Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
A terrible loss for France and Humanity. I visited Notre Dame in May 2004 . I have been to many English, German, Dutch Cathedrals, but this one was special. Back then I was overwhelmed by the history, architecture, art, and the possibilities yet flaws of humanity and Catholicism.
While some artwork had been removed due to the renovation, so much architecture, and history of 800 plus years was destroyed. One does not have to be a Catholic or French to understand this. In my bad French I say “Mes amis français, mon cœur s’adresse à vous” (My French friends, my heart goes out to you.)
This cathedral is one of the most historic and iconic works of Gothic architecture. The spire, The towers, and the flying buttresses. I am so glad that my undergraduate Western Civilization professor, Delmar McComb at San Joaquin Delta College spent the time to help me appreciate such works of architecture and art. I wish more people in this country would come to a greater appreciation of such wonderful aged, and priceless works. Instead we fill our world with gaudy and banal buildings that will not stand the test of time, buildings like Trump Tower.
Victor Hugo wrote.
The church of Notre-Dame de Paris is still no doubt, a majestic and sublime edifice. But, beautiful as it has been preserved in growing old, it is difficult not to sigh, not to wax indignant, before the numberless degradations and mutilations which time and men have both caused the venerable monument to suffer, without respect for Charlemagne, who laid its first stone, or for Philip Augustus, who laid the last.
On the face of this aged queen of our cathedrals, by the side of a wrinkle, one always finds a scar. Tempus edax, homo edacior; which I should be glad to translate thus: time is blind, man is stupid.
I will close with that.