Sunday, September 6, 2009

Persecution of Christians in Quebec Accelerates

Religious practice in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic province of Quebec is among the lowest in the world. The Church is in crisis and the secular state is becoming increasingly aggressive in attempting to indoctrinate even the children of the remaining practicing Christians in what Pope Benedict XVI called "the dictatorship of relativism."

Lifestite News reports:

"Quebec's Coalition pour la Liberté en Education (CLE) has expressed their shock over the Monday court ruling in Drummondville that shut down parents' attempts to have their children exempted from the province's recently imposed school program in relativism, 'Ethics and Religious Culture' (ERC).

Questioning the legal basis of the ruling, CLE president Marie-Josée Croteau criticized the judge for basing his decision on the teachings of the Catholic Church. "We are surprised and indignant," she said. "This decision is based on an interpretation of the Catholic religion, so we demand respect for the rights of all citizens, believers and atheists."

"The courts are qualified to rule on the sincerity of the religious or philosophical belief of the plaintiff," said CLE spokesman Richard Décarie. "The State is not capable to act as an arbiter of religions and will not become so."

Décarie reiterated in an interview with LifeSiteNews that the fundamental problem with the judge's ruling is his "basing [his] argumentation on the Catholic faith instead of the right to freedom of religion and conscience."

Even so, given the reliance on Catholicism, he believes the judge employed a faulty understanding of Catholic teaching. "It was based on the theologian's opinion more than on the Catholic faith," he said, referring to the testimony of Fr. Gilles Routhier. "For one example, we had a letter from the Vatican saying that that course was the equivalent of pluralism..., it was very bad, and the judge refused to use that proof for the case itself."

The judge, he says, "used testimony from one theologian from a university in Quebec, and he didn't care about all the other witnesses he had in that case. So we think it was favorizing the only opinion that was presented to the judge that he agreed with."

The ERC program, spanning grades 1 to 11, was mandated for all students by the Quebec Ministry of Education as of the 2008-2009 school year. From the earliest age, the curriculum presents a pluralistic viewpoint, purporting to cover the major world religions with total objectivity, and advocates moral relativism, as, for example, in its normalization of homosexuality. It replaces a religious education program that had allowed parents to choose between a Catholic, Protestant, or secular curriculum.

Following a loud reaction, over 1,700 requests for exemptions have been submitted by parents, but all have been refused."

The most astonishing aspect of this case is that the state claims the right to take precedence over the parents of the children of Quebec and determine what religious beliefs they will be taught. Leviathian is totally out of control; this is a policy one would expect from North Korea, Saudi Arabia or perhaps Iran - but not from a Western country shaped by Christianity.

Marc Cardinal Ouellet, the Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada has taken a strong stance against the mandatory religion and ethics course, but has not enjoyed strong support from his brother bishops:

"Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, has long protested the program, however, speaking out strongly.

The Cardinal appeared at the end of 2007 before the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, which sought public reaction to the program, to defend religious freedom and the province's Catholic roots. The mandated course, he said, "subjects religions to the control and the interests of the State and puts an end to religious freedoms in school which were acquired many generations ago."

The Cardinal came out again in an article at the end of 2008 in which he decried the rise of secularism in Quebec. At the time, he was quoted as calling the program "the dictatorship of relativism applied beginning in elementary school."

Referring to the ERC program, he wrote in the article, "No European nation has ever adopted such a radical approach."

"This law does not serve the common good, and cannot be imposed without being perceived as a violation of religious freedom by the citizens," he said. "It would not be reasonable to retain it as it has been issued, because it would create a narrow secularist legalism that excludes religion from the public sphere."

In April this year, the Cardinal admitted frankly that Catholics are persecuted in Quebec, and mentioned the ERC program. "We must offer a choice between a course in biblical culture and the course of the State so that people have a choice and they discover the matrix of Western culture," he explained."

The most astonishing statement here is the frank admission by the Cardinal that Christians are persecuted by the state in Quebec. Eastern Europe is free; but Quebec is not. He writes:

"Like the condemned and crucified Christ, the Catholic Church is being persecuted in the once highly religious province of Quebec because she "told the truth as received by God," the Cardinal Archbishop of Quebec City has said.

In a recent interview Marc-André Séguin of Agence QMI asked the Cardinal whether the Catholic Church is persecuted in Quebec society. Marc Cardinal Ouellet, the Primate of Canada responded, "Sure, absolutely."

"The Church bears witness to the Risen One, who is also the Crucified," said Archbishop Ouellet. "Jesus was committed, he told the truth as he received from his Father. He said: I am the truth. Nobody in history has dared to say that. He was convicted and was crucified for it. Today, when someone dares to say certain truths, he has almost the same fate."

When you pray for the persecuted church in China and other places, remember to pray for Quebec. The rest of Canada should pay close attention to what is happening there because it is a foretaste of what we are all in for as the religion of secualism increases in strength.

If anyone thinks that a society that rejects Christianity will be a neutral one in which there will be no persecution of any religion, that person is naive. The only thing that prevents persecution of the Church is the strength of the Church in society. The depth of faith, the size of the Church and the courage of its leadership in resisting tyranny are what prevent persecution from increasing and becoming aggressive. The secular State is never neutral; it is dangerous and must be limited and kept under control. Eternal vigilence is the price of freedom.


tommyab said...

what the cardinal forget to say is that when christianity becomes the most anti-christian enterprise you can imagine, like Quebec catholiscism up to 1960, you get what you now see in Quebec: people rejecting the gospel because they reject the church.

secularism is worst, but the church failed to repent. She will preach in vain until she humbles herself.

tommyab said...

"Like the condemned and crucified Christ, the Catholic Church is being persecuted in the once highly religious province of Quebec because she "told the truth as received by God," the Cardinal Archbishop of Quebec City has said.

very good.

but my gut is screaming: "poor little you... (sarcasm). In fact, you just rightly and totally justly deserve this kind of "persecution" ... "

I would not dare to call this persecution. I would call this rightly deserved history justice.

when the church destroys the message by the method she employs, she's not "crucified", but the one who crucifies.

repentance and humility. that's the only way for that church.

Quebec people is very strongly innoculated against the gospel, thanks to more than 100 years of catholic church dictatorship.