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From Rechristianization to Contestation: Catholic Values and Quebec Society, 1931-1970.


Speaking before the Commission d'etude sur les laics et l'Eglise (Commission Dumont) in 1970, Jean-Paul Gignac articulated the feelings of many when he stated that although the church had greatly furthered the survival of French Canadians, the men and women of his own generation had been "strangely traumatized" by Catholicism.(1) At one level, their perplexity can be read as but the obvious response to the travails of Quebec Catholicism in the 1960s. For many decades prior to 1960, the Catholic Church had been successful in imposing on most of Quebec society what appeared to be a unanimity of social and cultural values. But after the mid-1960s, an increasingly evident decline of religious practice, the abandonment of the priesthood by many clergy, the indifference of young people to Roman Catholicism,(2) marked the rapid erosion of the church's social and cultural authority. That erosion was marked in many ways: the deconfessionalization of many Catholic educational and social welfare institutions; the creation of a new pluralist society through state intervention; the rise of a secular "neonationalism" based upon economics, language, and the power of the state instead of a common religious faith; and, at a popular level, the replacement of Christianity by the secular values of a mass-market, North American consumer society. Together these developments, termed the "Quiet Revolution" by historians, decisively marginalized the social and cultural role of Catholicism within Quebec society.

However, what is striking about Gignac's intervention before the Dumont Commission was that although he was one of the key members of the new interventionist state called into being by the events of the 1960s,(3) he clearly held Roman Catholicism itself, rather than the rapid expansion of the modern, secular state, accountable for the disorientation of those who lived through the 1960s. This, in turn, raises the question of the precise relationship between Roman Catholicism and the social and cultural modernization of Quebec. In recent years, there has been considerable challenge to the older explanation of the Quiet Revolution as the struggle of a small coterie of liberal and neonationalist intellectuals, clustered around Cite libre and Le Devoir, against the authoritarian, corrupt regime of Maurice Duplessis.(4) In historical works written since 1980, the sudden impact of modern values in Quebec's society and state now emerges as part of a much longer process of adjustment to the forces of liberal, market capitalism and to the impact of the culture of mass society in North America.(5) However, in both these accounts of the modernization of Quebec, Roman Catholicism and Catholic values loom as shadowy, elusive presences,(6) less important as analytical subjects in themselves. Rather, historians have portrayed the Catholic Church as a repository of "tradition," an institution mired in a rural, utopian past and thus inevitably destined to melt away in the face of the march of secular ideologies and cultural practices, liven the standard history of postwar Catholicism, Jean Hamelin and Nicole Gagnon's Histoire du catholicisme quebecois,(7) presents a picture of institutional ossification and internal confusion in which Catholicism is a complex of structures and values being acted upon by secular forces outside, rather than constituting a dynamic presence in which Catholic values were not only integrally engaged with Quebec society but were themselves catalysts of change. More recently, historians of Quebec, such as Ronald Rudin and Jean-Marie Fecteau, have called for a more "balanced" treatment of the society's past, with greater attention devoted to the less "modern" aspects of Quebec that account for its uniqueness in North America. In particular, this search for balance involves a renewed attention to the content of religious ideologies and their relationship to politics and the state(8)

Since the 1980s, Quebec historians have largely abandoned the thesis of a monolithic, clerical-conservative ideological hegemony that kept Quebec society in a state of cultural backwardness, dominated by the outmoded values of the rural community and social hierarchy. Major scholarly works have firmly placed much of Quebec politics and society between 1850 and 1960 within the framework of an evolving capitalist economy, anchored on a bedrock of liberal convictions and political arrangements.(9) However, there remains a problematic gap within this historiographical current. If we accept the thesis of the dominance of forms of liberal ideology in modern Quebec history, what remains unaccounted for is the transformation of liberalism in the social and political context of Quebec after the Great Depression. Liberal ideology was altered from a creed stressing individual effort, personal responsibility and a small state, to a more collectivist formulation that underpinned notions of the modern welfare state and currents of social democracy. Here, the new historiographic orientation, for all its revisionism, falls back upon the insights of the heroic school of the Quiet Revolution. They have claimed that these ideas constituted a "revolution in mentalities" imported to Quebec by a few intellectuals, largely educated outside the province in the new social science disciplines in the years after 1945.(10) Alternately, these historians have postulated that this new collectivism was a foreign "imposition" by Ottawa, as Maurice Duplessis himself believed. Indeed, it might well be argued that Duplessis's version of events then became incorporated wholesale by Duplessis's Liberal successors after 1960.(11)

