Author Topic: Was Canada a Catholic Country?  (Read 321 times)

Offline Jayne

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Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« on: September 05, 2020, 07:35:45 AM »
A tangent occurred in another thread and I would like to pursue it:

And Canada was once a Catholic country, so our lack of Catholic values is more tragic.

Lower Canada has been Catholic since the early period of colonization but Upper Canada had the established Church of England as the official religion, if I'm not mistaken.

No it wasn't the official religion.  My ancestors built the first stone Catholic Church in Upper Canada, Saint Raphael's in Glengarry County.  https://saintraphaelsruins.com/

Alexander MacDonell was the first bishop of Upper Canada.  The Catholic encyclopedia refers to him as "the Apostle of Ontario."  https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09489b.htm
 

Canada has been officially Catholic at various points in its history. The first British claim occurred  before they left the Church:

Quote
In 1497, when John Cabot landed on the same island of Newfoundland, just on the Avalon Peninsula and nowhere near L'Anse aux Meadows, he raised the Venetian and Papal banners and claimed the land for his sponsor King Henry VII of England, while recognizing the religious authority of the Catholic Church.[7]

Jacques Cartier also made Catholic claims in Canada.  The St. Lawrence River bears that name because he discovered in on that feast day in 1534.



The French colonies established under Samuel de Champlain in the early 1600s were Catholic. Even when conquered by the British, it remained Catholic.  The British North America Act of 1774 contained provisions for this:

Quote
Reference to the Protestant faith was removed from the oath of allegiance. It guaranteed free practice of the Catholic faith....It restored the Catholic Church's right to impose tithes.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_Act

In 1791, largely due to a significant influx of Protestants as United Empire Loyalists fled the rebels, Quebec was split into Upper and Lower Canada. This is probably what Vetus refers to above.  Lower Canada remained French speaking and Catholic, while Upper Canada was English. Upper Canada did have land set aside for supporting Church of England clergy, but there were no restrictions on people practicing Catholicism.

In 1841, the two Canadas were united into a single Province of Canada (still under British rule) and in 1867, along with the Atlantic provinces became a federal dominion. "Dominions were the semi-independent polities under the British Crown that constituted the British Empire."  Quebec remained Catholic through these changes.  Catholic education was permitted and even sometimes government-funded throughout the country.  To this day, there are nominally Catholic schools that are publicly funded in some places in Canada.

Quote
As of 2011, it [Catholicism] has the largest number of adherents to a Christian denomination and a religion in Canada, with 38.7% of Canadians (12.81 million) being adherents according to the census in 2011.[4]
However, relatively few of these are practising even to the extent of regular Church attendance.  I suspect, the percentage of Catholics, both nominal and practicing is even lower now, since this number has been decreasing rapidly.  As Wikipedia puts it:

Quote
It appears that across Canada the Catholic Church is declining, as society becomes more irreligious, resulting in closures of increasing numbers of churches in all provinces and territories in the country. Identification with Catholicism (as well as to other sects of Christianity) in Canada is also declining. In addition to this phenomenon, new religious communities are being established in relation to newcomers to Canada....

The Catholic population underwent its first recorded drop between 2001 and 2011. Notable trends include the de-Catholicization of Quebec, a drop in the Catholic population in small provinces with stagnant populations, and a rise in Catholics in the large English-speaking provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. Immigration has not helped prevent the decline in the Catholic population; the only major source of Catholic immigrants to Canada is the Philippines.

The above quote is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Canada along with much more information.
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2020, 07:57:42 AM »
I liked this comment in another thread so much that I am importing it here:

Canada has no claim whatsoever to being morally superior to the US.  There are even areas in which we are worse.  And Canada was once a Catholic country, so our lack of Catholic values is more tragic.
I think Canada's problems can be solved by her being returned to her rightful owner, Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou.
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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2020, 08:09:52 AM »
"It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry"
 
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 11:43:11 AM »
I think Canada's problems can be solved by her being returned to her rightful owner, Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou.

I like him better than Trudeau, but that is not saying much.  I even like Greg better than Trudeau.

