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Local concern for church safety and security during Holy week

April 21, 2019 04:24 PM

"What's so important about a cathedral in every region of the world is that it unites that region with Rome, our homeland" said Father David LeFort of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, NY.

On one of the most important holy weeks of the year, there's concern for a local cathedral, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. This comes after a tragic fire destroyed parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, earlier this week.

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"This is a main stay and people kind of look at this where it is as invulnerable to that kind of behavior but in this day and age who knows, look at Notre Dame" said Bill Leahon of Schodack.

Safety and security is on the minds of not only many of the parishioners around the region, but also the Albany Catholic Diocese. This particular historic Albany landmark dates back centuries.

"It doesn't have a brief history, it's stone were laid in 1848 and it took decades for the building to come to the place where it is today" said Father LeFort.

Following the fire in Paris, St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City also had a security issue on Thursday, that was able to be contained. Many parishioners and clergy living in and around the Capital Region say these events have prompted them to have greater thoughts about maintaining the cathedral in Albany. 

"If it happened here it would be devastating spiritually as well as emotionally I think" said Leahon.

We spoke with the Albany Diocese regarding many of these concerns. They say since the early 2000's they've put security measures in place, this includes a fire suppressant system and a security alarm system.
They say they have also increased protocols in the last week especially given this is a Holy week.

"Tonight for example, as we've had for the last few days we have Albany firemen here to watch out for us. We also have the Albany Police Department, they've been very generous, offering men to be around the cathedral" said Father LeFort.

Credits

Brooke Selby

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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