The ideological modernization of Quebec was, however, neither the creation of a few dedicated secular intellectuals, nor was it imposed after World War II by the constraints of a restructuring of the Canadian federation. Its roots lay, rather, in [he efforts of the Catholic Church to devise a socio-political solution to the economic catastrophe of the 1930s, a response that, despite superficial appearances, constituted far more than a shift to the right or an enunciation of conservative, authoritarian values.(12) It is the argument of this article that the social thinking of Catholicism during this period brought to Quebec society a significant degree of ideological pluralism. This pluralism replaced the influence of liberal capitalism that had been maintained for many decades before this time with the blessing of the church. During the 1930s and following years, however, Catholic thinkers themselves became responsible for suggesting that a significant measure of state intervention in the field of social welfare and economic planning could restore social solidarity. Because secular trade unionism, democratic socialism, and Marxism remained relatively weak in Quebec, this reformist current within the church itself must be considered one of the principal reasons why significant numbers of Quebec Catholics embraced collectivist interpretations of human society and modern economic organization.


This paper is an initial effort to recast the place of Catholicism within the historiography of post-1930 Quebec. Most histories follow the lead of Pierre Trudeau's celebrated La greve de l'amiante.(13) In contrast to Trudeau, who located the origins of Quebec's ideological pluralism in a critique of traditional, Catholic ruralist ideology that began in the post-World War II period, the argument presented here places the critique of "traditional" ideology in the early 1930s, within the framework of a Catholic response to the Great Depression. During the thirties, many Quebec Catholics attempted to discern a "third way" between the revolutionary ideologies of Marxist and fascist collectivism and unreconstructed liberal capitalism. Inspired by Pope Pius XI's encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno, modernist elements within Quebec's Catholic Church promulgated what was, in effect, a program of "rechristianization" anchored on a pluralist ideology that stressed the more collective implications of spirituality and salvation. This Catholic response to the crisis of industrial society rested upon the promotion of corporatism as the key to economic and social progress, a program summed up by one observer as "[u]nite without unifying; [c]oordinating without absorbing; [g]rouping without loss of identity."(14) Moreover, it specifically enjoined Catholic laity to engage in social and political activism as one of the conditions of salvation. However, because the church rejected compulsion in its quest for politico-economic stability, "rechristianization" in the context of Quebec society, revolved around a second pole, a massive and intensive scheme of popular education, demonstrated most prominently in the creation of various Catholic Action youth movements.(15) As stated by, Father Joseph-Papin Archambault, who headed the Jesuit-inspired Ecole sociale populaire, the key was to form "a Catholic sense," which meant that the primary task was to "lead the intelligence to think, conceive, and judge--naturally, spontaneously--in a Catholic way, according to the spirit of the Church, following the doctrine of its teachers and the directives of its leaders."(16)

