Perhaps you two old ladies in pants could knock it off? You've just been handed the greatest miracle any of us have seen recently and this is how you repay Him?

Repent and rejoice is the message to us all, not carp about Vatican II, Oedipus President, or are personal tastes in architecture. No. Repent, turn inward, be salt and light.

By a miracle, the roof didn't collapse. So we are replacing the roof, boys, probably with steel girders, not building the Louvre.

And the interior will be appropriately restored, the parts that need it. Most remains.

Faith, Hope, and Charity, gents.
Hear.
Macron: "We will rebuild."

French Parliament: "Hold that thought. We must wait for the Self-Appointed Guardians of Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy and Orthotecture — the Concerned Christians of America (CCoA) — to weigh in."

Macron: "This just in." <pauses, reads, sighs> "America has spoken; the cause is ended. Shelve the plans for the Googie spire, boys."
Yeah, Charity is really, really hard.
Image
FRANCE So that's where all the Howard Johnsons went!Image
Good eye for Googie.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by Hovannes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:26 pm

European architects are very good at reconstructions
Cologne Cathedral, 1945---Image
Cologne Cathedral after restoration---ImageImage
compare with
Our Lady of Angels, pre-Roger MahoneyImage
Our Lady of Angels post Mahoney Image

See my concern?
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by hugodrax » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:48 pm

Hovannes wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:26 pm
European architects are very good at reconstructions
Cologne Cathedral, 1945---Image
Cologne Cathedral after restoration---ImageImage
compare with
Our Lady of Angels, pre-Roger MahoneyImage
Our Lady of Angels post Mahoney Image

See my concern?
No. They're not Americans, thank heaven. They will come up with their own architectural heresy. Good news is they have to think about tourist revenues.

Or they might build it right. Point is, I'm glad for the huge mercies we've been shown.
Notre Dame de Paris, priez pour nous y comprise les Jesuites.

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by Hovannes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:34 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:48 pm
Hovannes wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:26 pm
European architects are very good at reconstructions
Cologne Cathedral, 1945---Image
Cologne Cathedral after restoration---ImageImage
compare with
Our Lady of Angels, pre-Roger MahoneyImage
Our Lady of Angels post Mahoney Image

See my concern?
No. They're not Americans, thank heaven. They will come up with their own architectural heresy. Good news is they have to think about tourist revenues.

Or they might build it right. Point is, I'm glad for the huge mercies we've been shown.
I agree.
Notre Dame is the repository of 800 years of Western European History as well as the Faith.
Sorry if I came across as over protective.
You know how it is.
That she still stands and that much of her inventory has been spared is indeed miraculous!
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by hugodrax » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:12 pm

Hovannes wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:34 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:48 pm
Hovannes wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:26 pm
European architects are very good at reconstructions
Cologne Cathedral, 1945---Image
Cologne Cathedral after restoration---ImageImage
compare with
Our Lady of Angels, pre-Roger MahoneyImage
Our Lady of Angels post Mahoney Image

See my concern?
No. They're not Americans, thank heaven. They will come up with their own architectural heresy. Good news is they have to think about tourist revenues.

Or they might build it right. Point is, I'm glad for the huge mercies we've been shown.
I agree.
Notre Dame is the repository of 800 years of Western European History as well as the Faith.
Sorry if I came across as over protective.
You know how it is.
That she still stands and that much of her inventory has been spared is indeed miraculous!
I'm taken far too seriously around here, Hov. Most days, I'm just glad to be alive.
Notre Dame de Paris, priez pour nous y comprise les Jesuites.

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by tuttle » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:24 am

This Reuters report has some good info: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fran ... SKCN1RU137

The 12 man reconstruction crew, which was the only crew on site that day, is mentioned as the best of the best, even going beyond architects’ demands as far as safety is concerned. No welding machines or blowtorches on the site. Crew kept to their rigorous procedures including turning off all electricity. Last workers left at 5:50pm, a half hour before the first alarm went off.