By the way, my avatar is Our Lady of Canada.  Another famous Canadian image is Our Lady of the Cape, at  statue at Cap-de-la Madeleine.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_the_Cape
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 11:45:29 AM by Jayne »
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2020, 12:38:51 PM »
As an added curiosity I should point out that, while the Norsemen were the first Europeans to sight Canada in the Middle Ages, the land was firstly explored at the end of the 15th century by Portuguese explorers João Fernandes Lavrador and Pêro de Barcelo. No settlements were established, as far as I know, because the crown focused all its resources on the exploration of the Southern Atlantic.

The region Labrador itself takes its name from João Lavrador.
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2020, 01:50:47 PM »
The Norse settlement discovered by archeologists at Anse-aux-meadows in Newfoundland was possibly founded by Lief Erikson (although that is not the only theory).  Since he was Catholic, there may have been a Catholic settlement in Canada as early as the 11th century.
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Offline LausTibiChriste

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2020, 02:39:03 PM »
Canada's Catholic history is awesome...and not just Quebec...the OMI (mainly) priests settling the West, plus the very influential Ukrainian Catholics in the Prairies are very interesting. And there's also a small but strong community of Traditional Anglicans (most Ordinariate now) across the country.

Quebec is, of course, the cornerstone. You can still feel it when you're there, even if the people have abandoned it. I am Catholic, ultimately, because of my French ancestry.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 04:48:29 PM by LausTibiChriste »
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2020, 06:16:10 PM »
The Carillon-Sacré-Coeur flag is one of the best standards in the history of Catholic heraldry, I must say.

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Offline Jayne

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2020, 07:34:04 PM »
That flag is very beautiful but it makes me sad.  I find it a painful reminder of what has been lost.
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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2020, 07:41:30 PM »
I think Canada's problems can be solved by her being returned to her rightful owner, Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou.

I like him better than Trudeau, but that is not saying much.  I even like Greg better than Trudeau.

By the way, my avatar is Our Lady of Canada.  Another famous Canadian image is Our Lady of the Cape, at  statue at Cap-de-la Madeleine.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_the_Cape

My avatar is Our Lady of the Cape.  She is also known by the titles Queen of the Holy Rosary and Queen of Canada.  I am a member of a Rosary Confraternity that's affiliated with Cap-de-la Madeleine.

The story about the miracle of the ice bridge at the Cape is quite interesting.

https://www.michaeljournal.org/articles/roman-catholic-church/item/our-lady-of-the-cape
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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2020, 07:52:53 PM »
As an added curiosity I should point out that, while the Norsemen were the first Europeans to sight Canada in the Middle Ages, the land was firstly explored at the end of the 15th century by Portuguese explorers João Fernandes Lavrador and Pêro de Barcelo. No settlements were established, as far as I know, because the crown focused all its resources on the exploration of the Southern Atlantic.

The region Labrador itself takes its name from João Lavrador.

"Around 1525 Basques began whaling and fishing for cod off Newfoundland, Labrador, and similar places.[23] In his History of Brittany (1582), the French jurist and historian Bertrand d'Argentré made the claim that the Basques, Bretons, and Normans were the first to reach the New World "before any other people".[2][24] The Bordeaux jurist Etienne de Cleirac (1647) made a similar claim, stating that the French Basques, in pursuing whales across the North Atlantic, discovered North America a century before Columbus.[25] The Belgian cetologist Pierre-Joseph van Beneden (1878, 1892) repeated such assertions by saying that the Basques, in the year 1372,[Note 3] found the number of whales to increase on approach of the Newfoundland Banks."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Basque_whaling
Like John Vennari (RIP) said "Why not just do it?  What would it hurt?"
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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2020, 08:41:11 PM »
A lot of French Canadians live in northern Ontario.  The Earl of Selkirk founded colonies in Prince Edward Island, Upper Canada and the Red River colony (in what became Winnipeg, Manitoba) for displaced Scottish Highlanders, the majority of them would be Catholic.  Glengarry County was settled by Catholic Highlanders after the American Revolution.  The Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company were manned by French Canadian voyageurs as well as mostly Highland Scot factors.  Louis Riel's Assiniboia which was made up of Catholic French Canadian, Highland Scots and Metis was set up like the senoras (spelling) of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River.  Starting in 1823 through to 1825 Peter Robinson administered the passage and settlement of over 2500 poor Catholic families mostly from County Cork, Ireland to settle in the hinterlands of Lanark County, Carleton County (today Ottawa) and Scott's Plains. Scott's Plains was renamed Peterborough in his honour.  I imagine there are similar stories all across Canada.  You are right Laus, Canada's Catholic history is awesome.

