Even if such giants as Notre Dame Cathedral collapse fundamentally the centuries will cry out about them: Pastor of French Diocese of Armenian Church

19/04/2019 20:28

Even if such giants as Notre Dame Cathedral collapse fundamentally the centuries will cry out about them: Pastor of French Diocese of Armenian Church

On 15 April 2019 a fire broke out beneath the roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris. By the time it was extinguished fifteen hours later, the building's spire and roof had collapsed and its interior, upper walls, and windows had been severely damaged; even more extensive damage to the interior was prevented by its stone vaulted ceiling, which largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed. Many works of art and other treasures were evacuated early in the emergency, but many others were damaged or destroyed. The cathedral's two pipe organs, and its three 13th-century rose windows, suffered little or no damage.

The cathedral was undergoing renovations at the time of the fire, with some scrutiny fallen on the firms undertaking work on the 150-year-old spire, which collapsed Monday as the flames raged around it.

Paris prosecutors are investigating if an electrical short-circuit caused the fire that ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral.

Some Armenians were saying it was done by Turks as on April 22 St. Requiem Service was to be held there in the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Speaking to Aysor.am, pastor of the French Diocese of the Armenian Church Rev. Husik Sarsgsyan said, luckily the suffered losses are restorable and he, as a pastor, tries to be more optimistic and not get infected with presumption of deceit. Considering the circumstance that construction works were held in the cathedral he thinks it is a result of a working mistake.

To the comment that two days ago an attempt was made to burn St. Patrick temple in Manhattan and whether there is any commonality in these two cases, the pastor said, “You know, at present, every day the world wakes up from the "wrong leg", there are so many different movements filled with aggression and hatred and so many false ideologies that it is very difficult to understand where the inter-connections are. Personally I will prefer not to give any qualification to this issue,” the pastor said.

Rev. Husik Sargsyan said that all the roads taking to the cathedral are closed and are under strict control of the police. For already few days investigative works are being carried out to find out the cause and to understand the ways of restoration and architectural solutions.

The pastor said French President Emmanuel Macron promised to restore the cathedral in five years.

Huge sum and thorough work is necessary.

Asked whether in this case the loss is more spiritual or cultural and whether the restored cathedral will manage to preserve the interest toward it, or it has already lost the centuries-long biography and will become a new regular spiritual building, Rev. Sargsyan said, “Each church where prayers are voiced and God’s speech is being propagated is first of all spiritual value and only then architectural or cultural. Even if such giants as Notre Dame cathedral fundamentally collapse (God forbid), the centuries will cry out about them. Let us just remember Artemis temple and the story of notorious Herostratus. Believe me, after the restoration the “revived” cathedral will raise more interest. From the spiritual point of view the prayer mission will become more powerful here,” the pastor said.

He stressed that Notre Dame cathedral is part of world heritage and it is not only fixed in documents but in the hearts of peoples living in different corners of the world and in Armenia as well.

“The response was complete,” he said, asked how he assesses the response of the world and Armenia as well.

“As you know from the very first day an account has been opened for restoration of the cathedral. The local government has facilitated the procedure of donations (the 75% will be paid them back in the form of discounted taxes). A rather big sum has already been gathered and, for sure, thousands of Armenians are among the donators. With the call of the Primate of the French Diocese of the Armenian Church Archbishop Vahan Hovhannisyan with joint efforts, devotion and prayers Armenians will again have an opportunity to gather under the auspices of St. Mary for the St. Requiem service dedicated the Armenian Genocide anniversary,” Rev Sargsyan said.

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