Time-lapse photos seem to indicate smoke first appearing from the spire's base. Police say if not arson, then electrical source is certainly to blame.

According to the NY Times the first alarm goes off at 6:20 and the attic was checked, nothing to be found. The second alarm goes off 6:43 and they found fire there. They also report that there was no electrical wiring in the attic:
“There had been a systematic refusal to install anything electrical” within “the forest” because of the risk, said Pierre Housieaux, president of the Paris Historical Association. “Everyone knew that the attic was the most fragile part.”
So the crew turned off all electricity, absent at least a half hour before any alarms ring, and no electrical wiring present in the attic, where the fire started. If everyone is telling the truth, this is going to be a tough one to figure out.
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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by TNLawPiper » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:40 am

Word is that all of the priceless art and three hives of bees all survived unharmed by the fire. Thanks be to God!

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by AFRS » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:59 pm

When I first heard of the fire, the thought that went through my mind was 'if this were a dream .... what would it mean?'

The second thought was 'what's for lunch?'

I totally agree with Wes Callihan. The church & fire are a metaphor of Western Culture.

I disagree with Callihan's friend. France has not been saved. Unless they turn from their Godless ways they are doomed. But the same could be said for all Western Cultures.

I have been to Notre Dame. Grand & beautiful old church. Sad to see her damaged like that. But at the end of the day - it's just a building.

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by FredS » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:49 pm

Who let AFRS in?
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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by wosbald » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:33 am

+JMJ+

Notre Dame fire may finally awaken France’s ‘Zombie Catholics’ [In-Depth]
Image
People watch and photograph the Notre Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Experts are assessing the blackened shell of Paris's iconic Notre Dame cathedral to establish next steps to save what remains after a devastating fire destroyed much of the almost 900-year-old building. (Credit: AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS — Many hearts were moved while watching the blaze of Notre Dame cathedral on Monday, but for French Catholics — who rarely display their faith in their highly secularized country — the sight also inspired a desire for renewal and a return to their roots.

“I think Catholics realized how unashamed they should be about the treasure we had, not just the building but the spiritual treasure,” said François Jacob, Director of Obole Digitale, a start-up that offers innovative fundraising for churches, in an April 18 interview with Crux.

In collaboration with Michelle Powers and Dustin Etheridge from Currents News, Crux traveled to Paris to discover what remained after the catastrophic fire at Notre Dame. What we found was a country united in the pursuit of renewal, not just of the cathedral itself, but also of the faith that inspired its construction almost 1,000 years ago.

Sometimes called “Zombie Catholics,” French faithful have keenly adapted to a culture of laïcité, a unique brand of French secularism that imposes a severe separation between church and state. Observers say many Catholics in the country subscribe to a form of Nicodemism — relegating faith to the private sphere.

“We are professionals at navigating in a secularized world,” Jacob said.

Many French Catholics say the fires that engulfed Notre Dame may have also set off a spiritual spark, especially in the new generations, inspiring them to openly profess their faith and, from the rubble, to rebuild their foundations.

We spoke to activists who, along with thousands of young and old as well as families, marched in the street of Paris to openly proclaim their pro-life beliefs. A bishop in the Parisian suburbs who witnessed many young people join him for the Via Crucis on Friday told us that we may be looking at a new evangelizing moment for Catholics in France.

Relations with the French state remain complicated, they admitted, but there’s something about watching the heart of France’s religion and culture almost perish that drives the message home: Some things are worth fighting for.

A moment to evangelize

Marie Cabaud and Joseph Meaney are an American-French couple working for the pro-life movement near Paris. Both are committed to the pro-life cause and have devoted their efforts to help galvanize the local community, which starting in 2014 brought more than 50,000 French people to the streets in defense of the unborn.

“It’s something that had never happened before,” Cabaud told Crux in an April 18 interview. “French Catholics don’t have a tradition of going out on the streets.”