In Quebec, the spearhead of these efforts at social reform were groups such as the Ecole sociale populaire that grouped reformist Catholic clergy and university academics, the Catholic trade unions, grouped in the Confederation des Travailleurs Canadiens et Catholiques (C.T.C.C.), and a number of youth organizations generally included under the rubric of specialized Catholic Action. Drawing their inspiration from the recent papal encyclicals and the example of efforts by European clerics, such as the Belgian activist Father Joseph Cardijn, proponents of social Catholicism in Quebec had, by 1936, established a series of youth movements directed to the working-class (Jeunesse Ouvriere Catholique), students (Jeunesse Etudiante Catholique), and those living in rural settings (Jeunesse Rurale Catholique), each grouping young men and women in parallel organizations.(17) In the late 1930s, these Catholic movements, and to some extent the social program of rechristianization itself, fell under the influence of the French philosophy of personalism that sought to defend human beings against the faceless automatism of totalitarianism and the atomization of liberal capitalism by asserting the absolute value of the human person. Personalism, however, was not simply a reassertion of individuality; rather, it considered the affirmation of human potential in terms of one's membership in the wider community.(18) The result was that, among elements of the church hierarchy and in the Catholic Action movements themselves, there came to the fore a new spirituality, a type of "social Christianity" in which the older emphasis on personal piety and individual redemption was devalued and interpreted as but a function of institutional and collective salvation. During and immediately after the Second World War, this spiritual collectivism, despite the ongoing suspicion of the church hierarchy for movements that styled themselves "socialist,"(19) tilted many elements within the Catholic Church to the left of the political spectrum, and it was under the influence of personalists, trained within the circles of Catholic Action, that the corporatism of the 1930s was not so much swept away as reinterpreted in a more liberal, humanist, social-democratic direction in the two decades after 1945.(20) And it was personalism that encouraged a rethinking of the relationship between Catholicism and nationalist ideology in Quebec during the postwar period.

Personalism was an important element of what Philip Gleason has termed the "Catholic Renaissance," an intellectual movement that swept Western Europe and the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. Emphasizing that Catholicism must be understood as a total "culture," it sought, through the revival of neo-Scholastic philosophy, to order all knowledge and values into a comprehensive, organic unity.(21) In the United States, however, personalism generally acted as a conservative force, both theologically and socially. Apart from "countercultural" figures like Dorothy Day whose Catholic Worker offered a radical critique of modern capitalism and the social conservatism of the church hierarchy, American Catholic thinkers between the 1920s and the 1960s formed a solid phalanx against communism and used personalism to arrest what they believed was the spread of "secularism," the moral decay of modern society.(22) By contrast, in Quebec, personalism provided a far more varied ideological spectrum. This ideology underpinned a powerful social and political conservatism that at times exhibited considerable sympathy for French, Italian, and Spanish fascist and ultraconservative movements.(23) But, beginning in the 1930s a "left" personalist current, emphasizing not only the absolute value of the human person, but a forceful critique of liberal individualism, gathered strength after 1940. It was this leftward tilt, inspired particularly by the French personalist philosopher Emmanuel Mounier,(24) that spawned a Quebec social-democratic political tradition in its attempt to incorporate elements of the Marxist critique into Christianity.(25) The significant differences between the way in which personalist ideology interacted with the Quebec and American Catholicism can be traced to the fact that American Catholics were a minority culture confronting not only a Protestant majority, but well-developed, home-grown traditions of secular trade unionism and Marxism. Consequently, American Catholics stressed the theologically and socially conservative implications of personalism. In Quebec, Catholics formed an overwhelming majority of the population and controlled the provincial political state, although large sectors of the economy were dominated by "foreign" (that is, Anglo-American) capital. The strident nationalism of most of Quebec's francophone Catholics thus fuelled and legitimized a vehement critique of liberal capitalism. Secondly, large segments of the labor movement were directly inspired by Catholic social teaching, that meant that Catholics desiring collectivist social reforms could do so in conformity with papal social teachings without breaking with the church or espousing Marxism.

