Just a Thought…

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Not even 24 hours after the fire in the cathedrale of Notre Dame was noticed 600 million Euors have been donated by the richest France families for the reconstruction…

… while after more than 5 weeks, Mosambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi don’t even get the necessary 250 million Euros together to make sure those 3 million people suffering from the cyclone survive.

Yes, it is sad that Notre Dame was burning and for sure it is terrible in many ways. But thank God, no one died. It is a building. How can this be so much more worthy than human lives? To me, this is absolutely shocking!

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Just a thought

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Thank you for sharing this, Michael. This is very thought-provoking. Yes, the Catholic Church has always lived the luxury and that was all that counted. I don’t want to sound bitter but during the medival times the church ruled the countries and the bishops and cardinals were the kings and misused their power for their own benefit… I think this article explains a lot. In some way, it is tragic that a part of this attitude still hasn’t changed.

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I agree that there are many more issues that are more worthy of our financial attention. I live in the US and my elderly mother receives all sorts of charity solicitations in the mail. She is partial to animal related charities, but gives to other sorts of charities as well.
As I assist her and sort through her mail, I have a hard time knowing which charities are legitimate and make sure the dollars are really going to the cause.
Maybe Notre Dame represents something more tangible for people. Money will go towards employees nearby businesses and building supplies, people will see the finished products. To the extent money will be pouring into the Paris economy during the renovation projects, I don’t see that as an entirely bad thing.

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No, that is right! It creates opportunities and provides work. That is right. Also I agree, that those historical buildings should be preserved. But what really shocked me what the immediate huge amount of money which was provided compared to what the victims and other suffering brothers and sisters receive. Also, there are so many homeless people in France itself. It just shocks me that there is no proportion, in my opinion.

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I agree that stimulating the local economy, as a result of the devastating fire and subsequent renovations, is important. I just cannot get my head around the fact that organizations will readily contribute millions to a cause such as this … but where are they when an international charity is looking for funding to provide healthcare and very basic living conditions to the population of a war torn country. I have trouble with the millions being donated to rebuild, when there are millions of people who have no access to drinkable water. So many religious organizations are extremely affluent based on land ownership and capital investments, that they could fund these kinds of projects on their own … but would of course prefer not to!
I believe that church membership/participation has been on a steady decline for at least the past 50 years. I am not surprised.

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I think the Notre Dame situation perhaps highlights a problem that we have globally that we don’t know how to fix. The problem existed before the Notre Dame fire and will likely continue to exist.

I live in the US and was raised Catholic.. I am no longer a practicing Catholic. The church/diocese I grew up in had a heavy emphasis on tending to those less fortunate than you are.(Matthew 25:35-45). Presently the diocese is in a financial struggle. The Church I was married at has a daily ministry of feeding the homeless, so I think there is variation, especially in the US, of what faith communities are willing to do/ not do.

Yes church participation is down, but I would think that has to do with other factors.

It is my understanding that the French government owns the Church. Besides what the very wealthiest of donors have given, do we really know if and how much the Catholic Church is willing to give?

I’ve never seen an 800 year old building like Notre Dame but I hope to someday.

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I lived in the US for a while and I know that church over there is different than church over here. Church in the US is a decision. People who are members do it because of conviction. The church exists for its purpose to help our brothers and sisters in need. Yes, over here this may be done too but I see more words than actions. Over here the church is payed by the State no matter how many people visit the Mass.
I too, don’t call myself a Catholic anymore since too much is going wrong in my eyes. I have a deep belief and I believe in God. But I also believe that we have individual ways to walk and not only one path which leads to heaven. Anyway, I am rambling… lol.
Yes, It is very special to have such buildings here in Europe. In my hometown Vienna you stumble over lots of such old building almost around every corner. And it is taken care to preserve them which is a good thing. As I said, it is the imbalance.
Thank you very much for your comment. This is highly appreciated. And I agree, this problem has existed long before and might persist for a long time too.

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I would love to visit Vienna and Austria someday! My paternal grandfather’s parents were from the Austrian Alps.
Yes I agree there is more than one way to walk and more than one path to heaven.

Until I heard that Notre Dame was owned by France I really didn’t think much about the state being involved financially in churces. In the US there is separation of Church and State so no assistance from the government. I need to learn more about how the rest of the world works.

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I welcome the separation of State and Church. I really hope that one day this will happen over here too. Yes, wether I am member of the catholic church or not my taxes go to the church too…
Where in the US are you from?

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God gave us a brain, and the ability to use it. He also gave us some guidelines to live by. Of course he also gave us the freedom to make our own decisions. When the church does not set an example that conforms to the biblical teachings, and politicians are not renowned for looking after the less fortunate, I guess we are quite lost as a species and will go into self-preservation (self-serving) mode!

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Colin that nails the core problem I think. The church still thinks it shows the way and everybody has to follow or they are lost children. How arrogant and ignorant. But that is the way the church has controlled people. The good news is that meanwhile people use their brain better…
Thank you for adding this, Colin!

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I see how this really stroke a chord, Colin, and I understand you welle since it did in me too. All you said here, is what went through my mind.
I have no problems that millions are donated for the church but what I have problems with is that at the same time too people are suffering. If there are so many millions free to use so why not for our brothers and sisters first?
I think this question will not be answered …

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Das hab ich heute auch gedacht, als ich die Nachrichten hörte. Doch so ist es schon seit tausenden Jahren: die Kirche hat ihren Reichtum, während vor den Toren das Leid wohnt.

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What may be considered worse, is that (I understand) corporations outside of France have also made very large donations. I totally get the significance of such buildings, and totally agree that they should be cared for as historical artifacts but … really …. shouldn’t the preservation of our fellow humans be a rather higher priority?

There are families in so many countries that have run from their homes to escape persecution and possible death. There are so many families who are risking their lives to escape brutal dictatorships. Just look at the instabilities in S.America and in Africa, and there are so many more.

I want to believe that the church authorities in France, who administer funds for the Notre Dame repairs/renovations, will also demonstrate their Christian convictions and donate a significant proportion of the funds received towards projects which impact the poverty stricken, the homeless, the refugees etc. etc.

I am not too hopeful that will happen … but one never knows! 🙂

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I did not want to explain too much in the post since those facts say enough. But what you said here is exactly what I think and feel too. It is not only Mosambique. There is so much sadness, desperation, suffering, violence, in this world. How can a monument have a higher priority than a single life?
As you said, those historical buildings shall be preserved but it must never count more than our brothers and sisters!
Thank you for what you said here, Colin. It speaks from my heart!

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