Will St. Raphael's Cathedral Be Rebuilt?

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Madison: The fire at St. Raphael's Cathedral is officially out, but the investigation into what caused the fire has just begun, and there are still plenty of questions about the future of the Cathedral

Two cranes worked through the morning to deposit the last remains of St. Raphael's roof in a dumpster.
Meanwhile, a progression of gawkers slowed down to get a look at the damage.
Madison Fire Chief Debra Amesqua says the investigation is just beginning. "There's a lot of rubble in there and a lot of things they'll have to go through so my guess is the investigation is going to be throughout the week."

Fire investigators from the Department of Criminal Investigation and the bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are on hand.
Chief Amesqua says that's common for large church fires, and it doesn't necessarily mean they suspect arson.

Monsignor Paul Swain says firefighters are looking to save what they can from the rubble. "They've been able to salvage a few things–the processional cross, the blessed sacrament–when the firefighters walked out with that yesterday…"

While firefighters search the rubble for priceless relics, the bishop and his priests are meeting to discuss the future of St. Raphael's and its parishioners.
Bishop Robert Morlino says it will take some time to decide if they will rebuild St. Raphael's. "In the end, it will be my responsibility to make the decision and I don't walk away from that. But I need a lot of facts and a lot of listening between me and that decision."

Don Rogers says the Cathedral has too much history not to be rebuilt. "My grandchildren were the 5th generation of my family baptized in this church…my grandmother in 1877.

He's certainly not the only one. "We've certainly got many people that are encouraging us to rebuild," says Swain.


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