However, it was not Catholicism's encouragement of pluralist and collectivist ideologies in the political and economic realms between 1930 and 1960 that caused the disorientation and confusion experienced by so many Quebec Catholics after the mid-1960s. Nor was it simply a case of a traditionalist institution unable to adapt its ideologies and structure to the secular values of an urban society or mass consumerism. The Catholic Action movements, which for so many clergy and lay leaders served as schools of social and political democracy, were inextricably bound up with a more authoritarian-modernist spirituality, in which these activists imbibed a healthy dose of contempt for traditional religious practices and attitudes. All were heavily influenced by the personalist insistence upon spiritual "authenticity" and purity, that, in the four decades between the Papal Encyclical of 1931 and the Dumont Commission, led many in these movements to an elitist dismissal of popular Catholicism as a "folk" religion pervaded by hypocrisy, routine practices, and blind adherence to tradition and the dictates of priests. This Catholic elite, in attempting to impose a new spirituality on ordinary Catholic believers, which they argued was more attuned to the needs of modern society, articulated a vision of modernity in which postwar Quebec society had made a clean break with its past. This history was one that few of these Catholic modernists believed held anything of cultural or redemptive value. Thus, beginning in the 1930s and becoming far more strident in the 1950s, the personalist assault on older Catholic piety and religious practices opened an ever-wider gap between church leaders and popular culture. It was not so much Catholicism itself that was contested in Quebec between 1950 and 1970 because nearly all agreed that Quebec was and should ideally remain a Catholic society. The central question was whether or not Catholicism should continue to incorporate, harmonize, and reconcile both the "modernist" quest for personal, spiritual authenticity and the "traditionalist" repository of religious practices built up over several centuries. It was precisely this religious version of modernity that Jacques Poulin castigated as having "marked a rupture with the past and tradition rather than simply synthesizing what was valuable in the past with what is good in the new values."(26)

Quebec Catholicism's response to the social and psychological crisis of the Great Depression was the adumbration of a program of "rechristianization" that envisioned both structural and spiritual reform. The main priority of such efforts was directed at navigating a "third way" between the totalitarian dictatorships of both left and right and the unrestrained economic and social individualism associated with unreconstructed liberal capitalism--in other words, to devise a form of collectivism in which the spiritual needs of the human person would not simply disappear in an anonymous mass. For many socially conscious Catholics, the key to transforming society lay in awakening and harnessing the appetites of young people for an authentic spirituality, to imbue them with a sense of common purpose and a mystique of action that would, at a stroke, sweep away the tired compromises of an older generation hopelessly mired in the religious, political, and cultural conventions of a bourgeois mentality. Writing in 1936, Francois Hertel, professor at College Brebeuf, a Jesuit college classique in Montreal, defined the Depression as "a world upheaval favoring an anxious and searching younger generation in the face of their smug, satisfied, elders." Modern youth, observed Hertel, could be summed up as "alert, fierce, and intense," qualities that, while expressing themselves in brusque, violent, confrontational language, indicated that they "thirsted for deeper experience."(27) What especially struck Hertel was the fact that Catholic youth were at the forefront of this revolutionary spirit, demanding "the freedom to do good, to sanctify themselves, in the face of conformity. This generation dreams of a Christianity to restore, a healthy nationalism to counter oppressive racisms." Such energies, he believed, could only be satisfied through their enlistment in "the great spiritual offensive" envisioned by Quebec Catholic leaders as integral to a reconstructed and Christianized social order.(28)

