TORONTO — The Archbishop of Toronto says the destruction today of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is both tragic and sad.
Thomas Cardinal Collins says the centuries-old church represents the presence of God and the spirit of the human heart.
He says a cathedral is meant to be a sign of beauty that leads to truth and goodness.
Collins also says the destruction has affected everyone in the world because of its history and magnificence.
The archbishop points out that this is the holiest time of the year for Christians.
As a result, he calls Monday’s tragedy most poignant.
“All round the world, all of us feel a certain sadness in our hearts at the thought of the people of Paris losing not only such an astonishing most beautiful cathedral in the world, but their cathedral,” Collins said. “It is their church.”
The fire apparently erupted Monday in the roof of the medieval church, which was undergoing a major restoration. Flames and smoke could be seen engulfing the structure, with the spire collapsing into the church. The cause of the fire remains unclear.
Collins said he didn’t expect any type of special mass in light of the Notre Dame burning down. That’s because the cathedral is bricks, stone and mortar that is beautiful and significant, but of most importance is the “suffering, death, and resurrection of the Lord.”
The archbishop said the Notre Dame is an “astonishingly important” place.
The Canadian Press