Now Nantes Cathedral has burned.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,595
    This time they suspect arson (as there was no work going on). The Grande Orgue has been lost, as has the Rose widnow.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,837
    Organists may prefer to avoid the following link Les grandes orgues

    One reference I have claims that the roof is now concrete a material that usually does not burn... The original? roof burned in a fire in 1972.
  • Concrete roof on a cathedral?
    What sort of source is this, Tomjaw?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    I don't know about the roof but they did replace wooden beams with concrete after the 1972 fire - if my memory is correct.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,837
    @Chris Garton-Zavesky

    Almost all the news sources mention a concrete roof from the 1970's. It may be like the roof of Reims, that has a concrete frame replacing the wooden 'forest'. So not a concrete roof as at the Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres (Pantheon in Rome), but a concrete framework supporting the lead and copper sheets.

    A Number of the French Cathedrals have lost their mediaeval roof structure...
    Reims Cathedral has a reinforced concrete frame roof
    Chartres has an iron frame roof
    Strasbourg Cathedral has a new wooden roof

    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 549
    One can only hope that it's not politically motivated and was the work of a lone wolf.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • IdeK
    Posts: 78
    It's not evident that it was arson. The police are waiting for the experts from Paris.

    What made them think about arson in the first place was that the fire started in three places, the Grandes Orgues, the accompaniment organ near the sanctuary, and in the transept.

    All the places where it started were also electric installations. The only thing that burnt in the transept was an out-of-date electrical cabinet and the painting that happened to be just above. The painting is quite an artistic loss too since it was one of the first paintings of Hippolyte Flandrin, well-known 19th century painter, but it was no real goal for an arson.

    Most cathedrals in France are notoriously at great risk of electrical fire, because the installations are too old. The worst is Clermont cathedral, which received a very bad report from the safety comittee some years ago, and I'm afraid nothing has been done since because of lack of money.

    Basically all cathedrals in France are lacking money for the most basic, safety works. The important restoration works in Chartres cathedral had to be halted some years ago : it was raining in Bourges cathedral, and therefore the money was needed there (the two monuments are in the same district and they rely on the same budget).

    As we say in French, it's "déshabiller Pierre pour habiller Paul" (undressing Peter to dress Paul).
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    Police have arrested someone who volunteered at the Cathedral. His lawyer claims that there is 'no direct evidence' that he started the fires.
  • IdeK,

    I grew up with the Anglicized version of that expression: To rob Peter to pay Paul

    roughly, "voler de Pierre, pour rendre a Paul"
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,367
    The person arresteddetained has been released without charge after questioning. He is a volunteer, a Rwandan refugee who was in charge of locking up the building the day before the fire.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,639
    Remember that this is the Cathedral in the heart of the Vendee region - home of Father de Monfort and the counter-revolutionaries. Whether directly or remotely, the Devil is seeking his revenge in the world today. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
  • Stimson,

    The north edge or the Vendee, surely, would be more accurate to describe Nantes?
  • IdeK
    Posts: 78
    Nantes was not in the historical zone of the Vendée rebellion, even less it's heart. It was revolutionnary, divided between Girondins (moderate) and Montagnards (radical).

    The Vendéens tried an attack there but it failed because the population resisted, and Cathelineau died. Soon after, the Convention sent Carrier in Nantes and the town saw horrible things, such as the "Noyades de Nantes".

    The heart of the Vendée (and of St. Louis-Marie's prédication in the previous decades) is Cholet, where he is buried. The surrounding area, called Les Mauges, is still one of the places where the religious participation rate is the higher in France. However, there isn't much architectural heritage in there, mostly because of the good health of Catholic communities : they built new churches in place of the older ones in the 19th and 20th century.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 197
    Well, whether started by a match or a devil's tale, make no mistake: the devil was behind it. A true treasure (G.O.) was lost however I'm still grateful the rest of the cathedral didn't suffer tremendous damage as N.D. That said, one article in french that I read said that the west end tribune is severely compromised (no surprised) and may possibly collapse, which would cause tremendous structural chaos. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

    At any rate, both organs burned, and let us never forget: the devil hates it when we praise the Lord in song.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,221
    I hate to say it, but the fact that the fire started at the two organs is highly suspect. In radicalized Islam, music, and especially music in the Christian Church is seen as evil and a sign of the infidel. I hope I am not jumping the gun.
    Can you imagine a "faith" that hates music?
    As of yesterday, the volunteer that was questioned has been released.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,106
    I hate to say it too, but apparently Jihadists come in an Islamophobe flavor as well. If the fire was not electrical but a crime motivated by hatred of organs no Catholic with a guitar is above suspicion. But let's not jump the gun, shall we?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    I knew it! Danged guitar thumpers!
  • IdeK
    Posts: 78
    A collection has been started by the French Fondation du Patrimoine to rebuild a new organ in place of the lost one. It has already received over 50k €.