Hertel's call for the recognition of the spiritual qualities of modern youth represents a crucial moment in the transformation of Catholic social thought in Quebec. During the late 1930s, enormous efforts were begun by a host of Roman Catholic publicists and university intellectuals to promote the economic program of corporatism, which lay at the basis of the church's plan of social reform.(29) This vision emulated the ideal of common economic interests as the basis of social cohesion. Stressing the voluntaristic character of the corporatist idea, Esdras Minville of the Ecole des Hautes etudes commerciales of the University of Montreal argued that the corporatist state would not emerge from the decisions of a dictatorial elite, but was in fact the fruit of popular education: it would emerge from below, from the efforts of trade unions, professional associations, agricultural cooperatives,(30) and, of course, first and foremost from the Catholic church. In the process, however, corporatism became tightly fused, in the minds of many Catholic social activists, with the tenets of personalist philosophy, as articulated by the French Catholic thinkers Jacques Maritain and Emmanuel Mounier, whose works and influence had begun to attract numerous young Quebec Catholics during the late 1930s.(31) What sustained this synthesis was the alarm displayed by Catholic social critics that the western world was confronted not only by the apparent death agonies of bourgeois civilization, with its values of individualism and hedonism, which they believed was an affront to "human solidarity," but by three dictatorial "statisms," each of which constituted the negation of the human person.(32) For those inspired by personalist doctrines, demands for collectivist solutions to the economic and social crisis must somehow be reconciled with the defense of the spiritual.(33) Thus, as Francois Hertel stated, it was necessary to affirm that the human person was; "the center of the universe," around which society and state must converge.(34)

Between 1936 and 1942, the addition of the personalist tincture to corporatism accentuated its character as the foundation of a pluralist economic system in which the human personality would find its fulfillment. For example, Father Emile Bouvier, later an influential professor of industrial relations at the University of Montreal, stressed in a speech to an assembly of youth that French-Canadian Catholic social thought, and particularly corporatism, was the very antithesis of dictatorship and compulsion, because it was based upon "the freedoms of individuals, of families, and professional bodies." Corporatism was thus promulgated as a primary means to economic independence and dignity for urban workers and small farmers, for it would permit "the different classes to determine the relations of labor and capital and professional problems as a function of the family." A network of producer and consumer cooperatives and judicious intervention and regulation by the state, particularly in the areas of public utilities, electrical power, and mines would, in Bouvier's estimation, secure and reinforce this new and more humane social order.(35) Thus, by the 1940s, the supporters of "Christian corporatism" asserted that although it restored the organic unity of society through an equilibrium and reconciliation of class rivalries, it had nothing to do with totalitarianism. It was, rather, a "pluralist social order" based upon new social solidarities appropriate to a modern civilization.(36)

However, the significance of the church's social program of "rechristianization" lay less in the specific: formulation of the economic doctrine of corporatism itself than in a vigorous promotion of a new collectivist spirituality, carried out under the rubric of the Catholic Action movements. Writing in 1941, Archbishop Joseph Charbonneau of Montreal defined the church as a society organized hierarchically, "a powerful, disciplined, conquering army, where all are on active service." This emphasis upon the power of collective discipline was particularly evident within Catholic Action circles, which the Archbishop clearly envisioned as the cutting edge of the church. He reminded the Catholic Action militants that they must aim not simply at individual conversion but, through a collective apostolate, at the Christianization of social settings and institutions.(37) Within the movements themselves, however, young Catholic laypeople, and many clergy themselves, tilted these episcopal pronouncements decisively in favor of a collectivist vision of salvation. Possession of a collectivist mentality, they maintained, was a key attribute of modern spirituality that set them apart from the older generation and traditional practices of the church. Holiness, declared Alex and Gerard Pelletier, two of the luminaries of the Jeunesse Etudiante Catholique, "seems too often an individual adventure, this solitary voyage on a path bordered with thorns, according to the Jansenists ... on the contrary we see all humanity, like a river, marching towards the Kingdom. We are a small drop of water in this river. We are the limbs of the mystical Body, members of an immense people comprising sinners and saints, in solidarity with all these people.... This spirituality ... will highlight this communitarian aspect of Christianity."(38) The reference to "Jansenism" was less an evocation of the seventeenth-century French struggle than a code word denigrating a purely individualist spirituality that many in the Catholic Action movements dismissed as undergirding bourgeois civilization.

