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Understanding Quebec

March 6, 2007
souvenez-vous?
“Je me souviens,” the license plates read. Do you really? The question applies to both Quebecers and those living outside la belle province: Just what is your knowledge of the Quebec Church and its religious history?
Most people will tell you one of two contradictory narratives. The first is that Quebec remains an uncompromisingly Catholic stronghold of traditional devotions and large families, maintaining the legacy of good Catholic politicians like Pierre Trudeau. Many of us wish it were so, but this is outdated. The second description is that Quebec has become a spiritual wasteland of atheism and social liberalism, overridden with godless politicians like Pierre Trudeau. That impression, too, is alarmist.
So what is the reality of the Church in Quebec? On tonight’s Catholic Focus (airing at 7pm E-T, repeating Saturday, March 10th at 7pm E-T) we ask, among others, Canada’s foremost sociologist of religion, Reginald Bibby, and the Primate of Canada, Cardinal Marc Ouellet. The answer is, to say the least, surprising.
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