Notre Dame Cathedral Restoration is Going Woke

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.

notre dame

Inside Notre Dame, before the fire. Credit: erin/flickr/CC BY 2.0.

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.

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.

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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Featured image: manhhai/flickr/cropped/CC BY 2.0.

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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

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  • Maureen S. OBrien says:

    “Wreckovation” is the usual term for this kind of nastiness/foolishness in church renovations. Sometimes it’s malicious attacks on Christian doctrine; sometimes it’s people who have anti-taste; and sometimes it’s people who just can’t leave well enough alone.

    In this case, when the entire cathedral was conceived of as one entire artwork to the glory of God, and has been acknowledged as a glory of human art and architecture for centuries, it’s even more ridiculous and appalling than usual.

  • Scott says:

    Francis has done to the Papacy what Pudding Cup is doing to the Presidency… (and neither one is a real Catholic!)

  • Nolan Parker says:

    Build Back Better..

  • Micha Elyi says:

    The Government of France took over Notre Dame ages ago. Catholics are only permitted the use of Notre Dame at the pleasure of the secular contra-Christian French State.

    By the way, much the same happened in the USA when Protestants surrendered their community schools to the State. The State turned those schools into centers of unChristian secular indoctrination. So-called Critical Race Theory (CRT) is but the latest example of the State perverting what should be local institutions of learning, socialization, and acculturation.

  • Deborah B. says:

    I lived in Paris for a year and Notre Dame was my parish church. Visitors came to see an ancient beautiful place of homage to God. The renovation seems to be a vanity project of men who will soon enough return to the earth . While some may deplore that these wonderful houses of God belong to the state, they are considered national treasures and monuments worthy of preservation and protection. As such they belong to the people of France.
    I am praying that these same people will rise up against this nonsense and remind these churchmen that they are stewards not the owners. Disney has a park already outside of Paris.

  • Gary says:

    Either restore this Cathedral to it’s original Grandeur, or destroy it to the last stone–there is NO ROOM to inject woke or any other blasphemy into it’s character in the restoration.

  • Cameron says:

    This is what happens when you start thinking that killing heretics is a bad thing.

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