Man arrested after walking into St Patrick's Cathedral with petrol and lighters

St Patrick's Cathedral in New York City

A man was apprehended by police after trying to enter St Patrick's Cathedral in New York City with cans of petrol, lighter fluid and lighters on Wednesday. 

The NYPD said the man walked into St Patrick's at around 7:55pm on Wednesday and was subsequently apprehended by officers "without incident". 

The 37-year-old was arrested after cathedral guards saw him spilling gasoline. 

"We thank our partners for their help, and remember - if you see something, say something," a NYPD statement read. 

The cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of New York.  

Objects seized by the NYPD from a man who attempted to carry them into St Patrick's Cathedral(Photo: NYPD)

The arrest occurred just two days after a major fire partially destroyed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. 

Deputy police commissioner John Miller told reporters that the timing of the incident was "suspicious". 

"An individual walking into an iconic location like St Patrick's cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters, is something we would have grave concern over," he said. 

A motive has not yet been established.

On Wednesday, the cathedral announced that it would be participating in a major fundraising campaign to help in the reconstruction of Notre-Dame. 

The appeal was launched by Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone. 

Cardinal Dolan said, "Almost from the very first moments we heard the awful news that Notre Dame was ablaze, New Yorkers of all faiths, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, reached out to me to express their sorrow at the devastation and ask how they could help.

"Thankfully Ken Langone, in his typically generous way, called and said 'We've got to do something. Count me in.' And so today we are announcing From Saint Patrick's to Notre Dame, a way for people from New York and around the country to contribute in helping rebuild this magnificent house of faith and monument to western civilization.

"I am especially grateful to my good friends, including the leaders of other faiths, who have joined in support of this noble effort."