By Olivia Pierson
[First published on Incite 17/4/19]
In the year of our Lord 2019, a whole slew of vandalism and disgusting desecrations have been taking place in Christian churches throughout France: twelve in one week, to be precise.
Today, to our absolute horror, we are watching Notre Dame Cathedral burn. The sadness at seeing a magnificent 850-year-old monument to Christian civilisation ruined is palpable around the entire Western world.
In the midst of this terrible fire, while watching large tongues of flame lick up into the night sky, mainstream media commentators are putting forth the view that this is ‘probably accidental’ due to the renovations taking place in the tinder-dry roof of the wooden cathedral.
In the ubiquitous commentaries, there is no mention of this year’s now commonplace vandalism on other French churches, including Paris’s second largest church, St Sulpice, which burst into flames on March 17th and was ruled as an arson attack.
The month of February saw the Church of Notre Dame des Enfants in Nimes desecrated after “intruders” smeared faeces on the wall in the form of a cross and then stuck hosts on it.
In Lavaur, the altar cloth was set on fire in Saint Alain Cathedral and beautiful old statues of saints were smashed and scattered across the floor.
The St Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, Yvelines had its Virgin Mary toppled and smashed.
Though an investigation into the fire of Notre Dame is about to be launched, it would almost be an exercise in naivety at this stage to not see a connection to these other unholy desecrations. But will the French media be truthful? The commonplace vandalism so far has given us no clue as to who the perpetrators are or why they commit such desecrations against landmarks of Christian culture.
The greatest romantic novelist of the 19th Century, Victor Hugo, felt so strong a love for Notre Dame Cathedral that he wrote his famous book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, to save it from wanton neglect. For Hugo, the Cathedral was a sentient character which, throughout the tragic story, lived and breathed as a representation of humanity itself. At the story’s climax, Notre Dame burns:
"All eyes were raised to the top of the church. They beheld there an extraordinary sight. On the crest of the highest gallery, higher than the central rose window, there was a great flame rising between the two towers with whirlwinds of sparks, a vast, disordered, and furious flame, a tongue of which was borne into the smoke by the wind, from time to time. Below that fire, below the gloomy balustrade with its trefoils showing darkly against its glare, two spouts with monster throats were vomiting forth unceasingly that burning rain, whose silvery stream stood out against the shadows of the lower façade."
Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Whether it be accident or arson, today this great symbol of the heart of Paris is on life support after Hugo took such pains to resurrect the glory of Notre Dame Cathedral by writing his powerful novel. Were he alive today, he would be weeping with his fellow Parisians at its tragic demise.
If you enjoyed this article, please buy my book "Western Values Defended: A Primer"
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