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Cardinal: Canadian Bishops Should Speak Up

Responds to Media Criticism for Not Being Vocal

TORONTO, JUNE 4, 2008 ( After being criticized by the secular media for being reticent on moral issues, the archbishop of Quebec acknowledged that the country’s bishops really should speak out more.

Peter Kavanaugh of CBC radio admitted last week at the International Catholic Media Convention in Toronto of being envious of the United Kingdom, where the bishops there are willing “to actually engage in public, in the fiercest of terms, an issue that they saw as being vital to the future of the nation and the future of humanity,” reported

He said the Church in Canada is “quintessentially Canadian,” in that it is “almost unwilling to […] engage in those types of issues, in those types of discussions.”

Cardinal Marc Ouellet conceded the point in comments to “I think if we want to be present, we have to be involved in public debate and to speak clearly.

“This is what Benedict XVI is doing, what Pope John Paul II was doing, but sometimes at other levels of the Church we don’t do that so clearly.”

“For the Church it is a big challenge to adapt to the media culture,” the cardinal said. “We will have to adapt more to affirm the word of God where the forum is open.

“Without attacking anybody, or without violating consciences, but just witnessing to what we have received to give to the world.”

Cardinal Ouellet added that he hoped this month’s International Eucharistic Congress would “draw the attention of the Catholic and secular media, so that people will realize that the Church is very much involved at the heart of the world bringing hope, love and strength to people committed to peace.”

“That’s my hope just before this great event,” he said, “and I hope the media will be there to dialogue with us and bring some space for good news in the world.”

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