The charred remains of Notre Dame have become a symbol and so will the rebuilding process. The challenge for the Church is controlling the meaning.
In a little over a week since a fire devastated the historic church, a BILLION dollars have been raised to help rebuild the massive structure. Companies and people all over the world pulled together to give over ONE BILLION DOLLARS!
A BILLION dollars!
Are you freaking kidding me?
The Catholic Church is already one of the wealthiest organizations on the planet. They are one of the largest real estate owners in the world and they’ve been given a billion dollars to rebuild a church.
Granted, it is a building with tremendous historic and religious value for Paris and the world. Its significance can’t be denied. That being said, is one building worth thousands of lives?
If I was to say, “Give me a billion dollars and I’ll build you the most magnificent church you’ve ever seen. Oh, and by the way, thousands of people will die due to the building process.” Would you give me a billion dollars?
I hope not!
Lives would be valued more than building a magnificent church. Uniquely, the Pope and the Vatican find themselves in a position to make a tremendous impact on the world.
Imagine if the Catholic Church decided to invest a billion dollars into Venezuela? The desperate country is 71% Catholic and those people are experiencing real trouble. A billion dollars would literally save thousands of lives in Venezuela.
After years battling the continuing and deserved public scrutiny over alleged child sexual abuse scandals, the decision to use the money to actually help Catholics in need would go a long way to reversing the damaged brand of the Catholic Church.
The bold act would turn Notre Dame into a symbol declaring that people are worth more than buildings… despite the incredible value of a building.
Let’s be honest, this would never happen, but it should.
Instead, Notre Dame will be rebuilt to be more beautiful than ever before. It will become a symbol of rebirth… if you have enough money. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and the entire Christian faith by extension will continue to defend the actions of the Vatican against religious naysayers. Claiming that “Christians care more about a building than the people,” and they might be perfectly correct.
Regardless, the Facebook battles will continue. Twitter trolls will troll with more ammo against Christianity. There’s that other thing that is kind of important as well, the broader goal of sharing Christ with the world. And right now the Catholic Church is utterly failing in that category.
It should be time to turn the focus on the people, but instead bricks and mortar will be lifted to the sky and show God where are true loyalty rests.