France separates church and state. So who’s responsible for Notre Dame?

XMLOKFTB4AI6TPZE3NFZ7NRKUISource: The Washington Post

April 18

French President Emmanuel Macron wants Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral, devastated in a fire on Monday, repaired in five years.

But as crews continue to assess damage, some noted that Notre Dame could have used a major restoration years ago and wondered whether the fire would have been as bad had the edifice been looked at earlier. Others, meanwhile, wondered whether France’s secularism had gotten in the way of the funding necessary for such a restoration effort.

“Laïcité” has been the law of the land in France since 1905, and it calls for the strict separation of church and state. Could it have been the case that the state let the church fall into disrepair because it would have broken the law by spending money to fix Notre Dame?

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