Card. Ouellet, Prefect for Bishops, on how bishops should teach

I have been favorably impressed by Card. Ouellet since I met him Rome. 

From LifeSite:

Ouellet: We Need Bishops With ‘Spiritual Discernment’ over ‘Political Calculation’
“We have suffered from this mentality of dissent” that is “still dominating the intelligentsia,” said Ouellet.

By Patrick B. Craine

QUEBEC, August 19, 2010 ( – Bishops “need spiritual discernment and not just political calculation of the risk of the possibility of the message being received,” said Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the newly-appointed prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, in an interview this week.

“We have to dare to speak to the deep heart, where the Spirit of the Lord is touching people beyond what we can calculate,” he told Canadian Catholic News’ Deborah Gyapong.

During Cardinal Ouellet’s eight years as the archbishop of Quebec City and primate of Canada, he has become known as one of the country’s greatest defenders of faith, life, and the family.

This past spring he drew sharp criticism, from within and outside the Church, after he reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of unborn life, even in cases of rape. He later unapologetically reiterated his views on abortion in a press conference arranged to address the controversy.

Earlier this week the head of the Quebec Bishops Assembly, Bishop Martin Veillette, suggested in a critical interview that while Ouellet has desired to “emphasize certain points of view that he considers important,”  “There are times when it is more important to keep silent than to speak. [That path, it seems to me, has been chosen too often.]

“There are things like that, sometimes, that you need to know how to manage,” he said. “It’s a bit delicate.”

But in the recent interview, Ouellet said that in addition to fearlessly preaching the teachings of the Church, bishops must embrace them deeply.  “Then you have the power of conviction,” he said.
[Watch this.] “If you state it only formally and in the end you do not really want to see it applied because you don’t believe that it is possible that people accept it, you are in trouble for the transmission of the message,” he added.

The cardinal, further, said the Church needs what Gyapong called a “new intellectual dynamism” to “recapture the spirit of Christianity” and “create a new Christian culture.[Shades of the new dicastery Pro Repropaganda.]
“We need intellectuals for that, theologians, philosophers, Christians who really believe in the Gospel and share the doctrine of the Church on moral questions,” he said.  “We have suffered from this mentality of dissent” that is “still dominating the intelligentsia.”  [I have occasionally written about the false dichotomy that the left/liberals have a penchant for setting up between "intellectual" and "pastoral"… or even "pastor-e-al".  What Card. Ouellet is doing here, I think, is pointing to a proper integration of intellectual and pastoral.]
“There is no real discipleship there, real discipleship,” he added. “The discipleship that is emerging is from those who believe and who really love the Church.”

The former Primate of Canada and Archbishop of Quebec City celebrated his farewell Mass on Sunday, the feast of the Assumption, at Ste. Anne de Beaupre.  The church was packed with over 2,000 faithful, with hundreds others being turned away for lack of space.  After his homily, he was congratulated with a lengthy standing ovation.

In his new position as head of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Ouellet will assist the pope in choosing the next generation of the world’s bishops.

In that role, he told Gyapong, he will seek out bold “men of faith” with “the guts to help people live it out.


WDTPRS kudos to His Eminence the Prefect.

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  1. J Kusske says:

    “Bold men of faith” is precisely what the Church needs, and God grant Cardinal Ouellet and the Holy Father the grace, prudence, fortitutde, and perseverence to renew the world’s episcopate! By the same token, may their example work to renew the prietshoo,d relgious, and and laity as well.

  2. “If you state it [the Church’s teaching] only formally and in the end you do not really want to see it applied because you don’t believe that it is possible that people accept it, you are in trouble for the transmission of the message,” he added.

    This is absolutely spot on. Alas, it reminded me forcefully of a recent exchange between the BBC and the new Archbishop of Westminster:

    Cardinal Ouellet’s comment could almost have been written with this very exchange in mind…

  3. Random Friar says:

    Dear Benedict: That was a painful interview to read. We should not fear to present the Truth, ever, but always do so in as much clarity and charity as we are able, even if it may be, at times, impolitic.

  4. maynardus says:

    This is another sign (as if we needed it) that Pope Benedict XVI “gets it”.

    The mess in the Church over the past 40-50 years didn’t come from the pews. Good bishops run good dioceses that have good pastors (and parishes) who form good Catholic families from whence good vocations come!

    Many people smarter than me have commented on the elevated quality of episcopal appointments in Benedict’s papacy, if anything it sounds like things are being ratcheted-up a notch or two.

  5. Marcin says:

    He’s the man.

    Chronia polla!

  6. William of the Old says:

    Unfortunately, this holy bishop is being sniped at by a “brother” bishop:

  7. Iconophilios says:

    Here in Canada, it’s a bit sad to have His Eminence leave us, but I trust that he might leave us a successor with a spine (unlike many bishops we have in Canada.)

