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What did the Church ever do to them?

A harsh but true assessment of the Church in Quebec

What did the Church ever do to them?


  1. "...naming (and by implication shaming) of...people..."

    This is not a new tactic, Tim. As a matter of fact, it's a tactic as old as organized religion, itself, and was used liberally by organized religions in the past, and with the exact same goal in mind -- to shame its opponents into either silence or compliance.

    Not a good idea to invent a weapon and use it on one's opponents and then scream about how "unfair" it is for them to pick it up and use it in return. Smacks of poor sportsmanship, just for starters.

    "Look at the reaction to Cardinal Marc Ouellet's call for public debate on the morality of abortion. He did not call for legislative change. He called abortion a 'moral crime.'"

    If he did not intend legislative change, then why bother with such a debate? Nobody cares about a public debate without intentions. So he's either lying or he's a fool that's been duped into doing someone else's dirty work for them, and he is rightfully collecting all the heat for it.

    As for "moral crime"...I do wish people would stop with the inflamatory idiocy, already. If it's an actual crime (which abortion is not), prosecute it as such in a court of law. But morality is not collective, and can never be. So trying to attach those two ideas together simply because one can find them as actual words in a common language does not give them a relationship!

    "Gilles Duceppe owes a public apology to the people whose good name he has tarnished and to the prelature of Opus Dei."

    Really? And will those people and Opus Dei be equally publicly apologetic for what they are trying to force upon the rest of the country (most of whom are not only not Catholic, but have no desire to be told how to be "moral" according to that which is alien to them)?

  2. Lady Janus: With diminishing in any way your comment, I do point out that the overwhelming majority of Canadians still claim themselves to be Christian. Further, 50% of the country claims membership in the RC Church. This number is growing because the majority of immigrants from Asia, Latin America and Africa are also Catholics.

    As to Gilles Duceppe, he does owe an apology, not to the country but to the three people that he 'outed' (to steal a line from the Gay lib community) them publicly as members of Opus Dei. I also add that Opus Dei (of which I am not a member) does not resemble the parody that Dan Brown portrayed in the DiVinci Code. They are a fraternal organization of mostly lay people who take upon themselves spiritual disciplines and practices to spread God's peace and friendship. Even though I am not a member, those whom I have met would be at the forefront of arguing for your right to practice your religion.

    As to your first point, all I can plead is ignorance. I myself have not done as you described and I trust you know that I would oppose anyone who did.

    Fr. Tim

  3. Lady Janus: I made a typo! I meant to type 'without diminishing....'


    Fr. Tim

  4. I know about typos, Tim, having produced my own generous share of them personally. No problem.

    But as for most the country's being "Christian" -- it's one thing to "claim" it; it's another thing entirely to practise it. And last time I read anything about the religions and their percentages of the population of this country (not that long ago), about ten percent of the population has claimed to be Roman Catholic...and that does not include the Orthodox sects nor the Reformed Catholics.

    However, that was not the point when I made my comment about what is "alien" to them. I know a lot of Catholics...most of my family claim to be Catholic (one of them even practises it on a regular basis). None of them agree on precisely what "being Catholic" means. And none of them -- including the one who "practises" -- thinks that abortion is a moral crime, or any kind of crime. All of them resent the hell outa being told what to think, and they don't much care who tries to tell them! The very idea that all people "have to" have the same morality is not only alien to them, it can actually be a call to verbal warfare (which can degrade into a donnybrook if liquor is involved).

    But I actually do NOT understand what kind of shame can possibly be attached to being a member of Opus Dei, nor why Duceppe needs to apologize for "outing" members. Are they supposed to be in a closet of some kind? Is this a secret society? I mean, they've got their own website and everything...

    And am I the only person who read and saw DaVinci Code who understands that Dan Brown was not slamming Opus Dei or the Catholic church? He made rather a noisy point of saying that Aringarosa (the first clue is his name) and Silas were not typical of Opus Dei. Am I the only one who paid attention to that? The character of Fache was largely ignored by all Brown's critics, and yet he is the one who acted out of honor and truth to his beliefs -- when he realized that he was being played for a fool and betrayed by Aringarosa, he refuted the betrayer and reclaimed his truth and honor, and he did it without making excuses or apologies about it. Is that not a character Opus Dei would be proud to claim?

  5. Lady Janus: According to the 2001 census, 43% of Canada claims to be Catholic with a further 29% claiming to belong to another Christian denomination. Christians indeed make up a large majority of the Canadian population with Catholics being the fastest growing. The collapse of the mainline protestant churches is matched by a rise in people claiming no particular faith.

    Secondly, there is no shame in belonging to Opus Dei. I chastise Mr. Duceppe for 'outing' the members who belong as he used this affiliation as some sort of evil affiliation. He claims that religion should be kept out of the public square, yet he used their belief as a club. He is a hypocrite (and a fascist... but that's another topic entirely).

    Fr. Tim

  6. Tim, I never trust a census. I've worked them, and I know that people lie...usually for political reasons. And people avoid answering altogether, too, so the official census is never accurate. But even if it had the capability of accuracy in counting, it cannot count what it refuses to see, and it absolutely refuses to see religion with any clarity at all.

    "...he used this affiliation as some sort of evil affiliation." "...he used their belief as a club."

    That happens to me A LOT. Like I said, it's nothing new. And if I have to put up with it, I see no reason why anyone else should be granted a free pass, either. So, welcome to the club, Opus Dei. Have a seat...that one's comfy. Coffee? Or, since it seems to be your first time here, would you prefer something stronger?

    Of course there's no shame in belonging to Opus Dei! So, my question is...why are people reacting as if there were?

    Duceppe's political character notwithstanding, he did not invent this tactic; he merely used it. It's a really, really old weapon that goes back before we wrote everything down for future generations to misunderstand.


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