The Anglican Bishop of Montreal has called on Anglicans in his diocese, still predominantly English-speaking, to avoid intemperate language and fear-mongering in response to the September 4 election of a Parti Quebecois minority government in Quebec.
Bishop Barry Clarke said Anglicans in the diocese, with about 70 parishes on Montreal Island and surrounding areas of western Quebec, should make sure that “we definitely don’t engage in rhetoric and language” that could jeopardize the dignity of Anglicans. He made the comments in an extemporaneous addition to his bishop’s report at a regular meeting of the diocesan council, made up of almost 40 clergy and lay people from across the diocese, on September 10.
He added that, “We do not tolerate violence in any form”—apparently a reference to the fatal shooting of a stage technician during a speech by premier-elect Pauline Marois at an election night rally. An English-speaking Quebecker has been arrested.
He said the Anglican and biblical tradition of praying for those in authority should continue under Ms. Marois as it did under the previous Liberal premier, Jean Charest.
“We prayed for Jean Charest and now we pray for Pauline Marois.”
He and the dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, The Very Rev. Paul Kennington, with the tacit endorsement of the diocesan council, took steps to reiterate opposition to the federal government’s plans to destroy Quebec data in the long-gun registry that Ottawa is trying to abolish. Dean Kennington noted that at the annual diocesan synod last year, a motion calling for data in the long-gun registry to be preserved had already been adopted. This was also the position of the previous Liberal government of Quebec.
The bishop, the dean and others were asked to issue a statement on behalf of the diocese.
Harvey Shepherd is the editor of the Montreal Anglican, the newspaper of the diocese of Montreal.