    I don't know if posting collection links is permitted, but if Chonak says it is, I"ll post the link.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    Volunteer previously questioned now charged.
  • IdeK
    Posts: 78
    And he admitted to have set the fire in the three places.

    This is a very sad story.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    The person perpetrator arrested detained has been released arrested without and is charged


    Next: prison.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,813
    Motives?
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    Well..........Rembert Weakland, OSB, tells us that pipe-organ use began in whorehouses. So maybe the guy was opposed to prostitution?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,302
    IdeK wrote:
    I don't know if posting collection links is permitted, but if Chonak says it is, I"ll post the link.


    It's fine to post a fundraising link for this, though the forum's anti-spam software sometimes blocks posts containing a link. If that happens, I'll see the delayed post later and release it.
    Thanked by 1IdeK
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 457
    The article I saw today called the arsonist an altar server! Which would make him a practicing Catholic (or clever impostor). May he repent and confess (sacramentally!!!). .
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,302
    Most Rwandans are Christians: 90%, and about half of them are Catholics, so there's nothing unusual in the idea that the volunteer is a Catholic.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,252
    ...Rembert Weakland, OSB...
    The good bishop was wrong on this one! The organ had nothing to do with 'whorehouses'. Ktesibios of Alexandria, a fourth century B.C. Graeco-Aegyptian engineer, was its credited inventor. It was known all over the middle east and was later used in ceremonies surrounding the Roman emperors and at some entertainments. It was introduced into Roman liturgy by Pope Vitalian in the seventh century (appearing earlier, apparently, in parts of the Germanies). His Excellency's imagination, or his information, exceeded the facts. Most here probably already know these things, but we should want to 'nip in the bud' such fables that may be repeated by the less well-informed.
    Thanked by 1Schönbergian
  • IdeK
    Posts: 78
    The arsonist was indeed an altar server for a long time at the cathedral. He was Rwandian, had a residence permit until last fall. When his residence permit ended, he applied for a renewal of his permit but it was not granted. It seems he was angry that the diocese didn't help him with the administrative procedures and didn't help him as much as they should have, he thought, after he was assaulted in front of the cathedral in 2018.
    He claims that since that assault he was not in good health (physically, psychologically ? it is not clear) and his health worsened due to the two-months lockdown we had.

    Basically the motive seems revenge against the diocese, and perhaps ill psychological health linked to the aggression of 2018.

    Given he's a 39yo rwandian, I would not be surprised if we learned in the coming days that he also has some kind of PTSD due to the genocide.

    The link to the fundraising is here : https://www.fondation-patrimoine.org/les-projets/cathedrale-saint-pierre-et-saint-paul-de-nantes
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 457
    The mental health aspect makes sense. I was imagining a kid (most altar servers I know are teens).
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 197
    In reference to a few posts above, I’ll mention that the devil HATES the sacred organ music of the church. Fr. Gabriel Amorth mentions this specifically in one of his books. He says that they use organ music as one of the means of vexing certain demons during exorcism because it is, in fact, a form of sacramental of the church, and thus imparts certain grace which the demons despise. Fancy that!
    Thanked by 2francis sdtalley3
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    I have certainly heard enough organ playing that sounded like hell.

    I don't know how churches do in France but locally, the Catholic churches spend very little for any kind of security. Not so the bigger Protestant churches with round-the-clock security.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    France is different! All French churches built before 1906 are public property. That is why the State is in charge of the repair of Notre Dame.
  • IdeK
    Posts: 78
    French cathedral are property of the state and french parish churches are property of the towns (except for post-1905 buildings, which does include a few cathedrals).

    But they are assigned to the church (diocesan associations), the minister in charge has the keys and is responsible even for public order inside the church - the police is theoretically not allowed to intervene inside a church unless the pastor has given authorization.

    What is more complicated is the case of the registered heritage monuments, including all of the "ancient" cathedrals. The curator for the monument, the Architecte des Bâtiments de France is in charge for its safety and security, and thus is entitled to mandate everything he judges necessary to ensure the cathedral is safe.

