On Nov. 21st front page headlines across Quebec reacted to an open letter of apology by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of the Catholic Church in Canada. The Cardinal wrote the letter after soul searching reflection which resulted from a presentation he made to the Bouchard-Taylor Commission and the support and criticism that followed. (The Bouchard-Taylor commission is a public enquiry criss-crossing Quebec to get the public’s ideas and concerns on “reasonable accommodations” by Quebec society for religious and ethnic minorities.)

Since the advent of what is called, ‘the cultural revolution’ in the 60’s, Quebec society has become secularized and the church has seen itself sidelined and much criticized. Although the vast majority of Quebec’s people are Catholic, there is an ‘anti-church’ and anti-clerical’ undercurrent that flavors Quebec society. From historians, politicians, and institutions, to the ordinary person on the street there is a litany of grievances and accusations that constantly undermine the faith, and foster fear and dis-trust of the church and its endeavors. Personally, I think it was time for the church to face the past head on, and to name and seek forgivenss for its past errors and sins. This is exactly what the Cardinal did, and let us pray that in the ensuing response and dialogue a new and better day for the church will be born. LINK: Full Text of the Cardinal’s Letter


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