Rebuild Notre Dame as a living church, not as a tourist attraction

The cathedral touches the longing for something more in all of us. It must be rebuilt to honour the reason it was built in the first place

 Notre Dame cathedral following the fire on  April 17th.  While Christians worldwide long for its  restoration, ultimately it will not have been saved at all if it becomes merely a ghost of a cathedral. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Notre Dame cathedral following the fire on April 17th. While Christians worldwide long for its restoration, ultimately it will not have been saved at all if it becomes merely a ghost of a cathedral. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

There is something moving about the response to the burning of Notre Dame. Many people felt distressed because part of our cultural heritage was being threatened, an irreplaceable building that spans an era from celestial stained glass to the selfie-stick, encompassing along the way everything from the whispered prayers of peasants to the coronation of kings and emperors.

For others it was personal – memories of precious times past, strolls along the Seine, the cathedral soaring and yet solid, seemingly indestructible.

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