Excited by the church's 1943 proclamation of the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ, Catholic Action circles in Quebec proclaimed that "the Catholic religion is an eminently social institution," where individual salvation was, quite simply, obsolete. The new modern values of collaboration, solidarity, and service to the human masses must be placed at the forefront of spiritual virtue.(39) In 1943, Father Maurice Lafond informed his readers that Christ did not come to save souls; rather, his mission on earth was to attack unjust institutions and social customs.(40) This injunction decisively reversed the priorities of the traditional Christian message that had underpinned the old liberal social arrangements and ideologies. Traditional Catholicism, argued Lafond, had maintained that by working outward from the salvation of the individual, the building of a Christian society could be accomplished. Modern civilization, this priest observed, revealed the fallacy of this doctrine. "In today's society," he concluded, "institutions are too often a permanent occasion of sin and evasion of the divine. We must seize hold of these institutions. Through them we can prepare the Christian social climate that, with the aid of God's grace, will assure the reign of virtue."(41)

In the personalist form of social Christianity that dominated the Catholic Action youth movements, the fulfillment of the human personality was less a function of the cultivation of individual qualities than of the nature, value, and function of the relationships that linked humans together in communities and societies. This "primacy of the social," in which the Christianization of institutions and social behavior must come before individual salvation, was widely regarded as nothing less than the establishment of a higher and more spiritual form of human civilization,(42) one that would supersede and transcend both old liberal individualism and totalitarian collectivism. Two significant consequences flowed from this new Catholic "social gospel." First, the Catholic Action emphasis on social reform through a spiritual "collectivism," rather than upon specific economic doctrines themselves, served the important function of bridging the older corporatist thinking and social democracy that flourished in the climate immediately following World War II. In Catholic Quebec, corporatism was thus not entirely discarded as an outmoded tradition and replaced by "modern" forms of social and economic thinking. Therefore, Quebec's postwar ideological climate cannot be summed up by a simple dichotomy between a corporatist "right" that sought to foster an authoritarian social order based upon the equation of Catholicism and a hierarchical social order that exalted rural values, and an anticorporatist, social-democratic left that accepted the reality of an urban, industrial Quebec. Rather, several of the concerns of the 1930s phase of "rechristianization"--for example, its virulent critique of liberal individualism, its promotion of community solidarity, and its priority upon the stability of the family--were worked by Catholic activists into currents of thought and social action that present-day historians would regard as entirely acceptable and praiseworthy: trade union social democracy, advocacy of a larger role for the state, and the political rights of women.(43)

Catholic social thinking remained allied to a resolute opposition to liberal individualism in the years after 1945, a critique regarded as necessary to "uplift the human person" and to protect it against "greedy capitalism."(44) Writing in 1950, Camille Laurin, a Montreal psychiatrist and the figure who, as Minister of Cultural Affairs after 1976 in the Parti quebecois government of Rene Levesque, designed many of the controversial language laws, celebrated the disappearance and futility of the old economic liberalism. Government, he stated, had now abandoned laissez-faire doctrines and, by entering the field of social security, had recognized the threat posed to personal freedom by monopolies and cartels and the routinization of industrial work. In the place of this obsolete liberalism, Laurin concluded, was emerging "a new doctrine ... which will borrow the spirit of the ideas of Smith and Locke, but which will not shrink from borrowing from the socialist economies a good number of their methods and administrative workings. Individual freedom, in its classic sense, will find itself certainly diminished.... [T]his sacrifice ... must be the price of the social progress that is promised by an economy more suitable to the type of collective life required by our age."(45) For activists like Laurin, the interventionist state sought to bridge old-style liberalism and collectivist socialism and thus, in his estimation, modern developments validated the search for a "third way" and the new social orientation within Catholicism itself.

