Canada: The Bishops Are Preoccupied by the Secularization of Society

April 15, 2017
Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

In their ad limina visit on March 28, 2017, during a meeting with Cardinal Kevin Farrell at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, the bishops of western Canada voiced their worry at the “highly secularized Canadian society” that is now “very far from Christian values”.

According to the press agency I.Media on March 29, this situation can especially be seen in the high number of abortions and the adoption of laws in favor of euthanasia in Canada.

On its website, Radio Canada published the recording of a conference given at the University of Sherbrook (to the east of Montreal) on January 20, 2016, in which sociologist Jean-Philippe Warren described the loss of religious sentiment in Quebec. Before 1960, he said, “it was unanimous”. “All French Canadians practiced the Catholic religion, that formed a sort of ‘Nation-Church’.” The period that followed, from 1960 to about 1995, saw “the slow erosion of Catholicism in Quebec, even if it remains a cultural reference to which many are attached”. In 1995, “we entered upon the era of religious acculturation”.

To give an example, DICI explained in an article last year (see #340, Sept. 9, 2016) that in 1971 almost all marriages (95.4%) were celebrated at the church. In 2015, that number had dropped to only 44%.

Sources: Canada – DICI#353 April 14, 2017