Tags: Religion | cardinal | timothy dolan | new york | notre dame | cathedral | fire

Cardinal Dolan to Parisians: New York Unites With You

cardinal dolan speaks at a lectern
Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 April 2019 05:53 PM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, expressed his condolences for the people of Paris as a devastating fire engulfed the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday.

"The people of New York unite with you and the citizens of Paris in sorrow," Dolan said outside St. Patrick's Cathedral. "This Holy Week teaches us that, like Jesus, death brings life. Today's dying, we trust, will bring rising."

Holy Week, the busiest and most important period of the liturgical year, started Sunday. Easter is this Sunday.

The fire began at 6:50 p.m. local time Monday and continued to burn hours later. A French firefighter told reporters the main structure of the cathedral has been saved, along with the two iconic main towers, though flames caused a 315-foot spire to topple over.

A spokesperson for the cathedral described the damage to French media as "colossal."

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," the spokesperson said.

The catastrophic fire engulfed the upper reaches of Paris' soaring Notre Dame Cathedral as it was undergoing renovations, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast from the streets below.

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages as well as one of the most beloved structures in the world. Situated on the Ile de la Cite, an island in the Seine river, the cathedral's architecture is famous for, among other things, its many gargoyles and its iconic flying buttresses.

Dolan said he was grateful no one was reported injured, "but you worry about the devastation inside. The outside of the cathedral is very, very important, but it's what happens inside; the prayer, the worship, the love and the community, the sacred art and the objects of devotion, and that's got to be terribly distraught. It's sad."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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The archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, expressed his condolences for the people of Paris as a devastating fire Monday engulfed the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral.
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Monday, 15 April 2019 05:53 PM
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