While she acknowledged that Notre Dame holds a special significance as a historic and cultural center of Paris, she was also concerned that its central role in the eyes of French faithful might be overlooked.

“The really important thing about this is that Notre Dame is the heart of the Church,” she said. “We need to focus on rebuilding it from the inside, not just on the outside.”

[…]

The Cube and the Cathedral

In what is known as “the Manhattan of Paris,” the cemented heart of France’s business and technology center La Défence, Bishop Matthieu Rouge of Nanterre prepared to guide faithful through the Via Crucis on Friday.

“I think France may be one of the least religious countries in the world,” he said in an April 19 interview. “It’s very difficult for French people, for example, to say that they are Catholic.”

The diocese of Nanterre is in the suburbs of Paris and its landscape is dominated by the Grande Arche, a massive white cube. Under its shade, Rouge led Catholics though the square, with numbers steadily growing at every station, including many young people and faces that the bishops said he had never seen before.

[…]

According to the bishop, the fire might inspire believers to meet and share their feelings together and suggested that it may encourage Catholics to live out their faith and possibly evangelize.

Concerning relations with the state, he was more cautious, describing French government/Church relations as “paradoxical.”

“We speak a lot together, and every chief of state has to know that this is a deeply rooted Catholic country, but at the same moment he or she has to promote tough secularism,” he said.

The rebuilding of Notre Dame, he added, will witness these awkward relations unfold.

“I think we might experience at some points the usual dynamic between the Church and the French government, which is many relations but sometimes tough relations.”

[…]

The Call to build Cathedrals

Young Catholics have been the most receptive so far to the call to action that the sight of the burning Notre Dame inspired. Groups of youth have emerged at the grass-roots level, like the “Bâtisseur,” the builders, who are banding together to look for ways to save the cathedral.

“With the big marches for life of 2014, young people have realized that we cannot rely on the state anymore or institutions like my grandparents and parents,” Jacob said, adding that for the past 30 years Catholics were accustomed to keeping their faith away from the public eye.

“We should be more unashamed and obvious, or at least more vocal about what we do,” he said.

[…]

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by wosbald » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:00 am

+JMJ+

The world will be saved by beauty [Opinion]
Image

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, April 25, 2019

Individuals, corporations and even educational institutions like the University of Notre Dame have collectively donated over $1 billion toward the reconstruction of the Cathedral in the days following the tragic fire at Notre-Dame in Paris. The acts of benevolence have been lauded by some and harshly criticized by others. Among the tweets and statuses criticizing the donations to the Cathedral, I’ve seen those which place the reconstruction of the Cathedral in opposition to social justice. One such tweet from user Kristan_Higgins read:
Speaking as a Catholic here … please don’t donate to help Notre Dame. The Church is worth $30 billion. Donate to help Puerto Rico recover. Donate to get the people of Flint clean water. Donate to get kids out of cages. Jesus didn’t care about stained glass. He cared about people.
The words of the renowned social activist and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, Dorothy Day, come to mind: “The world will be saved by beauty.”

[…]

I do not mean to say that beautiful churches or nice bouquets will eradicate world hunger. I am not so naive as to believe that breathtaking Gothic architecture and intricate stained glass will dismantle the unjust social systems of our world. But placing beauty in opposition to justice is a false and dangerous dichotomy. Let’s work to address the societal wrongdoings that perpetuate injustice. But do not abandon beauty along the way.

Unfortunately, beauty in the world has become a commodity. Precious works of art are housed in places like the Louvre, the Vatican Museums or the Met, all of which require entrance fees and none of which clamor to welcome in outcasts of society. Even places like the U.S. National Parks and the Gardens of Versailles charge entrance fees, commodifying the natural beauty they preserve. The artwork preserved in churches, though, has not become exclusive to the wealthy. Churches remain houses of beauty, art, music and prayer open to all — to outcasts, saints, sinners, rejects, steadfast believers, serial doubters and the lonely. The Notre-Dame Cathedral has been a haven of peace and beauty, proclaiming hope for weary and forgotten souls, for more than 800 years. While the world commodifies beauty, it remains steadfast.

