The Vatican has received with "disbelief and sadness" the news of the "terrible" fire that has devastated today a good part of the roof of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Country, "symbol of Christianity in France and in the world".
The interim spokesman of the Holy See, Alessandro Gisotti, lamented in a statement the fire, declared about 6:50 local time (16.50 GMT) and that has destroyed much of the roof of the temple.
"The Holy See has welcomed with disbelief and sadness the news of the terrible fire that has devastated the cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world," he said.
Gisotti expressed the "closeness" of the Vatican to French Catholics and Parisians and assured prayers for the firemen and all those who strive to "do everything possible to face this dramatic situation."
The flames have destroyed much of the roof and have caused the temple spire to collapse, the most visited monument in France, a symbol of the country's history and one of the masterpieces of Gothic art with its more than eight hundred years of history.
The Paris Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of these events.