Notre Dame fire has ‘touched human spirit’

Notre Dame fire has ‘touched human spirit’ Fr Aidan Troy

The Holy Week fire at Notre Dame Cathedral has done something to make people realise the importance of God and faith, according to a prominent Paris-based Irish priest.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic, Fr Aidan Troy, who became famous when shielding Catholic schoolgirls from loyalist mobs during the Holy Cross Ardoyne protests in 2001, said that St Joseph’s Church, where he is parish priest, had seen larger crowds than usual at the church.

“Certainly we had bigger crowds. I can’t give a causal connection between the fire of Notre Dame and that, but I was amazed at the huge number of visitors we had over Easter,” the Passionist priest said, adding that it was “hugely important” that nobody had been killed in the cathedral fire.

“I think something in the soul of people has been touched and even among people who don’t profess a religious faith,” he continued. “Somewhere in the spirit people realise that why it’s said that a person does not live on bread alone, that there has been a touching of the human spirit.”


Fr Troy linked the news attention given to the April 16 Notre Dame fire to the attacks on Christian worshippers and others in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday morning. His parish’s many Sri Lankan parishioners had been “devastated by the awful events there” which saw over 250 people killed in a series of bomb attacks.

“It’s almost an exaggeration, but it seems like apocalyptic times,” he continued. “There are extraordinary things happening, and I honestly believe that some good will come out of it all eventually.”

“I would not be surprised if there weren’t a lot of people this Easter who thought to themselves, there’s no use in being sorry for Notre Dame without entering the door of a church, a synagogue, a mosque,” he said, adding: “I think it’s great that the spirit of people has been raised.”