By Deborah Gyapong Catholic News Service
"I think that when the heart is changed, when it is changed by God, then one can talk about the moral questions. That's how I work," he said.
Asked how he resembles or differs from Pope Francis, Cardinal-designate Lacroix told reporters: "He has a lot more experience. He is a Jesuit; he's a scholar. I am not a scholar."
But the cardinal-designate's years as a missionary in South America and similar work in Quebec preaching retreats has given him a lot of pastoral experience.
"We have that in common. We like to work with people," he said. "Both of us are in love with the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Gatineau Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the cardinal-designate "is recognized throughout the country as an extraordinary leader who is an enthusiastic preacher, with an unmistakable missionary zeal that is accented by his complete dedication to the new evangelization. He is known as a man of sincerity and humility who possesses a welcoming spirit. Most of all, he brings the person of our Lord Jesus Christ to everyone, regardless of their age, sex, culture, faith or personal circumstances."
Gerald Lacroix was born in Saint-Hilaire de Dorset, Quebec, July 27, 1957, the eldest son in a family of seven children. At the age of 8, his family settled in Manchester, N.H., where he attended the parochial elementary school of St. Anthony of Padua and Trinity High School. He studied one year at St. Anselm College in Manchester.
He joined the Pius X Secular Institute as a consecrated lay member in 1975, and made perpetual vows in 1982. The same year, he was named secretary-general of the institute. He earned a master's degree in pastoral theology at Laval University, and from 1985 to 1987 directed the La Maison du Renouveau, a formation and Christian renewal center.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1988. From 1990 to 2000, he served as a missionary in Colombia, where he established several houses for the institute. After his return to Canada, he became director general of the institute in 2001.
In 2009, he was named a bishop and served as auxiliary bishop of Quebec until his promotion to archbishop in 2011.
(CNS Photo/Paul Haring)