Faithful promised ephemeral cathedral at Notre Dame

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Catholic worshippers feeling orphaned by the fire that ravaged part of Notre Dame will be welcomed in an “ephemeral cathedral” made of wood in front of the Paris monument until it reopens, Notre Dame’s chief priest has said.

Speaking to France’s CNews television channel today, Monseigneur Patrick Chauvet said: “We mustn’t say ‘the cathedral is closed for five years’ and that’s it.”

To give the faithful somewhere to congregate next to Notre Dame, he suggested: “Can I not build an ephemeral cathedral on the esplanade [in front of Notre Dame]?”

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had backed the idea and agreed to give over part of the esplanade to the church for a wooden structure, he said.

Chauvet said the wooden “cathedral” would host priests who could address some of the millions of tourists who visited the original 850-year-old gothic cathedral each year.