Cleveland Bishop: Catholics ‘heartbroken’ over Notre Dame Cathedral fire

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CLEVELAND– The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is reacting to the massive fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The historic church caught fire on Monday, sending flames and black smoke shooting from the more than 800-year-old building. The blaze, which may have been caused by construction, toppled the iconic spire.

“Catholics around the world are heartbroken over the destruction by fire of the famed Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France,” Rev. Nelson Perez said in a news release on Monday. “Pilgrims from around the world, including many from Northeast Ohio, have visited the iconic cathedral, a marvel known for its distinct architecture, magnificent stained-glass windows and superb acoustics.”

Just last week, 16 religious statues were removed from the Notre Dame Cathedral for the first time in over a century so they were unharmed by the fire.

No injures have been reported. Parisian fire officials said they are unsure if they can stop the flames from spreading.

“We pray for the people of France over the loss of this great cathedral, a deeply spiritual place that has served as a place of prayer, inspiration and a fixture of the Catholic faith for centuries. May God be with them and comfort their grief as they work to recover from this great loss,” Nelson said.

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