    The security of a church is always in charge of the state or town council. Some time ago a holy water font fell on a boy who was climbing on it and killed him, the town council was considered responsible and had to pay.

    The safety is more complicated : it is the responsibility of the Architecte des bâtiments de France, who isn't the keeper of the keys - remember, it is the minister in charge... basically it needs a good work relationship between the minister in charge of the church and the Architecte or it can quickly run into sheer madness.

    What is even more complicated is that the French heritage administrations generally despise the Church and the priests, because of the stupid things that happened in the 70's and because most priests have really no notion of how precious their church and its works of art might be. This doesn't help build a good work relationship.

    And then everyone lacks money : the dioceses in France are poor and the heritage administration has suffered budget cuts for years. No one has enough money to pay for security staff in every cathedral in France, though some things could and should have been done in Nantes cathedral, which, it seems, had neither an intrusion detector nor a fire detector - in France fire detectors are compulsory in every home, and they couldn't even put one in a cathedral !
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    The good bishop was wrong on this one!


    Not his only mistake.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,252
    Not his only mistake
    .I had always heard that Bishop Weakland was trained as a classical musician, but I never heard that that had much effect on music in his diocese or anywhere else. I would be happy to be corrected if I am mistaken.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    he expressed regret that the meeting failed to include modern music and dancing in its liturgical agenda. His views did not prevail within the CMAA, and so his presidency did not last.
    "First General Convention of the Church Music Association of America" in Jonannes Overather (ed.) Sacred Music and Liturgy Reform: After Vactican II. (Rome: Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae, 1969), pp. 270–271.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,813
    weakland... wow... where is he now?
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,111
    He was a classical pianist of some abilities. I actually heard him play. And yes, there was a terrible disconnect between his musical abilities and his understanding of liturgical music. I had the good fortune of having heard him pontificate on the question. It is a sad story looking back but I am grateful I kept my notes on his talks. Weakland possessed a keen sense of the post Vatican Church as having rejected much of its patrimony. But his thoughts helped to fuel the nuttiness of the 60's and 70's and even into the 90's. i can tell some stories but charity prevents me from doing so.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CharlesW
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,047
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    Mgr. Schuler's multi-part expose on Weakland is available on back copies of Sacred Music. It was Weakland's 'music sub-committee' of USCC which ruled that folk & rock were acceptable for liturgical use way back in 1965 or so. Naturally, he scheduled the vote AFTER most of the committee members had left to catch their flights. That was not an accident.

    Yes, Kevin, he's alive. I'm in the MKE Archdiocese and also heard him rattle on and on about music. I, too, took careful notes, and relayed the contents of his blathering to some acquaintances.....one of whom tattled to Remby, who nearly took the head off my pastor over it. In response, I used the Mozart Coronation Mass when he dedicated the new parish church and forced him to listen to it close-up, as his preferred mangling of architecture was to have the choir (and orchestra) in the front.

    Heh.

    After he was deposed here, he asked his home monastery in Latrobe to take him in; they refused, so we are stuck with him here.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,252
    All in direct, disobedient contravention of the Vatican council.
    And these lies have been and still are repeated by millions who think that they are
    'Vatican Two People'.
    (And to think that we are supposed to address such men as 'excellency'.)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    Yup. And as Kevinf has intimated there's far more--and far worse--to say about him. For most of us, he's gone and we move on. But he left a trail of victims for whom it's not that easy.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen tomjaw kevinf
  • Dad,

    Is the double entendre in "deposed" intentional or accidental?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,302
    [UPDATE: I took out a little exchange of talk that turned out to be based on incorrect information. I hope it doesn't inconvenience anyone.--admin]
    Thanked by 3bhcordova Liam JL
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    accidental


    I am being very restrained. Uncharacteristically so. Must be the heat.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,047
    accidentals...topically, there's a transferrable visual metaphor for this (transferrable from 2020 to the subject of the more recent comments here):

    1440 x 1440 - 376K
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,813
    or on porpoise
    500 x 588 - 46K
    Thanked by 1Andrew Malton
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,047
    The Dauphin of Francis.
  • Ohhhh. :-)
  • I'm feeling amphiguous about all these plays on words.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,221
    Believe it or not, Weakland was a student of my organ teacher, Marilyn Mason. Madame had a number of quel interessant students, one of whom was Dr. Jack Kevorvian. The Dr. was also a composer, and Madame described his music as 'a little like Bach but stange'...

    Passacaglia on D-E-A-T-H
    Coroner Suite in c Minor