Russian Orthodox Christians In US Mourn After Fire In Notre Dame Cathedral - ROCOR

Russian Orthodox Christians in US Mourn After Fire in Notre Dame Cathedral - ROCOR

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th April, 2019) Russian Orthodox Christians in the United States are mourning with the French the devastation of the Notre Dame of Paris cathedral in Monday's fire and hope the tragedy will help unite Christians across the world, chancellor of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) Serafim Gan told Sputnik.

"Together with our French brothers and sisters, we are deeply mourning and hope that our Lord will keep safely many holy objects and masterpieces in the historic cathedral," father Serafim said on Tuesday.

The fire, which is believed to have started at the top of the centuries-old cathedral, destroyed most of the wooden roof and caused the collapse of the 300-foot spire, one of Notre Dame's most recognizable features.

Hundreds of firefighters battled the fire throughout the night and managed to preserve the principle structure of the cathedral, the two main towers and at least one of the rose windows.

Father Serafim expressed hope the incident will pull all Christians closer together.

"We hope that current challenge will unify people and mobilize them for new Christian achievements, which will inspire others," Serafim said.

"God willing, the consequences of this tragedy will pass as soon as possible and we could restore the beauty of Notre Dame."

Viktor Potapov, rector of the St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church in Washington, said the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral has shocked the entire Christian world.

"This tragedy broke the hearts of all Christians," Potapov told Sputnik on Tuesday. "I am an Orthodox, not a Catholic, but my emotions overwhelmed me."

Potapov noted that the Notre Dame cathedral contains many very important Christian relics and expressed hope all holy relics "were somehow saved."

Potapov recalled hearing prayers in Russian during his visit to the Notre Dame cathedral last August.

"It was a day of Notre Dame fast - the Dormition of Mother of God according the Gregorian Calendar," Potapov said. "The church was packed with people and suddenly I heard they were singing the akathist to the Mother of God in a Russian motive. It was beautiful when the whole church was singing this Russian hymn."

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his sorrow over the devastating fire at Notre Dame and offered Russia's assistance in restoring the landmark cathedral.

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