June 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of Canada’s few outspokenly pro-life bishops is leaving his position as archbishop of the prominent diocese of Quebec to a new high-level post overseas in the Vatican. However, in his new job as the head of the Vatican dicastry which has a major say in appointing bishops and cardinals, Cardinal Marc Ouellet may have an even greater influence on the Church in Canada and especially his beloved Quebec. That is because nearly half of the bishops in the province are due to retire in the next two years, and more after that while Ouellet will be in his new position.
In his seventh year as a Cardinal and at age 66, Cardinal Ouellet still has at least 9 more years to be in a prominent role of service to the Church (official retirement age is 75). His appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops comes at an especially opportune time given that nine of the 19 Latin Rite bishops in his home province of Quebec are set to retire in the next two years. And within that number are four of the five most powerful posts or ‘metropolitan sees’ as they are known.
This is absolutely fantastic news. As the Prefect for Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal Ouellet gets to decide what bishops get appointed where and what priests get to become bishops. This absolutely fantastic news for Canada. Cardinal Ouellet is one of the handful of bishops in this country who “get it“. He’s been in the lion’s den in Quebec City for years now so he knows first hand of the mess Canada is in – both in his own province and around the country. The great thing about this posting is that, not only is Cardinal Ouellet an outspoken pro-life bishop, he’s Canadian too. That’s a double benefit to Canada’s pro-life movement. He knows the lay of the land and that means that it’s not going to be business as usual. New bishops will be outspokenly pro-life. No more old boys’ club appointments. Thanks be to God.
He’ll have an opportunity to reshape not only the Canadian episcopacy but the episcopacy of the whole world. The Pope basically rubber stamps his recommendations. That’s a big stick indeed to wield. It’s really bad news for the liberal wing of the Church. Really bad news for the backslappers and ladder climbers in the Church. Not only is he going to be responsible for replacing 9 of the 19 bishops in Quebec in the next two years, but 90% of the bishops of Quebec will be retiring in the next 10 years, the probable term of Cardinal Ouellet’s appointment.
Next decade, Quebec’s (and Canada’s) episcopacy will have Marc Ouellet’s fingerprints all over it.
And with that, the Church in Canada and Quebec will begin it’s revival. Like I said, it starts in Quebec.
By the way, Msgr. Ouellet is papabile too. That is, he’s Pope material. When Benedict passes on, Ouellet will be on the short list – given his experience around the world and his extensive positions in numerous Vatican dicastries.
He’s gotta be a front runner.
A Canadian Pope, eh?
And they say God doesn’t have a sense of humour!