WATCH: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is destroyed by fire
There is no evidence that the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was intentionally set.
In fact, from the moment of the outbreak the authorities said that it was an accident related to work that was being done on the building.
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They are now investigating it on the basis that it was an accident.
But that hasn’t stopped some from speculating, in part because there had been a series of attacks on churches in France recently.
France has seen a spate of attacks against Catholic churches since the start of the year, vandalism that has included arson and desecration.
Vandals have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist and torn down crosses, sparking fears of a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment in the country.
Last Sunday, the historic Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was set on fire just after midday mass on Sunday, Le Parisien reported, although no one was injured. Police are still investigating the attack, which firefighters have confidently attributed to arson.
Fox host Neil Cavuto hung up on Catholic League president Bill Donohue when he began talking about the other incidents as they were talking about the Notre Dame fire.
From Daily Caller:
“Well, Neil, if it is an accident, it’s a monumental tragedy. But forgive me for being suspicious. Just last month, a 17th-century church was set on fire in Paris. We’ve seen tabernacles knocked down, crosses have been torn down, statues, —” Donohue stated.
Cavuto stopped him.
“We don’t know that. So if we can avoid what your suspicions might be. I do want to look at what happened now,” Cavuto responded, cutting off his guest. “A very pricey rebuilding and renovation effort going on that involved a good deal of Catholic fundraising campaign I know in this country and abroad. This renovation was paid for up front. So, in other words, all the monies were there. Now I’m wondering how much more the Catholic Church commits to this or do you think they now first want to get to the bottom of it?”
“First, they have to get to the bottom of it and they will rebuild it. There’s no question about that. They certainly, the Catholic Church will come up for the money for it, that’s not even a question. I’m sorry. When I find out that the Eucharist is being destroyed and excrement is being smeared on crosses, —” Donohue pushed back.
“I love you, Bill, but we cannot make conjectures about this. So, thank you. Bill, I’m sorry. Thanks very much. I do want to let people know, and again we’re not trying to be rude to our guests here. There’s so much here we don’t know about what happened here.”
Shep Smith also shut down a French commentator, Philipe Karsenty, who began to speculate.
“You need to know that for the past years, we’ve had churches desecrated each and every week in France, all over France. So, of course, you will hear the story of the politically correct — the political correctness which will tell you it’s probably an accident.”
Smith tried to stop him, but Karsenty said, “I’m just telling you something, what we need to be ready.”
That was enough for Smith. He cut him off then went off on a diatribe on how he doesn’t allow speculation.
“No, sir, we’re not doing that here, not now, not on my watch. Philippe Karsenty, it’s very good for you to be here. We’re watching the at least partial destruction of a world icon, Notre Dame Cathedral has been burning for 2.5 hours. The initial reports we got were that the fire started in a construction zone in the rear. We are thousands of miles away. And the man on the phone with us has absolutely no information of any kind about the origin of this fire and neither do I. And the fire investigators will at some point come to a determination about what caused this and conspiracy theories about anything are worthless and in many cases counter productive and injurious to society. And those who entertain them are not acting in the best interests of the people of this planet.”