Regenerate the Christian culture in Quebec

The first homily of Archbishop Marc Ouellet of Quebec City

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Here are excerpts from the homily given by the Most Reverend Marc Ouellet, given on January 26, 2003, as he was officially installed as new Archbishop of Quebec City (the oldest Catholic diocese in North America) and Primate of the Catholic Church in Canada. It brings hope to the Catholic people of Canada, who are in danger of being engulfed by the violent waves of atheism pushed by the Marxists. Before this nomination, Bishop Ouellet was, in the Vatican, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the Unity of Christians.

by Archbishop Marc Ouellet

“Repent and believe”

“The time is at hand, and the Reign of God is near. Repent and believe in the Good News”. For two thousand years, these words of Jesus have echoed in the world as the reason for our Church to exist...

A sentiment of urgency and gravity emanates from this announcement by Jesus. This sentiment comes from the mystery of His Person and of His mission that the evangelist St. Mark spoke of: Jesus is the Son of God, who came to bring salvation to the world through Faith. This is why His sojourn on earth cannot be placed among the register of human births as a simple event among others. Jesus' story is `the basic event from which all history is measured and accomplished,' say the Fathers of the Church.

The Second Vatican Council remembers this truth of the Word while confessing Jesus as the centre of the cosmos, of human history. His passion, His death and His resurrection are the fulfillment of time and history. It uplifts and regenerates all the human search for salvation and liberty. They offer a fullness of life that the world does not know and can not give. (...)

“Time is short,” St. Paul said, enflamed by the newness of Christ. Let us live like new creatures, and not put anything before Christ. Let us love good things and protect creation, but not fall into the idolatry of money, sex, and material power. Listen to the message of the Cross that maps out the history of the world and the history of New France from Gaspe to Montreal, from Notre-Dame-du-Cap to Our Lady of Quebec. Is not this glorious cross our light and our hope in the midst of these erring times? Is it not our task to bring back the authentic values of solidarity, justice, and peace that the Church in Canada preaches in such a singular manner?

Quebec languishes

The time is short! It is the time to wake up consciences and make a decision of Faith. Quebec languishes far from the values that gave strength and glory to its forefathers. Its will of cultural survival dramatically clashes with a very low birth rate and catastrophic youth suicides. These incomprehensible suicides tear us to pieces, and alarm us about the family situations and about the values that should give sense to their lives. Are these not the signs of the most serious loss that is striking Quebec society: the forgetfulness of its spiritual heritage, the forgetting of its martyrs and saints? But how much more should we see to the teaching of the virtues and spiritual attitudes that form the soul and the destiny of the people!

St. John Brebeuf, Blessed Marie of the Incarnation, Blessed Dina Belanger, and so many of the holy mothers precede us and train us in the way of sanctity. The time is short; the urgency of the Faith is obvious. It is not too late to search together, pastors and faithful, for the ways to regenerate the Christian culture that formed the Quebec of yesterday and today. A new evangelical breeze and new ways are essential so that young people take a more active role in the joy of Faith, like the living joy of the young people who made the World Youth Day in Toronto Good News for the whole world.

We must cultivate together, in peace and harmony, the essential values of Christianity that gravitate around listening to the Word of God, of the dominical assembly and the fraternal communion nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ. The younger generation and the poor beg us to be the Good News of the Reign of God in Quebec, because they hunger and thirst for the ultimate way of the God of life who emanates our testimony. May they find us, although perhaps covered with ashes, always ready to rekindle the flame that revives the enthusiasm of converts. Let us be careful not to extinguish in our province the torch of Faith which is passed on from continent to continent and church to church, by the missionaries from Quebec who still draw the admiration of the Church throughout the world! The pluralist society of today will be greatly impoverished, and the people of Quebec, that work to save their culture, will lose their souls, if they lose Christ, the Lord of life and history. May the Immaculate Virgin, the patroness of this Mother Church, intercede for us so that the Quebec of today and tomorrow will live its divine vocation in union with all nations!

+ Archbishop Marc Ouellet

Professors marked by Marxist ideology

Deplores Archbishop Marc Ouellet

On Ester Sunday, April 20, the Quebec City daily “Le Soleil” published an interview of journalist Claudette Samson with Archbishop marc Ouellet, with this headline: “Kids are pig-ignorant as regards religion.”

“The school is the place par excellence for the transmission of religious values. If it were only up to Marc Ouellet, the new Archbishop of Quebec City, the talks about the place of religion in classrooms if far from being over. Three months after his nomination as the head of the archdiocese, which received much media overage, the Primate of the Canadian Church saw by himself that young people are pig-ignorant as regards the Catholic culture. ‘The kids ask me who is that guy on the cross!’, he said, deeply shocked. “The debate is not over on what's left with religious teaching in schools,” he said, adding that there is presently an awakening in the Church about the urgency to transmit the Faith.

“The Archbishop is hard on the teachers who, according to him, failed in their duty. For example, he criticizes the professors from the years 1970 to 1980 who, marked by Marxist ideology, had a bad influence on the young students of secondary and collegial schools, by destroying the link with the Church. ‘They interpreted Quebec's history as a period of great darkness, without realizing that Quebec would not have survived as a society without this close alliance between the Church and the families.’

“But all is not so dark. Archbishop Ouellet says he was most impressed by the World Youth Day celebration that gathered 700 young people in Quebec City, on April 12. ‘When I asked them if they agreed to help me rejuvenate the Church of Quebec, they all stood up and agreed to take on this challenge. They are a light for the future. Young people must be the missionaries among other young people. They are the ones who know best their own culture.’

“The new Archbishop of Quebec City points out that Quebec is a pluralistic society, and that ‘there is a place for everyone in it, including Catholics,’ but he added that ‘this does not mean that the Church must let imposed upon her a new definition of marriage for homosexuals who want to consecrate their union that way.’

“Archbishop Ouellet feels that the loss of spiritual values in Quebec's society has favored the emergence of mental health problems. People now rely heavily on counseling, because they no longer go to the confessional. Confession had an extraordinary therapeutic effect,’ he said.

“To conclude, the present tragic cultural situation in our society is for him ‘a call to go back to the essential — Jesus!” 

This article was published in the May-June-July, 2003 issue of “Michael”.

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