When fire ravaged Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019, Catholics worldwide prayed to God to spare the cathedral. Our Lord and the Blessed Mother listened to these pleas as firefighters won the battle against the flames and averted a total destruction of the famous shrine.
Now, another danger threatens the historic church. Those involved in the interior restoration of the cathedral are proposing changes that will “modernize” the areas of worship into what some are calling a “politically correct Disneyland.”
The French-based cultural campaign, Avenir de la Culture, has just released an open letter to Paris’s Archbishop Laurent Ulrich asking the prelate to spare the cathedral’s interior from a radical modernization that will destroy what the flames did not consume.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) joins with Avenir de la Culture, a campaign of its French sister TFP, in calling for the scuttling of this disastrous plan.
When modernized plans for the outside rebuilding circulated after the fire, the two TFPs circulated a petition collecting over 137,000 signatures imploring the government, the secular owner of the cathedral, not to destroy the face of this traditional landmark. The French president backed down, and the exterior of Notre Dame is being rebuilt identically.
However, the interior redesign is in the hands of the Paris archdiocese. In the fall of 2020, disturbing rumors about plans to radically change the interior layout began filtering down.
“Computer-generated photos give the impression of an airport runway or even a parking lot,” wrote Le Figaro at the time. “It’s as if Disneyland were entering Notre Dame,” denounced architect Maurice Culot in the British The Daily Telegraph. Architects with access to the project plans mention a “discovery trail” featuring a journey to Africa and Asia, projected texts in different languages on the walls, mediocre exhibitions and a chapel dedicated to ecology.
Far from denying the rumors, the Paris archdiocese has publicly mentioned working with contemporary artists whose views and works do not reflect Christianity.
In response to the interior “wreckovation,” the two TFPs organized a second petition asking that the cathedral be spared. They collected 126,738 new signatures.
To date, there has been no response to the appeal. Instead, refusing all dialogue, the archdiocese perseveres in its plan to desecrate Notre Dame. The stunning silence prompted Avenir de la Culture’s president José A. Ureta to issue an open letter to the archbishop imploring him to renounce a “modernization” of Notre Dame that would break with almost a millennium of Christianity. This document was also sent to all the French bishops and the parish priests of the Paris archdiocese.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) joins with its French sister organization since it cannot remain silent when one of Christianity’s most emblematic shrines is threatened with irreparable disfigurement.
The French entity invites those who wish to support this open letter to add their signatures at this link (use a browser to translate into English).
Photo Credit: © Martina – stock.adobe.com