By Hilary White

QUEBEC, October 14, 2008 ( – In a recent article appearing in “Vita e Pensiero,” the magazine of the Catholic University of Milan, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Primate of Canada and archbishop of Quebec City, called for an end to the “secularist fundamentalism imposed by means of public funding,” and said that Quebec is “ripe for a profound new evangelization.”

“Québec’s real problem,” said the Cardinal, is the “spiritual vacuum” sponsored by an increasingly aggressive anti-Christian state.

Cardinal Ouellet wrote of the “religious and cultural rupture,” and the “substantial loss of memory” that is ongoing in Quebec, “which leads to a crisis in the family and in education, leaving citizens disoriented, dispirited, vulnerable to instability and attracted to fleeting and superficial values.”

The Primate wrote: “A people whose identity was substantially shaped over centuries by the Catholic faith cannot from one day to the next purge itself of its essence, without grave repercussions on all levels.

“It is this that has led to the disorientation of young people, the precipitous drop in marriages, the low birthrate, and the frightening number of abortions and suicides, to mention just a few of the consequences, in addition to the precarious situation of the elderly and of public health.”

Referencing a recent effort to remove the crucifix in the national parliament, Ouellet asked, “Is not, perhaps, the removal from public places of every religious sign identified culturally according to a well-defined tradition, with its religious dimension, the same thing as promoting the absence of belief as the only value worthy of being asserted?”

Since the so-called Quiet Revolution, the socialist movement in which the Quebec government took control of education and much of the province’s economy in the 1960s, the province has experienced a decline in both the birth rate and, asserts the Cardinal, in its cultural sense of self.

“This spiritual and symbolic vacuum undermines the culture of Québec from within, dispersing its vital energy and generating insecurity and a lack of grounding and continuity with the evangelical and sacramental values that have nourished it since its origin,” he wrote.

The Quiet Revolution brought in the rapid secularization of society, the creation of a welfare state, legalisation of contraception and abortion and the steady decline of traditional French Catholic culture.

The cardinal particularly hit back at the Quebec government’s ongoing effort to remove all traditional Christian moral and religious education in schools, replacing it with a relativistic “ethics and religious culture” course and forcing even private religious schools to include “values-free” sex education and Darwinian theories in the curriculum.

This has left families feeling “powerless” and marginalised, he said, and has put Catholic schools in particular in the “scandalous” position of having to suppress their own teachings while imposing a relativistic and anti-Catholic state-sponsored curriculum.

Meanwhile, the province continues to experience a demographic melt-down, with one of the world’s lowest birth rates and the second highest rate of abortion of any province in Canada. Recent government statistics show that more than 110,000 abortions are committed in Canada every year, which represents approximately 30 abortions for every 100 live births. In Quebec, according to Statistics Canada, that number is considerably increased with 38.3 abortions per 100 live births recorded in 2005. This is down slightly from a high of 43.2 in 2000.

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Quebec to experience most rapid demographic decline of all industrialized countries

“Catholic” Quebec Leading Canada to Abandon Religion?

Quebec Enjoying “Mini-Baby Boom” but is it Enough to Halt Demographic Decline?


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