One thing the church knows a lot about is rebuilding. Indeed, it is part of the genetic code of Christianity. Ever since the persecutions under the Roman Empire, where their meeting places were destroyed and their congregations killed, Christians have had to reconstruct. Whether assailed by natural disasters or manmade catastrophes, external hostility or internal corruption, Christians have learned to pick up the pieces and create something new, a process Pope Benedict XVI once described as “a Church purified by penance and renewed in pastoral charity.” Looking through that lens, the rebuilding of the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris after the devastating fire of April 2019 should be par for the course.

It’s not the first time Notre-Dame has risen from the ashes.