No Christmas Mass at Notre Dame for first time in 200 years

There will be no Mass at Notre Dame this Christmas for the first time in more than 200 years, according to the Archdiocese of Paris.
The French capital’s landmark church was gutted by fire eight months ago, with the roof and spire completely destroyed.
Worshippers can instead attend Mass at the Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois near the Louvre museum or in the Church of Saint-Sulpice near the Jardin du Luxembourg, the diocese said.
There has been a Christmas Mass at Notre Dame every year since 1803,even during the German occupation of Paris during World War II, a spokeswoman said.
The world watched in horror as Notre Dame, situated in the heart of Paris on the Ile de la Cite, went up in flames on April 15. French President Emmanuel Macron has said it will be rebuilt by 2024.
Work to stabilise the building and prevent it from collapsing is still under way, the newspaper Le Parisien reported on Monday, and it still has to be cleaned. Tonnes of lead used in the construction of the roof melted during the fire and has polluted the rest of the building.
Notre Dame usually draws tens of thousands of worshippers and tourists everyday.
It was there that Christian crusaders prayed before going to fight in the Holy Land, where revolutionaries defiled representations of French kings and Napoleon crowned himself emperor in 1804. — dpa