COLORADO SPRINGS: Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the 17th century, burned this week. Even before its embers were out, reporters re-telling the historic event. And they are emphasizing a benign explanation for one of the world’s most destructive fires.
However, It matters whether the fire was set by terrorists or by a careless restorer. Moreover, nefarious explanations of the fire are already being blacked out.
Attacking Western Civilization
Those in charge seemingly are sending a message that when an iconic symbol of Western Civilization burns, we are to remain silent. We must not speak of it. We must not knit together facts.
As many see Western Civilization under attack, we are told to, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
There’s nothing to see here, folks. Just move along.
And many comply. We remain silent lest we are accused of harboring mad conspiracy theories.
In America, it is a time of hurt feelings, “fairness,” and political correctness superseding free speech. When facts are unpleasant, they must be dispatched. Feelings win out, curiosity remains unsatisfied.
And this week, as an iconic symbol of Western Civilization is destroyed, we are to remain silent.
And yet, there are certain pesky facts underlying the Notre Dame tragedy.
A March 21, 2019 article in Newsweek written by Brendan Cole features this headline: “Catholic Churches Are Being Desecrated Across France – and Officials Don’t Know Why.”
One must ask, do they not know why, or are they simply refusing to know why. Are they turning a blind eye to the destruction? Are they ignoring undesirable information?
According to Cole,
“France has seen a spate of attacks against Catholic churches since the start of the year, vandalism that has included arson and desecration. Vandals have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist and torn down crosses, sparking fears of a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment in the country.”
“The historic Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was set on fire, which police have confidently attributed to arson. Built in the 17th century, St. Sulpice houses three works by the Romantic painter Eugene de la Croix, and was used in the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown.”
“Last month, at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, in north-central France, a statue of the Virgin Mary was found smashed, and the altar cross had been thrown on the ground, according to La Croix International, a Catholic publication.”
“Also,” he continues, “in February, at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, in south-central France, an altar cloth was burned, and crosses and statues of saints were smashed. The attack prompted Lavaur Mayor Bernard Canyon to say in a statement: ‘God will forgive. Not me.’”
“In the southern city of Nimes, near the Spanish border, vandals looted the altar of the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants (Our Lady of the Children) and smeared a cross with human excrement.”
“Consecrated hosts made from unleavened bread, which Catholics believe to be the body of Jesus Christ, were taken and found scattered among rubbish outside the building.”
“Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes said in a statement: ‘This greatly affects our diocesan community. The sign of the cross and the Blessed Sacrament have been the subject of serious injurious actions.’”
“‘This act of profanation hurts us all in our deepest convictions,’ he added, according to The Tablet, which reported that in February alone there had been a record 47 documented attacks on churches and religious sites.”
Churches and cathedrals are living, standing evidence of the rise of European civilization, with its roots embodied in Roman Catholicism and Christianity. These religious structures are repositories not only of religious observances, but also of history, culture, art, architecture, and music.
Notre-Dame de Paris, “Our Lady of Paris,” dates from 1160, when construction began, and its completion in 1260. A medieval cathedral, Notre Dame sits on the Ile de la Cite in Paris’s 4th arrondissement neighborhood. It is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.
Its innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, it’s enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of the sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style.
Notre Dame’s place in history
The cathedral was desecrated in the 1790s during the French Revolution when its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In 1804, the cathedral was the site of the Coronation of Napoleon I, as Emperor of France. Notre Dame witnessed the baptism of Henri, Count of Chambord in 1921. As well as the funerals of several presidents of the Third French Republic.
As one of the most widely recognized symbols of Paris and the French nation, Notre Dame is a repository of history. The cathedral embodies the French identity:
“Liberte, equalite, fraternite.”
For anyone who would deny France’s rich history, traditions, and religion, a strong message must be sent:
“Do not trample on our traditions, do not dishonor our history, do not disrespect the French heritage.”
For those who would destroy free speech and the exercise of religion; To those who would invade and alter European culture and tradition, the world, speaking in one voice must say “Arrete!”
Moreover, to those who would look the other way, who willfully refuse to observe evil, much less do something about it, there should be no quarter.
To “See no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil,” is to succumb to it.
History has taught us many lessons, the most salient of which is that to remain silent in the face of evil is to cede to it an undeserved power.Let Notre Dame stand as a reminder to all.
If you see something, say something. Preserve civilized culture. Do not desecrate artifacts of those who came before. Civilization is built upon these forebearers. We must honor them. We must look to them for guidance.
Vandalism, wherever it occurs, should not be tolerated. We must “Hear evil, see evil, and speak out against evil.”