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QUEBEC, February 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today Pope Benedict named Monsignor Gérald Cyprien Lacroix as new archbishop of Quebec.  Archbishop Lacroix succeeds Cardinal Marc Ouellet as the primate of the Church in Canada.

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Monsignor Lacroix, who has acted as diocesan administrator since the appointment of Cardinal Ouellet to head the Congregation for Bishops at the Vatican, has been the auxiliary bishop of Quebec City since his ordination by Ouellet in 2009.  He worked closely with Ouellet until the latter’s appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. 

Quebec pro-lifers say they expect an openness to life issues from the new archbishop.  Msg. Lacroix, along with Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) Vice President Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton and Bishop Ronald P. Fabbro of London, chairs the Committee on Life and Family with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The committee develops plans to promote the culture of life and family and submitted proposals at the 2010 CCCB Plenary in Cornwall, Ontario.

In a recent interview with Cyberpresse, Mgr. Lacroix defended Cardinal Ouellet’s controversial remarks, made last year, when the former primate made it clear that abortion is wrong in all circumstances, including cases of rape. Lacroix pointed out the fact that in Quebec there are 30,000 abortions a year, at a time when the province is suffering a severely low birth rate.

Born in St-Hilaire-de-Dorset (Beauce), Québec, the 53-year-old bishop spent his youth in New Hampshire. He graduated from Laval University with a master’s degree in pastoral theology and was ordained in 1988.  He spent eight years in missionary service in Colombia and, upon returning to Canada became head of the Pius X Secular Institute and, later, was on the Executive Council of the World Conference of Secular Institutes.

Today the pope also accepted the resignation of the Bishop Eugène Tremblay of the Diocese of Amos, Quebec, and appointed the Most Reverend Gilles Lemay as his successor.  Bishop Lemay was previously Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec City, appointed by Cardinal Ouellet in 2005.

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