  8. Hidden One says:

    I think that he will look good in white, one day.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    The political mind finds it hard to accommodate the spiritual mind of Christ. Again, thinking like a Catholic with Christ’s Mind seems rare among bishops, excluding this fine leader, of course. Sadly, good bishops, like Bishop Finn of the St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese are ridiculed even by priests, nuns, DREs in his own diocese, and these “leaders” hope he will be moved so that their liberal ways can continue unabated.

    More holy bishops ordaining more holy priests is what we lowly laity need now. Thank you, Cardinal Ouellet.

  10. Kudos Cardinal Ouellet! Exactly what the clergy and faithful and the world needs and directly in line with the teaching office of a bishop.

    How sad it is that intelligensia continues to trip over themselves to great detriment to souls. To this they will be accountable in what they do and also that what they do not do as this is an act as well.

    Providentially, the tide seems to be turning by grace through great bishops willing to be martyrs in the public place inside and outside the Church.

    Once again we can see this as a loss in translation, even of their own creation.

    Ordinary Form – Penitential Act: Form A (Confiteor)

    Current Transalation:
    “…I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and
    in what I have failed to do…”

    New Translation:
    “…I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do through my fault, through my fault…”
    through my most grievous fault…”

    “…quia peccàvi nimis cogitatiòne, verbo, òpere et omissiòne, mea cupla, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…”

    Extraordinary Form – Confiteor
    “…quia peccàvi nimis cogitatiòne verbo, et òpere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…”

    That Truth may be known and professed.

  11. Consilio et Impetu says:

    At one time the Crozier had, besides a crook, a pointed end. The crook representing how some sheep needed to be saved via use of the crook by pulling the sheep up, other sheep needed to be prodded with the sharp end of the stick, so to speak, to get them back into the fold. When any new bishop is chosen he will need to be like any real and true shepherd who has to be brave to fight off the wolves who want to devour the sheep. They need to be the “sheep gate” for their flock, which may mean he will need to get down and dirty to protect his flock. A bishop also needs to teach and at times that means to to teach by example, not only by words. All bishops and pastors of souls need to be men of courage to speak the truth when the truth needs to be heard. Bishops, as shepherds, need to look towards Jesus, remembering that He taught, admonished, forgave, led and one time got angry enough to overturn the tables of the money changers in the Temple. As the Church in the U.S.A. starts to use the better translations of the Roman Missal the bishops need to make sure they are used verbatim (pun intended), and all liturgies are conducted with true worship and devotion to God, even if that means adopting “shepherd collies” to keep some Pastors of Souls in line. The days of experimentation and personal interpretations need to be stopped,like marauding wolves, in their tracks. SAY THE BLACK, DO THE RED! SAVE THE LITURGY, SAVE THE WORLD! Bishops must be bishops and not CEOs! May St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, intercede to his Foster Son, to bless the Church with good, holy and courageous bishops.

  12. New Sister says:

    Oh I like this Cardinal-Prefect!

    Supertradmum – yes, I know about the infestation of liberals at the lower levels, who seem so difficult to dislodge, who actively seek to undermine a faithful pastor… that is why it is important for faithful laity to volunteer and call them out – first one-o-one, then with a few witnesses, then to the Church. Good bishops and pastors need us down there, protecting the parts we can see of of the flock from the liberals’ heresies, and alterting Church authorities to the bigger problems.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    New Sister,

    Yes, sigh, but isn’t it great to have such a Cardinal who is willing to lead in obedience to our Holy Mother Church?

  14. Traductora says:

    I will admit that when I heard “Quebec,” my heart sank, since it is consistently the least-practicing area of Canada. However, I suspect that Cdl Ouellet probably had many, many years of false teaching to overcome and has probably done all that could be done during his stay. Quebec is similar to Barcelona, in that both of these dioceses got heavily into left-wing ethnic and linguistic nationalism/separatism – while the faithful voted with their feet and either went off to become Mormons or nothing at all. It must have been hard for him to reassert Catholicism as a religion and not as some group’s ethnic banner (with a tiny hammer and sickle in the corner).

    He sounds very good and I think we might get very good bishops from him. Here’s praying!

  15. John Ashley says:

    His Eminence will have the opportunity to change the direction of the Church in Quebec in very short order. His former archdiocese will have to have a new archbishop. One other diocese (Saint-Jean-Longueuil)in Quebec is governed by a bishop who has passed the retirement age but whose resignation has not yet been accepted. Significantly, there is an auxiliary bishop in the diocese. The auxiliary was formerly an auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Montreal.

    The Church in Montreal is a disaster presided over by Cardinal Turcotte. Do not be surprised if the auxiliary is passed over in favour of another appointee.

    By December of next year a further seven bishops will have to submit their resignations upon reaching the age limit. Included in those seven is the Archdiocese of Montreal. Quebec has nineteen dioceses.

    With the appointment of Cardinal Ouellet the influence of Cardinal Turcotte on episcopal appointments in Quebec is hovering around zero.

    Cardinal Ouellet’s appointment to Rome is providential for the Church in Canada. Deo Gratias!!

    John Ashley

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