The Woke Globalists Come for Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral

Posted on Saturday, December 4, 2021
by AMAC Newsline

AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

On December 9, France’s National Heritage and Architecture Commission will vote on the proposed renovation plans for Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, which tragically caught fire in April 2019. The new vision for the “reimagined” interior of the church poses the greatest threat to the iconic landmark since the church was ransacked and desecrated during the French Revolution in the 1790s.

According to details first reported by the Telegraph, visitors to the new “reimagined” Notre Dame Cathedral, which French President Emmanuel Macron says he hopes will open in 2024, may have a far different experience from the millions who have visited in the 858 years since construction began in 1163. Gone would be the confessional boxes, altars, and classical sculptures (many of which were not damaged in the fire). Instead, curious tourists and pious French Catholics alike would be subjected to what one critic aptly described as “a politically correct Disneyland.”

While the exterior of the church is expected to remain largely the same, the interior is set to become a grotesque temple to wokeism and modern perversions of traditional Christian values – an apt symbol of the hollowing-out of religion generally in the West. The plans allegedly include multiple “themed” chapels with a focus on Africa and Asia, and sound and light effects projecting Bible verses onto walls in Mandarin. Notre Dame’s 14th chapel, traditionally reserved for images of Jesus being laid in the tomb, will instead be replaced with homages to environmentalism and warnings about climate change.

One source close to the restoration described the proposed changes as an “experimental showroom,” while Paris-based architect Maurice Culot said it would become “a theme park for foreign tourists.” While Christian themes and images adapted for all cultures and backgrounds are not at all a bad thing – the Gospel urges Christians to “go and make disciples of all nations” – critics have rightly pointed out that such modifications would ruin the austere and ancient beauty of the church that makes it unique among all the structures of the world.

Father Gilles Drouin, the director of the liturgical institute of Paris and the man in charge of the interior restoration, says the proposed changes would welcome visitors “who are not always from a Christian culture.” Such comments beg the question of whether the more than 10 million annual visitors to the church before the fire felt “unwelcome.” Did people travel from every corner of the world and hope to see a sort of “Christianity for Dummies” display that they could get on their smartphone with a quick Google search?

It’s not just about religion, either. For the French people, the Notre Dame Cathedral is a wood-and-limestone monument of sorts that connects centuries of French history. It was there in 1431 that Henry the VI of England was declared King of France during the 100 Years War – and there in 1909 that Joan of Arc, perhaps the greatest hero on the French side of the conflict, was beatified by Pope Pius X. It was also beneath Notre Dame’s towering spire that Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, and where, in 1970, world leaders gathered to mourn the death of the great French leader Charles de Gaulle, the man who galvanized resistance to Nazi rule during World War II.

When Notre Dame has sustained damage before, the restorations were undertaken with painstaking care to restore every detail as close as possible to the original. But now, the fire has become a convenient excuse to intentionally destroy all notions of French culture and nationhood that the Notre Dame Cathedral represents.

This crusade to break from tradition and abandon history – which was begun and continues to be driven by left-wing cultural elites – is not new. Americans saw a far more violent iteration of it last year when rioters tore down statues of some of the country’s greatest heroes like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant. Although undoubtedly far less reckless than left-wing extremists destroying monuments and setting fire to churches in the U.S., those French authorities claiming that the Notre Dame Cathedral needs an “evolution” are similarly bent on radical cultural change and indeed, a kind of desecration.

When the cathedral burned in 2019, the worldwide response was one of the few truly unifying events of the past decade or so. Christians and non-Christians alike from around the world wept for Notre Dame. People donated more than $900 million for the renovation efforts. They did not open their pocketbooks to turn the church into a globalist shrine to a world without borders and culture and history. They gave generously because they believed it would be restored as it was, a towering monument to faith and tradition. The French government – and the Catholic officials in charge of the church – should recognize that and preserve this great cultural treasure in all its original glory.