Statement on the fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris On the morning of April 16, I was horrified by t […]
On the morning of April 16, I was horrified by the news of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris.
On behalf of the Catholic Church in Japan, I want to express our sympathy to Archbishop Aupetit and the Catholics of Paris, as well as to the Catholic Church and people of France.
This cathedral that celebrated its 850th anniversary in 2013 is a World Heritage Site because of its long history and artistic treasures such as its stained glass and organ, but above all it is an important symbol of the Catholic Church of France.
In Paris on November 13, 2015, there were many casualties caused by terrorism. Recently, it was announced that Notre Dame itself was being targeted by terrorists. In addition, protests against the government of President Macron have intensified. All this calls us to think more deeply about the size, complexity and severity of problems in the world.
There are many connections between Notre Dame and Japan. One of them is Paul Claudel who served as the ambassador of France to Japan, 1921-1927, and who is said to have received the grace of conversion to Catholicism in 1886 near a statue of the Blessed Mother in that cathedral. To see fire raging above that site was heartbreaking.
The Church of Japan shares the hope that there will be a thorough examination of the causes of the disaster and that restoration can be achieved soon. Praying to God through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, we offer our utmost support.