A similar conclusion was reached in 1949 by one Pierre Trudeau, who three decades later as Prime Minister of Canada was to be one of Laurin's most implacable foes. Speaking to the Camp Civique d'Ete, Trudeau stated his conviction that the divisions in the modern world could be summarized in the conflict between three ideological currents: Christianity, where all are equal and brothers in Christ; Liberalism, where each individual seeks his liberty at the expense of others; and Marxism, which sought the liberty of all by removing all liberty. Trudeau concluded that "only Christianity offers true freedom to the human spirit.... Lived Christianity is a social religion, the only one that gives an answer to all problems."(46) In this formulation, and particularly within the postwar climate of anticommunism, Christianity was emphatically not a defense of liberal individualism in the face of the Marxist threat. Rather, many leading figures within the Catholic Action movements, such as Gerard Pelletier, who was influenced by the "left Catholicism" of Emmanuel Mounier in France, believed that Marxism and Christianity stood on a similar plane of spiritual authenticity: "despite the fundamental objections of sincere Christians to Marxist doctrine, they are much closer to Marxist men dedicated to their cause than egoistic men who have prostituted themselves by defending the abuses of capitalism."(47) The reluctance to identify Christianity with political liberalism rested, for these Catholic critics, on the belief that for many millions of people, the Western democracies constituted a negation of Christianity's respect for the human person, for they rested on "political freedom and not economic freedom."(48)

Here, then, was the problem that lay at the root of the "third way" ideology sponsored by the Catholic Action movements: how to achieve a truly "social" democracy that rested on the economic democracy that Marxism promised without the class antagonisms and the loss of personal freedom that led to totalitarianism. The resolution of the conundrum, many believed, lay in severing notions of class from the dynamic of opposition and inequality. It was here, they argued, that Christianity would find its role in the modern world, as a vast project of popular education that would ultimately bridge and reconcile social divisions through possession of a democratic culture founded upon Catholic values. The postwar Catholic vision of social democracy, however, owed much to the corporatist outlook of the 1930s in its emphasis upon pluralism and participation. The proper fulfillment of human values in modern society, its proponents explained, depended not simply upon articulating a relationship between the individual and the state. While the state, in a modern democracy, possessed the supreme authority of supervision and regulation and was at the service of human beings and the common good, its authority was not total, for between it and the individual stood various intermediate bodies, families, municipalities, parishes, trade unions, professional associations, and political, charitable, and religious bodies, each charged with upholding a well-defined aspect of the common good and each constituting a part of a well-functioning political society.(49) The personalist goal of self-fulfillment was precisely a function of the participation of the individual in the life of the social whole through these intermediate bodies, which Catholic activists viewed as constituting the terrain of Christianization.

Thus, the superiority of Social Catholicism to both Marxism and liberalism lay precisely in its recognition of this "intermediate" terrain as the focus of reconciliation and harmonization of class antagonisms. As explained by Claude Ryan, the national secretary of Catholic Action who became during the 1960s the most influential intellectual voice of federalism in Quebec as editor of the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir and in 1978 leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Catholicism fully accepted the modern world as divided into classes and that such class divisions were essential to the proper functioning of society. However, the principal factor in class division was "social function," a realization that he believed would ultimately remove any hint of antagonism or conflict.(50) It was the goal of Catholic Action to locate a principle that would transcend the conflict of class and social groups inherent in liberal society, and this, Ryan believed, would be achieved by the fostering of a "communitarian spirit" that would permeate the intermediate bodies and, thus, the values of individuals and the political state itself.(51) These sentiments were echoed in 1959 by Fernand Jolicoeur, the director of education for the Catholic union central, the C.T.C.C. "Through Catholic Action and trade unionism," Jolicoeur stated, "we are perhaps at the dawn of a culture freed from its individualist and utilitarian baggage, which weighed down the bourgeois world over the past centuries, a culture that has become more humane ... no longer at the service of one class as an instrument of domination and division, but at the service of all humanity as a means of communion."(52) Indeed, given the nature of modern industrial organization and rising prosperity, postwar Catholic commentators expected that the economic distance between the different classes would lessen. Thus, the principal challenge to the achievement of a Christian social democracy lay in the spiritual and cultural realm, as large-scale industry, automation, and depersonalized work threatened to reduce humans to a conformist mass, incapable of participation in civic life. Such developments would thus frustrate the personalist attempt to achieve the full development of human potential in the modern world. Under modern conditions, it was the task of Catholic Action to foster social and cultural democracy by permeating all those institutions and groups that lay between the individual and the modern state, a task that would diffuse Christian values and practices throughout the social and political order. Such an approach was pluralist in that it accorded full recognition to the distinctions and articulations that modern society created, but sought to discern within these differences a wider solidarity that would forge "the democratic union of all citizens ... in the common task of conserving and extending the heritage of civilization."(53)


