We all watched in disbelief yesterday as the great cathedral walls endured the flames. This morning on CNN I’m hearing that the interior is somewhat salvaged… at least, some choice icons, and the like.
But still, I think it is important to remember that a church, no matter how lovely and historic, is primarily a vehicle for the Holy Spirit.
When I go to Mass it’s not because I love stained glass windows, statues and organ music. True, the aesthetic can augment the overall experience. But the peripherals mean nothing if we don’t experience the living Christ.
I wonder how many secular art and culture buffs really get this?
Yes, it had great art but the art came from the faith and the faith lives on, gloriously.
~ Cardinal Thomas Collins, CP24.
Meanwhile, some fundamentalists, especially those horrified with the sex abuse and other Catholic scandals, will no doubt cherry pick the following passage from the New Testament Acts 7: 48-53, claiming that God willed this event in order to chastise sinful Catholics.
Even a Catholic priest just said on CNN “this is a metaphor” for how the church is in tatters today, stressing that physical and spiritual destruction happens but we can always rebuild and renew.
One thing seems certain. God did permit it. And in keeping with mainstream theology, I believe it must be for some greater good as St. Irenaeus (130 -202 CE) and later John Hick (1922 -2012) believed.
But we can’t say what that greater good is. We’re just human. Not God.