Edouard de Lamaze, president of the Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux (Observatory of Religious Heritage) in Paris, is sounding the alarm about the rapid erosion of France’s cultural heritage. “One mosque is erected every 15 days in France,” he said recently, “while one Christian building is destroyed at the same pace. It creates a tipping point on the territory that should be taken into account.” Yes, it should be taken into account by anyone, Christian or non-Christian, who is concerned about the future of France. But it isn’t.
According to the Catholic News Agency, “Lamaze’s appeal for increased awareness came after a fire destroyed the 16th-century Church of Saint-Pierre in Romilly-la-Puthenaye, Normandy, northern France. The fire, deemed accidental, took place on April 15, exactly two years after the blaze that devastated Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.” What’s more, “Lamaze told CNA in an interview that in addition to one religious building disappearing every two weeks — by demolition, transformation, destruction by fire, or collapse — two-thirds of fires in religious buildings are due to arson.”
All this was going on, Lamaze noted, against a backdrop of incomprehension and indifference: “The current minister of culture is seeking to establish a protection charter, but the situation is extremely serious and, alas, I don’t see any real awareness growing, nor any sense of responsibility in the face of this crucial challenge for our national heritage.”
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