Cardinal Marc Ouellet: Quebec must 'return to God'


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Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, has once again called for Quebec to renounce its anti-religious secularism and return to its Catholic-Christian roots, reports Patrick B. Craine,

"I sadly note that the total rejection of our Catholic identity leads more and more to a total mess in education," the Cardinal wrote last month in Le Soleil. "The byproducts are well known: fragile couples, broken families, massive abortions, soon euthanasia, suicides at alarming rates, evident school dropouts, work seven days out of seven, etc., etc.. Long live a Quebec free from religion!"

The cardinal's piece was published principally in reaction to recent actions by the Ministry of Education that threaten to eliminate school holidays like Christmas and Easter, as well as weekends. Quebec Minister of Education Michelle Courchesne proposed changes to the school calendar last month that involve repealing section 19 of the province's pedagogical plan, which lists the guaranteed days off for students.

While the minister has said it is "outrageous" to suggest they are seeking to cancel the holidays, the move has been met with widespread criticism. The Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops have called on the minister to give the school holidays greater prominence, rather than removing the section that safeguards them.

The ministry's attempt to repeal section 19 is "yet another education reform [that] adds an additional obstacle to the respect of Sunday," said Ouellet. "The role of the state is not to impose values, but rather to respect the values of pluralist society. ... I oppose [the repeal] not only for religious reasons, but also to protect the family and to leave its Sunday free of work."

"Do we not need a good Lent of conversion and of return to God? Does not Quebec deserve a better religious plan?" he asked.