About #NotreDame and the fire and the altar. Just sayin’…

Well… not quite.

Now… if they happen to have to remove that horrid thing for the sake of the renovation, I guess that would be okay.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. taylorhall95 says:

    The last photo you shared with the free-standing altar still there was from last night. The first two photos that seem to show its collapse were from earlier today. Chances are, more of the burned out roof feel to the floor and crushed the free-standing altar.

  2. JARay says:

    I see that the famous organ of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll is intact. What a wonderful organ it is. The French organs are notable because they have huge 16foot reed pipes which emit a glorious rasping deep note unlike the classic German 16ft diapason pipes which although deep have a clear pipe sound. I love the deep rasping sound of the French organ.

  3. Kenneth Wolfe says:

    Here are a few photos of the beautiful altar and the new table.

  4. Father G says:

    The free standing is indeed under the rubble.
    Here is a photo of the modern altar: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/The_modern_altar_at_Notre_Dame.jpg

    You’ll notice the front of the altar has four “blockhead” figures.
    Now, zoom in to this higher res photo of the rubble: https://storage.googleapis.com/afs-prod/media/media:96f68a2ce104497ca1db226e86083087/2000.jpeg

    You’ll see the edge of the altar and one of those “blockheads” peeking out.
    The freestanding altar is severely damaged.

  5. Clinton R. says:

    I can just hear it now…..Father, Father!!, you say that about the altar because you hate Vatican II!!! I too, Father would not mind if the Cranmer table, er altar would be absent after the renovation.

  6. jaykay says:

    The rubble covering it looks better.

    But I think they’ll probably want to restore that… ummm, artefact … assuming it hasn’t totally melted down. Nevertheless, it was a consecrated Altar, albeit I think the designer and those who commissioned it had serious problems.

  7. makreitzer says:

    As they say, “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.” In this case the fire and roof collapse destroyed a modern monstrosity. Thank you, Lord, for preserving the beautiful statue of our Queen with Your Precious Body. May this tragedy bring many back to the faith!

  8. mburn16 says:

    New Altar looks like a solid block of stone, yes? Or was it all metal?

  9. MaHrad says:

    Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to ever have visited Notre Dame (actually any of Europe, someday perhaps). However, since I had never seen the freestanding altar in pictures until now, I can say that it could definitely be omitted in the renovation. I can’t believe someone thought that looked good in there. The whole rest of the cathedral is gothic, why would someone put that in there? It makes it look out of place and extra ugly with the beauty surrounding it. There’s a perfectly good altar that has been there since the beginning, just use it. It boggles my mind.

  10. JustaSinner says:

    Fire: God’s cleansing!

  11. GM Thobe says:

    Something similar happened recently in Malta. Coincidence or providence? You decide.


  12. Fr. W says:

    Is that big gold cross really original, or was that added recently?

  13. Kathleen10 says:

    Near our home a gas explosion blew everything out of a Catholic Church and property except one object, the statue of Our Lady next to the church. Debris was blown at least 30 to 40 feet away, but not at her, she was untouched, it went right around her, though she was right there, 15 feet away. People drove from all around to see it. It was recognized generally as something supernatural.
    To realize in this case that is the one place the roof fell, on that table. My goodness. There are signs all over the place.

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    Excuse me, as I recall it was an Orthodox Church.

  15. Charles E Flynn says:


    It might have been St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church:

    Church destroyed in blast

    COLCHESTER — There were no injuries in the explosion that leveled St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on Linwood Avenue on Friday morning.
    JOSH MROZINSKI Published 12:00 am EDT, Saturday, September 11, 2004

    The cause of the explosion, is still under investigation authorities said. Although the church was destroyed, the occupants of the rectory, 50 feet to the right of the church, and a statue of the Virgin Mary, which stands between the church and the rectory, escaped unscathed.


  16. Father G says:

    @Fr. W,

    The cross is not original.
    Here is a photograph of the cathedral sanctuary dated November 1970 and the cross is not present: https://img2.tgcom24.mediaset.it/binary/fotogallery/ipa/13.$plit/C_2_fotogallery_3093660_61_image.jpg?20181228073910
    When it was added, I do not know.

  17. BrionyB says:

    It’s certainly powerful symbolism!

    Could this be because the apse was designed to give the greatest honour (and hence, whether intentionally or coincidentally, the greatest protection) to the high altar, whereas the freestanding one was just stuck out rather randomly in the nave?

    Let’s hope someone takes the hint when planning the restoration. Aside from anything else, those modern table or block-style altars look so jarring and out of place in such a setting. Aesthetic sensibility alone should be reason enough to get rid of them.

  18. aiello01 says:

    The image of the cross standing bright at the altar, and everything else blackened and charred, says it all. It is a metaphor for what our priorities should be in Christianity.

Comments are closed.