I'm not sure if we could call Canada a Catholic country, but I do remember when the population of Canada was over 48 percent Catholic.
Like John Vennari (RIP) said "Why not just do it?  What would it hurt?"
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"Tell people that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted it to Her." Saint Jacinta Marto

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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2020, 10:17:16 PM »
As an added curiosity I should point out that, while the Norsemen were the first Europeans to sight Canada in the Middle Ages, the land was firstly explored at the end of the 15th century by Portuguese explorers João Fernandes Lavrador and Pêro de Barcelo. No settlements were established, as far as I know, because the crown focused all its resources on the exploration of the Southern Atlantic.

The region Labrador itself takes its name from João Lavrador.

"Around 1525 Basques began whaling and fishing for cod off Newfoundland, Labrador, and similar places.[23] In his History of Brittany (1582), the French jurist and historian Bertrand d'Argentré made the claim that the Basques, Bretons, and Normans were the first to reach the New World "before any other people".[2][24] The Bordeaux jurist Etienne de Cleirac (1647) made a similar claim, stating that the French Basques, in pursuing whales across the North Atlantic, discovered North America a century before Columbus.[25] The Belgian cetologist Pierre-Joseph van Beneden (1878, 1892) repeated such assertions by saying that the Basques, in the year 1372,[Note 3] found the number of whales to increase on approach of the Newfoundland Banks."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Basque_whaling

It's quite possible that the Basques did it a century before. The Scandinavians certainly knew about North America.

The registers we have are from João Lavrador at the end of the 15th century but maritime knowledge is cumulative, like any other area.
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Offline LausTibiChriste

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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2020, 03:19:20 PM »
A lot of French Canadians live in northern Ontario.  The Earl of Selkirk founded colonies in Prince Edward Island, Upper Canada and the Red River colony (in what became Winnipeg, Manitoba) for displaced Scottish Highlanders, the majority of them would be Catholic.  Glengarry County was settled by Catholic Highlanders after the American Revolution.  The Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company were manned by French Canadian voyageurs as well as mostly Highland Scot factors.  Louis Riel's Assiniboia which was made up of Catholic French Canadian, Highland Scots and Metis was set up like the senoras (spelling) of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River.  Starting in 1823 through to 1825 Peter Robinson administered the passage and settlement of over 2500 poor Catholic families mostly from County Cork, Ireland to settle in the hinterlands of Lanark County, Carleton County (today Ottawa) and Scott's Plains. Scott's Plains was renamed Peterborough in his honour.  I imagine there are similar stories all across Canada.  You are right Laus, Canada's Catholic history is awesome.

I'm not sure if we could call Canada a Catholic country, but I do remember when the population of Canada was over 48 percent Catholic.

Your knowledge of Upper Canada/Ontario history is always rather impressive.

Do you know of Rose Prince?
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Re: Was Canada a Catholic Country?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2020, 11:01:57 PM »

Do you know of Rose Prince?

No I didn’t.  Thanks for mentioning her.  Nice story.  It looks like we may have another Canadian saint sometime in the future.  The Canadian residential schools, at least the one at Lejac must not have been that bad considering Rose Prince spent most of her life there, even her summers and after she graduated.  Yeah the story of Rose Prince should be told, especially to natives.

Rose Prince (Lejac) Pilgrimage
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A candidate for sainthood? Grave of Rose Prince brings pilgrims to former residential school
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/indigenous-womans-grave-site-brings-pilgrims-to-former-b-c-residential-school

My sister and her husband used to live in Smithers, about half way between Prince George and Prince Rupert.  They would have past by Lejac on Fraser Lake on their way to Prince George.  I will have to tell them about Rose Prince.
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