I am not a conspiracy theorist. But something about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire doesn’t quite add up.
Whilst the fire was still burning yesterday we were confidently informed by the Paris authorities that it was not arson. The finger of suspicion was being pointed at the ongoing renovation work which somehow set off the fire. So we were told.
But the cause of the fire was not known and no investigation had been undertaken. After all, the Cathedral was still on fire. The building was about to collapse.
France has some of the toughest health and safety regulations in the world. The French people are famously anal about fire safety. And this is true of just regular buildings. Imagine the precautions and preparations that must have been taken to ensure the safety of an 800 year old building!
Consider: Notre Dame has survived unscathed during two world wars, a Revolution, countless religious and civil conflicts, and has never suffered a catastrophic event like this before. In 2019!
And for centuries the only lighting in the Cathedral was from thousands of lighted candles.
How could a fire just happen (“ooops” ) in our time with those famously tough fire safety regulations?
I have no proof it was arson. I am just speculating. But the narrative as given doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me.
And it gets worse:
Yesterday was the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week in the entire Christian calendar.
France has been hit by a series of attacks in recent months on prominent churches, some of them arson. It is not known who the culprits are.
maybe they are militant secularists
maybe they are a group of activists taking revenge on child abusing priests
maybe it is extremist Islamists
maybe it was some other individuals
I don’t know. Maybe we will never know the truth about the Notre Dame fire. But I am keeping all options open, even if the French authorities are not.
Categories: Uncategorized, Unpopular views
A Catholic who wants to remain anonymous wrote to me:
‘You also forgot to mention that the fire started in the evening at around 7PM. The French are notorious for their 35 hour work weeks so it’s unlikely that people were doing renovations at this hour. I think it’s the yellow vests. I’ve looked into other church burnings in France and they seem to be the culprits. However, I’ll have to wait until more evidence comes out to be sure.’
A Church of England priest I know here in London sent me his latest rant:
FATHER FRANK’S RANTS
Rant Number 813 16 April 19
NOTRE DAME: A CRIME OF UNREASON
‘I will rise again!’ If the ruined Cathedral of Notre Dame could speak, it would cry that out. Painful to see a glorious house of God go up in flames but, as the fatuous French President swears, Notre Dame will rise again. Resurrection – yes! – a suitable Easter proclamation, whether Macron realises it or not: Deus vult! God wills it.
Notre Dame has suffered worse indignities. On 10th November 1793, in the middle of the Terror unleashed by the French Revolution – note the original meaning of ‘terrorism’ – something horrendous happened. A prostitute was carried inside the temple stripped and devastated by the fanatic Sans Culottes terrorists. With mock pomp and circumstance the dancing whore was installed on the High Altar and hailed as the new deity: the Goddess Reason. The incarnation of a blasphemous cult that was to replace the Christian religion. Its high priest being the scoundrel and ruffian Jacques Hebert, an atheist agitator committed to rooting out the ancestral faith of the French people. His vile figure antagonised even Robespierre, whose own cult of ‘the Supreme Being’ drew the line at deifying a prostitute. But God is not mocked. Both Hebert and Robespierre suffered on the guillotine. Still, the godless sway of Reason – actually Unreason – mutated into novel, insidious forms.
Modernity, with rare exceptions, has tamed the Church. Christianity no longer poses a public threat to phoney goddesses like democracy, secularism, equality and condign superstitions. That is why the media are filled with voices blabbing regrets at the burning of Notre Dame. A bit odd how many commentators churn out anodyne words like ‘building’ and ‘monument’, eschewing the precise word ‘church’. (President Trump ineptly called Notre Dame ‘a museum’!) An idiotic Sky News female claimed that the Cathedral had escaped ‘Nazi gunfire’ – demonstrating her own ignorance. ‘Catholic’, ‘religion’, ‘Virgin Mary’, ‘prayer’ and ‘Mass’ are used sparingly. Yet those words capture the heart of what the media fear and loathe but what Notre Dame really means: not a mere architecture but a living faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Easter Uprising!
The High Altar which the French terrorist whore usurped and defiled is the seat of the great sacrifice of the Mass. The celebration of a historical and sacred fact which is continually repeated when the priest consecrates the bread and wine. The Sacrament of the Mass is indeed the vital strength of Catholicism. The Mass alone, as the theologian Paul Lagarde observed, makes Catholicism a religion worthy of its name. The human spirit cannot rest content with something that took place long ago on Calvary. That is why nostalgia, immersion in the past – be that of the timber and stones of a glorious church like Notre Dame – may degenerate into antiquarianism and sentimentality. The Mass, on the other hand, means the actual presence of God, the Divine, into the transformed heart and mind of the believer. Notre Dame Church is wounded but the eternal sacrifice of the Mass cannot be hurt. It goes on inside the faithful and it saves until the end of time, when the Lord will come.
Online some folks mutter of a conspiracy. The fire was started by ‘the usual suspects’…geddit?. They are already gloating about it on the social media. The authorities know the culprits’ identity but they are covering it up. No evidence of that thus far but, if it was true, would it matter? The votaries of the goddess Reason today are the followers of Unreason – the atheists who say that there is no God. The secularist advocates of the sharp separation between God and the State, when they don’t actually declare open war on the Creator. Methinks fellow monotheists are essential allies in the good fight, not enemies. Further, it is salutary to recall that the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom the Paris Cathedral is dedicated, is honoured and revered in the Qur’an. There are more verses in which the Virgin is mentioned in Islam’s holy book than in the New Testament.
Is it cynical to ask ‘cui bono’? Who benefits from the inferno? ‘President Macron’ is the obvious answer. The pipsqueak pro-American moderniser now plays the national unity card. Despite being lambasted by the popular revolt of the ‘gilets jaunes’, Manu Macron seeks to take advantage of the catastrophe to save his own political skin. Cheek! Hope the yellow vests refuse to be conned and tell him where to get off. France can do better than that. Napoleon Bonaparte, where are you when the nation needs you?
Back to Reason. The French revolutionaries branded religion, the Church as reactionary, feudal and obscurantist. Above all, irrational. ‘Ecrasez l’infame!’ Crush the infamous one, urged Voltaire, the precursor of all smug left-wing intellectuals. G.K. Chesterton, that fine Christian apologist, contended the opposite. In one of the Father Brown stories the priestly detective unmasks the villain Flambeau who has disguised himself as a fellow clergyman, engaging Fr Brown in a theological disquisition. ‘How do you know I wasn’t a priest?’ demands the villain after his arrest. ‘You attacked reason: it is bad theology’, Father Brown tersely replies. In other words, a true priest would defend rationality because: ‘Alone on earth the Church affirms that God himself is bound by reason’. Sound doctrine indeed! It is the God-deniers who are being irrational, not the other way around.
Technically, I am an Anglican. A Protestant. Still, it can’t be wrong to pray the Hail Mary prayer to Our Lady – Notre Dame – the Blessed Virgin Mother of The Saviour. So, in the words of the Angel Gabriel: ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee…’
Revd Frank Julian Gelli
//maybe it is extremist Islamists//
I just don’t like this term “Islamist”! What does it even mean? It began last century in French universities to describe muslims in general. Later it’s used for muslims who were agianst the imperialistic policy of France in North Africa!
//French Revolution – note the original meaning of ‘terrorism//
As if there has been an ‘original meaning’ for the word except to label muslims with!
Notre Dame, it was the stage for the first call to rage the the third crusade war against muslims!