GASPE, Quebec, December 17, 2002 ( - For the first time in Canada, a Roman Catholic Bishop has requested laicization since he is living with a woman.  Rather than remorse, Bishop Raymond Dumais, the former Bishop of Gaspe whose resignation from his post as bishop was accepted by the Pope in July 2001, is using his circumstances to pressure the Catholic Church to change its teachings on priestly celibacy.

“I’m in love ... with a woman,” Dumais, told a regional Radio-Canada radio station last week.  The Montreal Gazette quotes Dumais as saying, “I don’t feel I’m living in sin. I feel I’m living something special.”

However, signs of trouble regarding Dumais, now 52, were evident long before his being made a bishop in 1994.  Dumais, a priest since 1976, joined some 60 dissident theologians in a public act of dissent signing a declaration opposing Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor and specifically its teachings against artificial contraception and the remarriage of divorced Catholics.  Luc Gagnon, President of the Quebec pro-life group Movement en Faveur de la Vie told LifeSite “before he was named bishop of Gaspe Rev. Dumais had to meet with Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to account for his signature on the letter and make a statement of faith.”

Despite the warning, the Vatican consented to his nomination as bishop and Gagnon recalls that “in a show of solidarity, all Quebec bishops attended his ordination.” The buzz around Quebec at the time was that the feminists were rejoicing with Dumais’ new post saying, ‘We now have our own bishop.’

Dumais told the press that that fellow bishops and Montreal Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte supported him in his petition to Pope Jean-Paul II for laicization.  See the Gazette coverage:

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