The Holy Father’s statement, released Tuesday morning in French:
Following the fire that devastated much of the Notre-Dame cathedral, I associate myself with your sadness, as well as that of the faithful of your diocese, the inhabitants of Paris and all the French. In these Holy Days where we remember Jesus’ passion, his death and his resurrection, I assure you of my spiritual closeness and my prayer.
This disaster seriously damaged a historic building. But I realize that it has also affected a national symbol dear to the hearts of Parisians and French in the diversity of their beliefs. For Notre-Dame is the architectural jewel of a collective memory, the gathering place for many major events, the witness of the faith and prayer of Catholics in the city.While saluting the courage and the work of the firefighters who intervened to circumscribe the fire, I express the wish that the Notre-Dame cathedral can become again, thanks to the works of reconstruction and the mobilization of all, this beautiful case in the heart of the city, sign of the faith of those who built it, mother church of your diocese, architectural and spiritual heritage of Paris, France and humanity.
With this hope, I cordially grant you the apostolic blessing, as well as the Bishops of France and the faithful of your diocese, and I call the blessing of God on the inhabitants of Paris and all the French.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us…