France is a secular country from more than a century or so. However, it has been tolerant of different religions of the world as its citizens follow different religions. The country has strong ties to Christianity and President Emmanuel Macron has strengthened those ties by meeting with the Pope and working together on issues where there is a similarity in opinion. Macron, along with his administration, has also put in extraordinary efforts to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral that was devastated in a major fire, a few years ago.
President Emmanuel Macron has met the Pope several times from 2018. The two world leaders (secular and religious) last met on November 26, 2021 at the Vatican. The meeting took place as President Macron and France were preparing to take the presidency of the Council of the European Union.
President Emmanuel Macron also had a private meeting with the Pope. According to a report in Reuters, 84-year Pope Francis reportedly joked with the president saying, “I’m still alive” when asked how he was by French President Macron. The two leaders have shared a warm relationship through the past four years, despite an almost four decade age gap.
On April 15, 2019 a massive fire engulfed the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Although the cause of the fire had not been confirmed, it was reported to be accidental as restoration works were taking place at the spire, when the fire broke out.
The French government, under the presidentship of Emmanuel Macron immediately announced that the famous French cathedral would be rebuilt and restored to its former glory even as the embers were dying out.
President Emmanuel Macron stood in front of the burning Gothic icon and had addressed reporters saying, “Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicenter of our lives.
He also mentioned that it had stood through over 800 years of history and noted that they had built the iconic cathedral together. He said that they would “rebuild it together.”
Although its latticework wooden roof and spire collapsed as a result of the fire, many cultural treasures and precious religious relics and artifacts were saved. Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France is expected to open to the public, sometime in 2024.
(Image Credit: Wiki)