QUEBEC CITY - It used to be that Quebecers who wanted to hear good preaching or be instructed on right and wrong went to Mass on Sunday and listened to their priest. The clergy were the principle arbiters of public and private morality in all spheres of life in Quebec. They preached on everything from how to dress, who to consort with (or not) and what to read, think vote and so on.

One famous saying from this era — “heaven is blue and hell is red” — was a not-so-veiled reference to  vote Conservative in elections. The Church believed the “red” Liberals stood for secular reform and social change that would lead people away from their faith. And that’s what happened, people eventually voted red in order to hasten improvements in material living standards and, as predicted, what eventually followed was a widespread abandonment of faith in Quebec.

Published in Guest Columns

Bishop Noël Simard will return to his native Quebec to lead the Valleyfield diocese.

On Dec. 29, Pope Benedict XVI appointed the former professor of bioethics and moral theology to the Valleyfield diocese where he will be installed in mid-February.

Published in Canada

Pope Benedict XVI named two new auxiliary bishops to Quebec Dec. 12 to assist Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix in Canada’s first and oldest diocese.

The new bishops-elect are Fr. Gaétan Proulx, O.S.M., a Servite religious order member, and Fr. Denis Grondin Jr.

At a news conference in Quebec City carried on the diocese’s ECDQ TV network, Lacroix said he welcomed the Holy Father’s announcement with great joy. The archbishop described the men as pastors who are extremely well-equipped and experienced. He said they are “profoundly spiritual and rooted in the faith” as well as very rooted in the realities of everyday life.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - In a decision with potentially serious ramifications for the Church, a Quebec bishop has been ordered to submit to questioning and hand over internal Church documents to defence lawyers acting in a lawsuit filed by a Quebec priest.

A Quebec judge has granted leave for lawyers to question Joliette Bishop Gilles Lussier as they prepare a defence in a defamation lawsuit filed last December by Fr. Raymond Gravel.

The priest is seeking $500,000 in damages from two pro-life organizations, LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) and Campagne Quebec-Vie, (CQV), and six journalists.

Gravel claims his professional reputation as a politician and Catholic priest was damaged as a result of 29 articles that described him variously as “pro-abortion,” “pro-homosexual marriage” or as a “renegade priest” who has made “heretical and anti-life statements.” Gravel contends he has “always been faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.”

Published in Canada