Challenged by the storms of the modern world, Notre Dame Cathedral still calls us to Fidelity
On Friday, the 7th of June, TFP went out to collect more signatures for the international petition asking President Macron and Minister of Culture Franck Riester to restore the Notre-Dame identically as before. This petition has received more than 100,000 signatures.
A young preoccupied girl leaves the Parisian subway station Pasteur and chances upon the members of the TFP on campaign. Their fluttering red standard and capes in the strong wind capture her attention.
“You may be wondering what we are doing here…?” a smiling member of TFP asks her politely. Learning about the whole issue of rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral, she gladly signs the petition addressed to Mr. Macron.
A young man on his skates shows the same reaction, he stops to gaze in awe at the golden lion on the red banner in the sun, flapping in the harsh wind of this afternoon.
“Notre Dame Cathedral is a jewel of Christianity! It must not be denatured. This is about our national identity and the future of our culture!”, is one of the repeated slogans coming through the megaphones of the campaigners.
They have brought a large banner that is almost carried away by the strong gusts of wind. Opposite, the big standard hovers above the scene and a young soldier who is talking with them for a long time, exclaims “it must not fall down”.
The slogans continue: “Tradition, Family, Property: A spiritual crusade in defense of the immortal ideals of the Christian Civilization! Catholic youth in the service of France and her Christian heritage.”
The position of the young public regarding the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral is very clear. In fact, an Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting poll for Franceinfo shows that 68% of the youth wants to keep the spire as it was.
Unforeseen controversy among passers-by arises, for example between two friends who walk away from the campaign strongly opposed on the style that the future spire should have. During the previous campaign, a husband had ended the discussion with his wife amusingly, saying, “Look, you just divided my family!”
Some young people asked for additional leaflets to distribute among their friends. Others wanted to reproach us but left after some fruitless attempts. Another one confided to us after signing: “The youth stands behind you.”
A few steps further, a troika of dinosaurs tries to distribute a weekly, formerly daily newspaper called L’Humanité, in vain. More modern minds and tastes were also expressed, like one woman who immediately declared: “I will not sign. I want a modern spire. I am divorced, remarried and I go to Communion with a clear conscience!” (which actually is quite consistent: when we think we can break free from moral constraints; we may as well break free from those of aesthetics).
Notre Dame Cathedral continues to call out to us in the face of the present-day “storms”, therefore they try to disfigure her. The coherence of its style and its architectural harmony, its unity composed of so many perfections conserving charm and grandeur, symbolizes the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her statue under the rose window in the middle of the facade, with Adam on her right and Eve on her left, reminds us of the sentence that God flung at the devil at the gates of Paradise: “I will put enmity between you and the Woman, between your seed and her seed. "