The Donations to Rebuild the Notre Dame Are Problematic

The news of the Notre Dame fire spread quickly.  It was all over news channels, trending on social media, and was received all around the globe – all while the fire was still burning.  People shared videos and images, thoughts and prayers. This is because the Notre Dame is one of the most prominent icons of the Catholic Church, and has been around since the 12th century.  It was a devastating event for many people, especially those living in France, but what is more shocking is what occurred after the fire.  Over $1 billion has already been donated to save the Notre Dame, but how much would actually have been needed?  The Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest institutions in the world, and for an establishment as significant as The Notre Dame, surely the Church would have been able to cover the costs of recovery. $1 billion is going to the restoration of a structure that would have been rebuilt anyway, but what if that money could have gone somewhere else? 

$1 billion would make a massive difference and there are so many worthy causes that could have benefited from that amount of money.  There is an endless amount of problems with this world – climate change, homelessness, gender and racial inequality, endangered species, global poverty – and this money would have gone a long way into fixing any of these problems.

Besides what the money could have gone to, there is also the fact that no matter how much money is donated to the Notre Dame – it will never be the same.  The fire that burned through the cathedral has now become a part of it's history.  The Notre Dame will now have elements from two different periods of history, and no amount of money will be able to change that.  There will be no way to exactly replicate what the Notre Dame was before, even with $1 billion in donations and the financial backing of the Catholic Church. 

Everyone will have different opinions on the destruction that the fire caused and whether or not the donated money was necessary. Personally, the Notre Dame is just a building.  A beautiful, historical, meaningful building – but still just a building.  If people have millions of dollars to donate to rebuild one church, then why isn’t there more being done to help this world and the people who live in it?  Some of the wealthiest people have more money than they could ever spend in a lifetime, and while many of these people are also some of the most generous, many more of them could use their success and wealth to try and fix the world in which we live.

There were clearly good intentions behind the generous donations, and it is honorable for anybody to give their own money to another person or organization. But, it highlights the fact that there are problems in the world that could be solved by simply putting money in the right place.


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