08 November 2007

Is the Pope coming to Quebec next year?

Marc Cardinal Ouellet, the Archbishop of Quebec and the primate of the Catholic Church in Canada, is planning to organise an open-air mass attended by 100,000 people in Quebec City next year as part of it's 400-anniversary celebrations. He has asked Pope Benedict XVI to attend and preside over the mass.

Ouellet said that the mass "will certainly be the culmination of our efforts to re-evangelize Quebec". He explained that "there is a need in Quebec to reconnect with our Christian roots and to revive the Catholic identity" (Windsor Star).

I think, though, that it would take more than a mass to "re-evangelize" Quebec, which has turned into a highly secular society in the last few decades. Big events such as this one may attract the public's attention for a few days or weeks until the next major headline comes along, but if the Church is serious about reviving Quebec's Catholic identity, etc., it has to show its relevance to people's lives, something it has, to some extent at least, failed to do since the Quiet Revolution.

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