Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Secular Quebec's 'crisis of values' shows in health problems: cardinal
Hostile Media Blamed; 'Disoriented, unmotivated, unstable' population
Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, October 14, 2008
MONTREAL - The Roman Catholic Primate of Canada, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, says the growing spiritual void in Quebec is contributing to "grave and costly repercussions" in the province's public health system.
In a philosophical review, Vita e Pensiero, published by the Catholic University of Milan, the Quebec City cardinal writes that Quebec's growing social problems can be attributed to the rupture between its religion and its culture.
"The listless anxiety of Quebec's young people, the decline in the marriage rate, the low birth rate, the increasing number of abortions and suicides, has contributed to a crisis of values," he writes.
In the article, Where is Quebec Going? Cardinal Ouellet describes Quebecers as "disoriented, unmotivated, unstable and preoccupied with values that are superficial and fleeting."
As a result of its precarious social behaviour, the province is ripe for "a new evangelization and spiritual awakening," the Cardinal says.
He also blames certain Quebec media outlets for contributing to the problem by being hostile to the Church. They have gone out of their way to denounce Catholicism, he charges.
"This spiritual and cultural void is fuelled by cliche-ridden, anti-Catholic rhetoric that we often find in the media," he writes.
"By ridiculing their own religious heritage they are destroying the soul of Quebec."
Last year during Quebec's roaming hearings on the integration of immigrants, Cardinal Ouellet said Quebecers' malaise over integrating newcomers was rooted in their abandoning the Catholic faith, blaming "secular fundamentalists" for leading Quebecers astray.
"I think the major problem is the malaise of the Catholic majority which needs to find a religious reference point, which needs to renew with its spiritual values," Cardinal Ouellet then told reporters.
Cardinal Ouellet is considered among the highest-ranking Roman Catholic officials in the country and is known for his conservative views.
He is the Primate of the Catholic Church in Canada, but that is an honorary title given to all Quebec City archbishops, since it is the oldest diocese in the country.