Notre Dame Cathedral Restoration is Going Woke
Notre Dame Cathedral Restoration is Going Woke
People from around the world watched in horror as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned in 2019. Whether you were Catholic or not didn’t seem to matter. Lovers of history and resplendent Gothic architecture prayed that the nearly 900-year old edifice would somehow survive the blaze.
She did survive, however. And now, two years after the fire, Notre Dame is slowly returning to its once-glorious splendor. Restoration experts are undertaking enormous efforts to even utilize original stone work, as you can see in this video from earlier this year:
Ah, but this being the Age of Woke and Correctness, parts of the restoration will include some rather less-than-spiritual aspects. As one Parisian architect expressed:
“It’s as if Disney were entering Notre-Dame.”
“What they are proposing to do to Notre-Dame would never be done to Westminster Abbey or Saint Peter’s in Rome. It’s a kind of theme park and very childish and trivial given the grandeur of the place.”
So while renovators are painstakingly restoring the most damaged areas to their original state, some parts of the cathedral will become an “experimental showroom.” These new proposals will do away with traditional confessional boxes, altars, and classical structures. Instead visitors and the faithful will be treated to modern art murals and special effects intended to create “emotional spaces.”
But that’s not all. Visitors will go on a “discovery trail” by visiting 14 chapels. Eight of them will depict Genesis, Exodus, Abraham, and the the Prophets, but they’ll also see chapels that emphasize the five continents. There will also be Bible verses projected on walls in various languages, including Chinese Mandarin.
The final chapel on the “trail” will have an emphasis on environmentalism, and will be called “reconciled creation.” Of course that’s a hat tip to Pope Francis, who set forth an encyclical promoting environmentalism.
Christian Rousselot, the director-general of the Notre Dame Foundation, explained the project this way:
“This trail going from North to South from the shadow to the light will depict the major moments of the Bible to explain in the most intelligible to common mortals, whether Chinese or Swedish, what it all means.”
In other words, Christianity for Dummies.
But if this reminds you of Epcot Center at Disney World, you’re not alone. Catholic Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo has the same thoughts. He also points out — correctly — that Notre Dame is about the “transcendent experience of the eternal.” Not a theme park experience.
People do not travel to Notre Dame to experience an Epcot exhibit. They crave a transcendent experience of the eternal. The beauty of the architecture and it’s cry of faith IS the draw. Restore the Cathedral, don’t reimagine it. https://t.co/Q5AMyTb58I
— Raymond Arroyo (@RaymondArroyo) November 26, 2021
Another critic, who is close to the renovation, told the British Daily Mail:
“This is political correctness gone mad. They want to turn Notre-Dame into an experimental liturgical showroom. . .”
The Twitter account @Not_the_Bee says that if the renovators think these changes will bring people to Christ, then they really didn’t think this through.
Architecture matters: Why the revised plans for Notre-Dame Cathedral will make the world an uglier place and lead fewer souls to Christ https://t.co/4OVEEg6qLz
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) November 26, 2021
On top of all this, the proposed renovation will take place in areas of the cathedral which had sustained little damage by the fire.
What in the world are these people thinking?
Now I’m neither Catholic nor of French heritage, so I have no particular adherence to Notre Dame. It’s not even on my bucket list (although, if those stupid Covid restrictions ever subside, my goal is to tour Great Britain, including its Christian sites. And maybe a pub or two). But I know that Notre Dame’s medieval architects designed her to give glory to God, and to Him alone. Not to faraway lands, nor to the peoples who inhabit them. And certainly not to the environment, which has now become its own religion.
That’s not to say that Christians should ignore those who live in faraway places; my own Lutheran church hosts missionaries and radio outreach around the world. In fact, the kids who attend our parochial school learn the importance of spreading the Gospel to “all nations.” Sometimes they’ll work on art projects that focus on those mission fields, too.
But the school doesn’t display them in the sanctuary. Instead you can see the art in hallways, or in commons areas, or in the narthex outside the sanctuary. We’re to look to the Holy Trinity within sacred spaces.
Political correctness dressed in Christian garb doesn’t bring people to the faith. And focusing the chapels of Notre Dame on multiculturalism and the environment instead of God is a shameful misuse of places which should remain holy.
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