Cathedral Cleanup Underway - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/08/03

Cathedral Cleanup Underway

Church members, other religious groups, and even tourists were shocked to hear news of yesterday's standoff at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in downtown Savannah. People we spoke with were so awestruck by the 130-year-old Catholic church, they didn't think twice about why they couldn't go in during visiting hours. Some thought the cathedral was simply undergoing renovations.

Visitor Vanessa Greer came to Savannah on her honeymoon. Before arriving, she mapped out the sites she wanted to see. "Just a few days ago, I told someone we were coming to Savannah and they told me about the cathedral and we were hoping to see it," she said. Now she and other tourists are having to settle for a few outside snapshots and some shocking news that a gunman torched the pulpit just hours earlier.

Tourist Marilyn Brown couldn't imagine a pilgrimage to the hostess city without some time at the cathedral. "We always come here every time we come to Savannah because it's so gorgeous," she told us.

Now she's hoping that everything will be fixed and back to normal before her next visit. Major cleanup is underway. Church officials say they still plan to hold scheduled events at the cathedral this weekend, including a few weddings.

Reported by: Holly Bristow, hbristow@wtoc.com

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