Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A Benedictine conversation about the election in Quebec

From Dom Charles Gilman, o.s.b.April 7, 2014

Dear friends,Tonight Philippe Couillard became the Premier of Québec and his party, the Liberal Party of Québec, has a comfortable majority of seats in the Legislature for a four year mandate. They are the federalist party.  In other words, they are happy for Québec to be part of Canada.
Dr. Philippe Couillard, new premier of Quebec
I was moved to tears when our new Premier said in his speech tonight that "the time of division is over, now begins the time of reconciliation." He held out a very big welcome to all of us who have moved here from outside Québec and told us that we are at home.  One only has to live here for a time to know that the separatists want to sow the seeds of prejudice against everyone who is not a native born francophone Québecois.  I know the reality of this very real prejudice.

Pauline Marois resigned this evening as the head of the separatist Parti Québecois.  She was not re-elected in her own district as a member of the Provincial legistature.  This is one of the worst defeats ever for the PQ.  They sowed the seeds of their own destruction in calling this election and in the way they conducted themselves during it.  The reactions that I saw this evening in their leaders were the reactions of enraged ideological fanatics.

Needless to say I am very happy with the outcome of this election.  It gives me hope for the future including that of my own community.

God bless,Chip (aka Fr. Charles)St. Benôit-du-lac, Québec, CANADA
St. Benôit-du-lac
To: Dom Charles S GilmanApr 8, 2014

Deo gratias, Father,  I am so pleased for you, for my brother and his family in W. Quebec and for all our confreres in the province and Canada.  

My prayer is that the forces of faith and virtue will overcome the darkness of the PQ vision of isolation and prejudice once and for all. 

On a personal note, I see that the federalist forces were victorious in my home riding of Pontiac and in the riding of Robert-Baldwin (Montreal West Island) named for the great Canadian patriot and champion of Responsible Government.

Robert Baldwin with Louis H. LaFontaine were co-premiers of the first government of the united Canadas in the 1840s. The riding is named for him because of the great respect they had and continue to have for him in French Canada. 

When his colleague, LaFontaine, needed a seat in the legislature Baldwin supported his run in York (Toronto area) and then later, after the Orange Order defeated him by nefarious means, he ran himself in Rimouski, Quebec where, as an anglophone, Robert Baldwin was elected by French Canadians. 

All of this was accomplished with little violence between the French and others.  It has been said: "This non-violent tradition we owe to Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, who refused to abandon principle, and who walked away from retribution."  J.R. Saul

Let us pray that the new premier and his government will follow their example of principle and justice.

Robert Baldwin is my daughters' great X 4 grandfather on their mother's side. He was a devout Anglican and I am sure his prayers are with the new premier of Quebec.

Fr. John L. Hodgins, 

St. Thomas More Catholic Church,

Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St.  Peter, 

Toronto, ON

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