Emergency services were called at 6.40am this morning when a back to base alarm was triggered at Lismore’s St Carthage’s Catholic Cathedral said director of communications for St Carthage’s Parish of Lismore Jo Pereira.
‘Emergency services were able to contain the fire that was in the sacristy and it has not made its way into the main cathedral,’ he told Echonetdaily.
‘NSW Fire and Rescue are working to extinguish the blaze, which has caused significant damage to the building,’ the NSW Police said in a media statement this morning.
Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire, which is being treated as suspicious.
No one was in attendance at the Cathedral at the time of the fire according to both police and Mr Pereira.
‘The Bishop of Lismore Greg Homeming has inspected the cathedral from outside and he was satisfied emergency services had the under control,’ said Mr Pereria.
‘Don’t be too alarmed its only a part of the building and the cathedral probably won’t have been damaged,’ said Bishop Homeming about the fire.
‘It’s a building, more importantly no one was injured or hurt. It is sad – but I’m not greatly distressed. If someone had died it would have been irreparable. It is a building not the church; it is the people that are the church and no was hurt.’
Trinity Catholic School closed
The Cathedral is located on the ground of Trinity Catholic College is closed for the day as a result of the fire.
They have said that ‘the College will be closed for lessons today. If possible please keep your children at home. If you are unable to keep your children at home supervision will be provided on the St John’s site.’
Police are urging people to avoid the area as investigations are underway.
And for damaging a hundred year European Heritage site the person will be prosecuted with a criminal conviction and a jail sentence, but for blowing up a 45,000 year Aboriginal Heritage site you get a multi million payout for an early retirement. – the facade of justice in Australia
Both the Cathedral and Juukan Gorge cave are sites of sacred spirituality. Let us pray that the perpetrators in both instances have the opportunity to make reparation for their sins.
Unlike the Juukan Gorge cave, I’m sure this is more than adequately insured and the bishop’s attitude does raise questions, “Suspicious fire” indeed! It will be interesting to see if ‘breaks’ under questioning.
If not, the catholic tradition of “The Rack” and the holy methods of the inquisition will no doubt provide the requisite “confession”.
Or , you don’t think this is a message from on high, in response to the tradition of child molestation and the lack of accountability ? Hi George !