The Pope salutes the courage of firefighters

Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed the gratitude of the Catholic Church to those who risked their lives to save flames from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Speaking in full Holy Week to the tens of thousands of faithful gathered Saint Peter’s Square, he repeated the suffering and pain caused by the fire that ravaged Monday night the roof structure and roofs of the building.

The head of the Catholic Church said he hoped that the reconstruction of Notre-Dame would be “a harmonious work of praise and glory to God”.

Addressing directly to the French faithful present at the Vatican for his general audience, the Pope charged them to transmit “to all Parisians and to the French people as a whole” his sorrow and his closeness.

“The gratitude of the whole Church goes to those who did everything in their power to save the cathedral, even risking their lives,” he said.

The Vatican offered technical assistance for the reconstruction and renovation of Notre-Dame. “We have many relations with the Louvre, with other museums and other institutions of French Christianity, and we are obviously ready to do everything possible to help,” Barbara Jatta, a historian from art and director of the Vatican Museums.

Her teams, who have restored the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, are all “in shock” after the drama of Paris, she added.

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