The National Catholic Review

What matters more, of course, are the lives lost. But it's always symbolic when an earthquake destroys -- or in this case, half destroys -- a cathedral, because there are few buildings more solid. Reports suggest that the 150-year-old Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch has been severely damaged in Tuesday's earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, which have killed at least 65.

According to the Christian Science Monitor:  

The New Zealand earthquake leveled a number of central offices, wiped out iconic landmarks, and destroyed many homes, leaving parts of the picturesque cityscape – now swathed in dust and gas vapors – "unlivable." Local media is full of accounts of people trapped in damaged buildings, and residents of Christchurch have been told to evacuate, as no area is considered safe at this time.

Among the multiple casualties were an unknown number of foreign nationals, staying a city hostel that caters to the younger cohort of the hundreds of thousands of international visitors who arrive each year in the country's distinctly Anglican locale. The centrally-located Christchurch Cathedral has long served as the city's most visible icon.

Today, that 110-year-old cathedral's looming spire, too, collapsed.

Comments

Patrick Brophy | 2/23/2011 - 4:21pm
The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was consecrated in 1905  - 105 years. http://www.nzcatholic.org.nz/viewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=2089
Craig McKee | 2/23/2011 - 9:31am
A ray of sunshine amidst the darkness on tonite's news:

''They got Ann out and God turned on the lights.''
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10708236&

These lyrics come to mind:
''Though the mountains may fall, and the hills turn to dust, yet the love of the Lord will stand,
As a shelter to all who may call on His name. Sing the praise and the glory of God!''
NORMA NUNAG | 2/23/2011 - 6:18pm
Thank you for the lyrics quoted.  It is very appropriate to mention it, as it is a great  reminder to all of us that we are totally dependent on God.  Our prayers go to the people New Zealand.