The famous statement from the movie about Hitler when his occupying troops had to withdraw from Paris was “Is Paris Burning?”
Hitler had ordered all the landmarks including Notre Dame to be blown up and the city left on fire and in ruins. The order was never carried out.
In fact there were times in French History that the destruction of Notre Dame was wanted to be accomplished. The Emperor Napoleon saved it one time.
As a historian and a Catholic the video of the historic Cathedral was heart wrenching. There were many things going through my mind at the time. Part of which was as a firefighter. The photographs were taken from so far away that there was very little shown of the 400 firefighters that were working to save the structure.
You have to realize that not only was a historic structure being destroyed but that the surrounding buildings had to be protected. It was mentioned by more than one reporter that you could feel the heat from their location as the fire went on.
I thought of the words that Jesus had said “that I will tear down the temple and in three days build it back up.” (that might not be the exact phrase but it is what I recall)
The City of Paris and Europe in general has lost their faith and the fact that the major countries in Europe have been invaded by millions of refugees has had another major change in the society that once was.
Then you have to also remember that the amount of terrorism in the country gives suspicion of the possibility of the fire being intentional. The fact that over a dozen historic churches and cathedrals have been set on fire in the last year makes this look suspicious. One authority has said that it has not been mentioned about a suspicion of arson because they don’t want 5.3 million people rioting in the streets.
If you imagined that you saw Satan dancing in the flames you would be in the company of many others. But look at what has been done by this tragedy. Millions of people from around the world are joining in a new solidarity to rebuild the cathedral. Thousands prayed and sang as the fire continued.
The faith renewed by so many who heroically went into the sanctuary and saved so many priceless artifacts, artworks, and relics. For those who may have cheered at the loss so many more were inspired by it. What Satan dances in joy at will be turned around and achieve more good and he will be defeated.
No matter what the origin the good will outweigh the bad. Faith has been rekindled in many that were lost or just lukewarm in their faith.
During Holy Week there is destruction, sorrow, resurrection and renewal. This tragedy will serve the best in people, a nation, and a faith.