Bishop Robert Barron describes Notre Dame blaze as “a real personal loss for me”

Episcopal Vicar of Santa Barbara Pastoral Region spent three years studying in Paris and lived blocks away from Notre Dame, where he once gave tours to English speakers

It was in the car somewhere between Santa Barbara and downtown Los Angeles that Bishop Robert Barron got the news that the legendary Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris had caught fire. 

“It is heartrending,” Barron said in an interview with Angelus News just before the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels April 15. 

As a young priest studying for a doctorate in theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris, Barron spent three years in the French capital and lived blocks away from Notre Dame. He even gave tours of the cathedral to English speakers on Wednesdays. 

Notre Dame Cathedral burns on April 15, 2019. “The beautiful speaks to us of God. When something beautiful like Notre Dame is destroyed, something is deeply hurt in us too” -Bishop Barron. (screenshot from Archdiocese of Los Angeles YouTube video)

“Notre Dame just meant the world to me,” said Barron. “I went there practically every day when I first moved to Paris, so I feel a very personal connection.”

Barron explained that he has a particular attachment to the cathedral’s north rose window, which he calls a “very important and powerful spiritual symbol” for him. 

Barron also noted while the rest of the world mourned the disturbing images, young Parisians were singing hymns to the cathedral’s patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  

“I can’t help but think, might [Monday’s tragedy] awaken within the French people and the people of Europe a deeper sense of connection to the Christian faith–the faith that made that building possible?” Barron wondered out loud. “Will the loss of it awaken in people a reappreciation of the faith? My hope is yes.”

Full story at Angelus News.

Comments

  1. Boo hoo. So the bishop is the latest to pile on and add pointless commentary, using a world event to promote himself. No, Bishop, the fire won’t awaken anything in the French people. Don’t you have a movie review to write?

    • Dear Anonymous… your remarks appear to be uncharitable. I was very moved by Bishop Barron’s remarks. Bishop Barron, as a young priest studied for his doctorate in theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris, spent three years in the French capital and lived blocks away from Notre Dame. He even gave tours of the cathedral to English speakers. Anonymous, have you no compassion for Bishop Barron’s thoughts and prayers for his precious Notre Dame. I’m sure Our Lady is very pleased by Bishop Barron’s heartfelt remembrances and thoughts. God love and bless you Bishop Barron. We are all praying for Notre Dame’s building restoration and a revival of a true love for the Christian faith .With Our Lady all things are possible and I am…

      • I think the poster has a point that a lot of people used the news about Notre Dame burning to call attention to themselves. Do they really need to write about themselves and what they did at or in the cathedral? Did their posts about themselves add anything informative to the developing story? The problem with the internet/blog/tweet/facebook social media culture nowadays is that semi-celebrities and wannabe celebrities feel a need to get on top of every new development so they can be “first” or perceived as relevant and market their personal brand. No, we don’t need a “human interest element” added to the story.

  2. Notre Dame de Paris was of such beauty that it inspired many of us to prayer; thousands came and lit votive candles. I still cannot convince myself this Holy Week was a simple accident. Last month, March, Saint Sulplice, the second largest church in Paris was almost burned down by arson. In 2018 there were 870 attacks on Catholic Chirches in France, usually by the Religion of Peace.

  3. Anonymous says

    Anonymous, I am praying today that your hardened heart will be softened by the graces from Our Blessed Mother and that you will repent of your hateful comments toward Bp. Barron. How do you know that no one in France will be awakened by this event??? With God, nothing is impossible..

  4. I am another “Anonymous.” Everyone noticed that the centuries-old, beautiful, traditional High Altar in the beloved Note Dame Cathedral, was still intact, after the horrific fire — but the tall spire crashed down onto the modern Vatican II “table: altar”— not as hard to replace… and the beautiful north rose window was left intact… Well, I cried when I saw the heart-breaking “Pieta” statue and cross, shown many times on TV, after the fire! Well, Bishop Barron, please give us all at least a “video tour” of the beautiful, new Notre Dame Cathedral, when she rises from her ashes! Ave, Maria! My heart can’t wait!

    • Right. The Devil –with that falling spire–tried to destroy that altar, which I can almost detect you derisively tag as “modern Vatican II table”. By the way, from the pictures I saw, that “altar table” seems to be still intact. Thank God. I doubt that the centuries-old high altar would have survived an onslaught like that. Thank God it wasn’t the target.

      • jon Christ comes to us in the miracle of the Holy Eucharist, on all of His holy altars — the traditional High Altars, the Vatican II “table altars”– all of them. The term “table altar” is a common term for the Vatican II altar– it is not at all “derogatory”. It is a horror beyond belief, that the tall spire crashed down onto the Notre-Dame Cathedral floor, smashing the Vatican II altar, during the fire. At least the 12th century High Altar was spared— irreplaceable!

      • High Altar survived. Cramner “table” crushed.

    • Anonymous says

      The beautiful High Altar was consecrated on May 19, 1182. Can’t wait for the Cathedral to be totally repaired!

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