Notre Dame Cathedral

The Cathedral: Mirror of the West, Then and Now

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

The contemporary West is in an age not of builders but dismantlers. We topple statues by night and rename streets, squares, and buildings — now judged wanting by our postmodern, always metastasizing standards of race, class, and gender — to virtue-signal our angst over our preindustrial moral superiors. Most silently acknowledge that few of us could have endured the physical hardship, pain, or danger of guiding three tiny 15th-century caravels across the Atlantic or could have walked the length of California founding missions. Discovering the New World was difficult, but a dunce can topple Columbus’s statue. How many contemporary American monumental buildings will last for the next 800 years?

In rebuilding Notre Dame, Europe can renew its soul

Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner

The horrid fire at Notre Dame draws attention not just to the building but to its purpose. As people around the world rush to donate money for its reconstruction, a task French President Emmanuel Macron promises to complete within five years, they ought to realize that a cathedral’s worth lies not in its physical characteristics but in its other-directed meaning. God is quite literally wonder-full, and worthy of the most grand and beautiful tribute that human ingenuity and artfulness can create. Rebuilding Notre Dame should not be an act of mere engineering. It should be a renewing, and renewable, act of deepest faith.

Notre Dame’s collapse — and the loss of what it stood for

Rich Lowry, New York Post

Notre Dame stands for so many qualities that we now lack — patience and staying power, the cultivation of beauty, a deep­religious faith, a cultural confidence and ambition that could create a timeless monument of our civilization — that the collapse of its spire was almost too much to bear. It was the work of generations, completed over the course of 300 years, in a triumph over considerable architectural and logistical challenges. Notre Dame has been thoughtfully restored and preserved over the years, to our credit. But it’s difficult not to discern a distressing message in the wanton destruction that ravaged the iconic cathedral — what prior generations so carefully and faithfully built, we are losing.