Friday, September 21, 2007

Mayor of Saguenay, Quebec stands up for Catholic faith

Folks, we have to acknowledge a politician when he stands up for Catholic values. So I hope a lot of you Catholic bloggers take note of Jean Tremblay, the mayor of Saguenay, Quebec.

The Quebec government has launched the Bouchard-Taylor commission, the purpose of which is to examine "reasonable accommodations" i.e. attitudes towards various religious and ethnic groups in society and how they integrate into society.

Jean Tremblay made a presentation in front of the commission. This is what he had to say:

SAGUENAY, Que. - The Roman Catholic religion has played an important role in Quebec history and its imagery should remain in public institutions, the mayor of one of Quebec's biggest cities told hearings into the reasonable accommodation of immigrants.

Saguenay Mayor Jean Tremblay told the Bouchard-Taylor commission on Thursday that Catholicism still holds an important place for many, pointing out that 95 per cent of Quebecers are listed as Catholics.

"The Catholic religion is one of the nicest values we have in Quebec," Tremblay said during the second day of hearings in the Saguenay, north of Quebec City.

Tremblay is among a handful of mayors in Quebec who still open town council meetings with a prayer.

"We are a little easy-going," he said. "When someone who represents three per cent of the population wants to do something, everyone bends. But when the mayor wants to say his prayer, we tell him to respect secular principles."

He also criticized what he characterized as a lack of moral leadership among Quebec politicians.

"Things haven't been going well since we've lost our fundamental values," Tremblay said. "People aren't as happy."

He also called for clergy to come teach in Catholic schools, and said that there is a difference between secularism and atheism.

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