Remember folks, the people who write the New York Times, and many of those who read it, consider themselves the intellectual elite:
I was intrigued today by the mystery of a small Jesus statue that features prominently in a New York Times story on Father Jean-Marc Fournier, the Paris Fire Department chaplain who risked his life to save many of Notre Dame cathedral’s prized relics. “I had two priorities: to save the crown of thorns and a statue of Jesus,” Father Fournier supposedly said.
The statue continues to star in the story:
As the chaplain began removing a statue of Jesus, he said, his colleagues were fighting the fire from the cathedral’s towers. The flames had started to threaten the wooden structure around the belfry — putting the whole cathedral at even greater risk.
With the statue in hand, Father Fournier, alone in the nave, gave a benediction to the cathedral, he said.
“I thought Jesus could help us a little bit and work, too,” he said. “I invited him to worry about his own house if he didn’t want to finish the night under a tent by the Canal Saint-Martin.”
Weirdly, there was no other reporting about Fournier saving a Jesus statue from Notre Dame. For that matter, Notre Dame cathedral doesn’t even have a Jesus statue. He co-stars in the famous Pieta and a statue of the Virgin and Child (both unharmed), but neither could be lugged around by an elderly priest.
On the other hand, reporting on the ground indicated that Fournier saved “the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament.” CNN reports Fournier told them, “The police took the crown and I took the holy sacrament [the wafers, or body of Christ].” French-speakers can listen to Fournier telling his story to a French Catholic TV network, and again, he mentions saving the crown, the sacraments, and nothing else.
While the statue appeared in no other stories, the Times story was the only one not to mention the sacraments. I’m sure you see where this is going. Needless to say, there’s now a correction indicating “an earlier version of this article misidentified one of two objects recovered from Notre-Dame by the Rev. Jean-Marc Fournier. It was the Blessed Sacrament, not a statue of Jesus.”
How on earth could the Times make such a bizarre error? I suspect NY Post‘s Sohrab Ahmari, who first flagged this on Twitter, is correct: Fournier told the New York Times that he saved “the Body of the Christ” or some similar wording, and the Times misinterpreted that to mean a little statue of Jesus.
Go here to read the rest. Higher education is endlessly churning out skulls full of indoctrinated mush with a knowledge base that would have been regarded as shameful in a high school dropout circa 1950.