By John-Henry Westen

Cardinal BarbarinQUEBEC CITY, June 25, 2008 ( – Philippe Cardinal Barbarin is the Archbishop of Lyon, in France. Born in 1950, Barbarin is one of the youngest Cardinal’s in the Catholic Church.  He also has a reputation for speaking plainly and openly.

In 2005, the Cardinal was in the public spotlight after publicly informing women who underwent fake ordinations to the priesthood that they had automatically excommunicated themselves. In light of such seemingly hard-line actions, asked the Cardinal how the recent controversy over denying pro-abortion politicians Holy Communion should be seen from a truly Catholic perspective.

Even such actions, he said in response, are acts of love – of charity.

“Normally every act of the Church is an act of charity,” Cardinal Barbarin told last week. “Every word of Jesus is a word of charity. Yet, at times Jesus was angry.  He took cords and knocked down the change tables and chased the sellers from the temple – solely for His love for them.”

The Archbishop of Lyons added that when Christ called the Pharisees “hypocrites” it was the same – an act of charity.  “Jesus spoke with them with much force to change their hearts,” he said.

On his arrival as Archbishop in Lyon in 2002, Babarin issued a challenge to Catholics to “Turn off the TV and turn on the Gospel.”  The Archbishop expressed hope that the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, where the interview took place, would launch a spiritual revival in Quebec.  “I wish with all my heart,” said the Cardinal, “that this Congress will bring a new springtime for the Church in Quebec.”


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