If all the world’s corporal suffering were eradicated tomorrow, we would still need hope, joy and peace. We would still need beauty. It is as necessary to the soul as food is to the body; the poor person deserves beauty just as deeply as she deserves food, shelter and education. To deprive her of beauty is to disregard her humanity in favor of her corporality. Beauty inspires hope, calls forth contemplation and awakens childlike wonder even in the midst of suffering. Anyone who has set her eyes upon the rose windows of Notre-Dame, contemplated Van Gogh’s Starry Night, watched a beautiful sunrise over the sea or listened to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony knows the indescribable song of the soul which beauty can evoke.

[…]

Mary Killeen McCans
sophomore
April 18

[The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.]

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Re: Notre Dame Fire

Post by sweetandsour » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:15 am

wosbald wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:00 am
+JMJ+

The world will be saved by beauty [Opinion]
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Letter to the Editor | Thursday, April 25, 2019

Individuals, corporations and even educational institutions like the University of Notre Dame have collectively donated over $1 billion toward the reconstruction of the Cathedral in the days following the tragic fire at Notre-Dame in Paris. The acts of benevolence have been lauded by some and harshly criticized by others. Among the tweets and statuses criticizing the donations to the Cathedral, I’ve seen those which place the reconstruction of the Cathedral in opposition to social justice. One such tweet from user Kristan_Higgins read:
Speaking as a Catholic here … please don’t donate to help Notre Dame. The Church is worth $30 billion. Donate to help Puerto Rico recover. Donate to get the people of Flint clean water. Donate to get kids out of cages. Jesus didn’t care about stained glass. He cared about people.
The words of the renowned social activist and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, Dorothy Day, come to mind: “The world will be saved by beauty.”

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I do not mean to say that beautiful churches or nice bouquets will eradicate world hunger. I am not so naive as to believe that breathtaking Gothic architecture and intricate stained glass will dismantle the unjust social systems of our world. But placing beauty in opposition to justice is a false and dangerous dichotomy. Let’s work to address the societal wrongdoings that perpetuate injustice. But do not abandon beauty along the way.

Unfortunately, beauty in the world has become a commodity. Precious works of art are housed in places like the Louvre, the Vatican Museums or the Met, all of which require entrance fees and none of which clamor to welcome in outcasts of society. Even places like the U.S. National Parks and the Gardens of Versailles charge entrance fees, commodifying the natural beauty they preserve. The artwork preserved in churches, though, has not become exclusive to the wealthy. Churches remain houses of beauty, art, music and prayer open to all — to outcasts, saints, sinners, rejects, steadfast believers, serial doubters and the lonely. The Notre-Dame Cathedral has been a haven of peace and beauty, proclaiming hope for weary and forgotten souls, for more than 800 years. While the world commodifies beauty, it remains steadfast.

If all the world’s corporal suffering were eradicated tomorrow, we would still need hope, joy and peace. We would still need beauty. It is as necessary to the soul as food is to the body; the poor person deserves beauty just as deeply as she deserves food, shelter and education. To deprive her of beauty is to disregard her humanity in favor of her corporality. Beauty inspires hope, calls forth contemplation and awakens childlike wonder even in the midst of suffering. Anyone who has set her eyes upon the rose windows of Notre-Dame, contemplated Van Gogh’s Starry Night, watched a beautiful sunrise over the sea or listened to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony knows the indescribable song of the soul which beauty can evoke.

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Mary Killeen McCans
sophomore
April 18

[The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.]
Beautifully-written piece by the (I presume) young lady. May she, and the (presumably) young lady that posted the tweet, both be blessed.
I'm old but I'm happy. (Most of the time.)

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