He said that the destruction of St Mel’s Cathedral in 2009 touched many, as did the fire in Paris, where the people expressed shock, disbelief and real sadness about the devastation. But ultimately we are the Church; we are the house that God wants to rebuild.
If the story of salvation had ended on Good Friday, we would remain a people of despair, crying out as Jesus did on the Cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned us?’
Fr Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain to Paris Fire Brigade, was praised for his bravery in saving the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns from the burning cathedral on Monday night.
President Michael D. Higgins expressed the “solidarity of the Irish people with the people of France at the catastrophic damage to one of the most iconic buildings in Europe”.
At the Church of Notre Dames des Enfants in Nimes, the building was smeared with human excrement, the main altar and tabernacle were looted and consecrated hosts were stolen and dumped.
In Ireland, the Society of St Vincent de Paul receives more than 130,000 calls for assistance a year – about 11 percent more than it did five years ago.
The work of the Irish chaplaincy includes the celebration of the Eucharist, preparation for the sacraments, pastoral visits to Irish people in prison and in hospitals, as well as the accompaniment of those bereaved while in Paris.
The bishops offered prayers for those who have died, for the injured and for the emergency services who responded to the scene of the fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London.
The Head of St Anne drawing in the Dublin exhibition is linked to the artist’s painting the Madonna and Child with St Anne and a lamb, which is now in the Louvre in Paris.
“The world urgently needs to bring peace to Syria to stop the completely unacceptable suffering of the Syrian people" - Éamonn Meehan, Executive Director, Trócaire.
“The fact that these talks are being held when millions along eastern Africa are experiencing chronic food shortages due to drought highlights exactly what is at stake."
“I was transported back; I could not help it because there I became familiar with violence, I know how it works, and now it is here" - Fr Aidan Troy.
"When history records the actions we take or fail to take at this our moment of truth, we will not have the excuse that we did not understand, that we did not know."
In wake of slaying of journalists at Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, Pope Francis, French Imams and Church leaders appeal for solidarity with victims and growth in fraternity.