Thursday June 3, 2010

Quebec Priest Once Again Rebukes Canada’s Catholic Primate

Despite frequent public denunciations of Church moral teachings Fr. Gravel still retains priestly faculties

By Patrick B. Craine

QUEBEC, June 1, 2010 ( – Notoriously dissident Catholic priest Fr. Raymond Gravel has again publicly criticized Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec City and Primate of Canada, following the Cardinal’s strong defense of unborn life in recent weeks.

In a Monday op-ed for Le Trait D’Union, Fr. Gravel notes that a recent survey showed 94% of Quebeckers disagreeing with Cardinal Ouellet’s call for the recriminalization of abortion. “Since it is not the first time that Monsignor Ouellet has been almost unanimously opposed,” the priest writes, “may we remind him that his role as bishop is one of a pastor that gathers and unifies rather than one that judges, condemns, divides and excludes?”

Fr. Gravel goes on to declare that “it is high time that we stop entrenching ourselves into one of two extreme options that have been confronting each other over the last forty years: pro-lifers and pro-choicers.”

“The Church’s deep conviction about life is well known, but it is not shared by the whole of Quebec society,” the priest observes. “Which is why, as a Church, we ought not to impose our conception of life under penalty of excommunication or of exclusion.”

This is at least the third time Fr. Gravel has publicly denounced Cardinal Ouellet, the highest Catholic prelate in Canada.

In a September 2006 letter to the editor for the Quebec newsweekly Actualité, Fr. Gravel wrote that “Cardinal Ouellet is not a true Catholic, that he is not representative of Quebec Catholics, and that, indeed, he is against the Gospel.”

He condemned the prelate again two weeks ago after Cardinal Ouellet sparked a frenzy in Quebec by simply reiterating the Church’s teaching of the immorality of abortion in all cases, including rape. The Cardinal told a reporter, after speaking at a pro-life conference in Quebec City: “The child is not responsible for how he was conceived, it is the aggressor who is responsible. We can see him (the child) as another victim.”

Fr. Gravel reacted by saying it is “deplorable that a man who is a cardinal, archbishop of Quebec, would hold views like these.”

“It’s as if women were nothing and what is important is to save their fetus, however it was conceived,” he told Radio-Canada. “We are dealing with rape here.”

These attacks on Cardinal Ouellet by Fr. Gravel are only the latest in a series of public statements and actions he has made in direct disobedience to the Church and her teachings on life and family.

In 2003, Fr. Gravel wrote an article criticizing the Vatican’s stance on homosexuality.

In 2004, he told Radio-Canada that he would not stop receiving Communion despite his support for abortion.

In 2006, he led a group of 19 Quebecois priests in signing a letter condemning the Church’s teachings on homosexuality.

Again in 2006, he defied Vatican directives by taking up a position as Member of Parliament for Repentigny, Quebec.

As MP in 2007, he opposed the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, stating that he feared it would “open the door to a re-criminalization of women who have abortions, and that’s not to be desired.”

Finally, in 2008, he backed the decision to award infamous abortionist Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada, and criticized the Canadian bishops for their opposition.

There are growing concerns among Canadian Catholics regarding the fact that Gravel, who has so often publicly opposed essential Catholic teachings, somehow still manages to retain his priestly faculties.

To sign a petition in support of Cardinal Ouellet, click here.

Find full coverage of Fr. Raymond Gravel click here.

Contact Information:

Most Rev. Gilles Lussier (Gravel’s bishop)

Bishop of Joliette

2, rue Saint-Charles-Borromée Nord

C.P. 470

Joliette, Québec J6E 6H6

Tel: (450) 753-7596

Fax: (450) 759-0929

E-mail: [email protected]

Archbishop Pedro López Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada

724 Manor Avenue

Ottawa, ON


Phone: (613) 746-4914

Fax: (613) 746-4786

William Cardinal Levada

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy


E-mail: [email protected]

(Mail or fax is most effective.)

See related coverage:

Pro-Gay Priest Condemns Canadian Cardinal for Remarks on Abortion/Rape

Cardinal Ouellet Clarifies: Church Still Asks States ‘To Penalize the Practice of Abortion’

Cardinal Ouellet and Ottawa Archbishop: “The Abortion Debate is on”