Between 1940 and 1960, the personalist spiritual emphasis upon solidarity promoted by Quebec's Social Catholic movements acted as one of the main avenues for the infusion of a social-democratic culture into many facets of Quebec society. At one level, this "modernist" Catholicism, as I have argued, placed a high emphasis upon a community ethos as a condition of individual freedom and aimed at nothing less than "the integration at the level of society" of the entire human heritage of political virtue, "of material prosperity, spiritual treasures, and inherited wisdom."(54) However, its legacy was highly paradoxical, for despite its democratic aspirations, it rested upon an authoritarian, elitist spirituality profoundly contemptuous of popular religion. The overarching goal of personalist Catholicism was at heart a conservative one, namely, to ensure that religion would continue, even under the conditions presented by an urban civilization, to shape and guide the basic values of Quebec. However, the presence of this religious sensibility within Quebec's Catholic Action circles had a profoundly unsettling effect, for it posited an unbridgeable gulf between past and present religious attitudes and rested upon a fundamentally antihistorical belief that Quebec's past contained nothing of value for modern Christians.

In popularizing this interpretation of religion, Catholic Action leaders lent powerful credence to what had, since the mid-1930s, been a principal dynamic of the Catholic youth movements, that a fundamental attribute of modern culture was the struggle between the values of older and younger generations. Secondly, by constantly deploring the relationship that had evolved between Catholic religion and the French Canadian community, Catholic Action promoted, despite its intentions, an uncoupling of Roman Catholicism and nationalism. Finally, the personalist critique of traditional religion was part of a wider attempt to locate the sources of what many Social Catholics maintained was Quebec's "inferiority" vis-a-vis the rest of North America. In this diagnosis, French Canadians and, in particular their religious values, were themselves to blame for their cultural and intellectual inadequacies. Thus, although the Catholic Action personalists aimed at a rejuvenated Catholic spirituality as a source of social unity in the modern world, by the early 1960s the impact of their efforts made religion a contested and extremely volatile cultural terrain within Quebec. Hence, the perplexing nature of deconfessionalization and Roman Catholicism's retreat from public involvement, which many have claimed was the result of the mass psychological rootlessness of the 1960s, were not a function of a struggle between traditional religion and unbelief; rather, they involved a process in which ordinary Catholic believers found many of their cherished convictions and practices subjected to a pejorative; assessment by a Catholic elite that dismissed them as relics of a medieval age, traditions that could offer humans no guidance in framing modern values and institutions.

Writing in 1959, Claude Ryan articulated the consensus of opinion that had emerged during two decades of research and discussion within the Catholic Action movements regarding the state of religion within Quebec when he wrote: "A devirilized religion, to which women willingly responded by adhering to it in far greater numbers than men.... A timid religion ... A religion where the questions of the day and fundamental issues of faith cannot be addressed without seekers after the truth being immediately silenced by arguments from authority. A religion where vigorous theological reasoning and wide-ranging historical work is no longer found.... In sum, a religion where, for many generations, intellectual life was completely stunted."(55) Ryan's thoroughgoing arraignment of Catholicism was not only a specifically gendered view of religion. His positive identification of intelligence, learning, competence and social awareness with masculine values and his castigation of "feminine" qualities of timidity, submission to authority, and lack of intellectual rigor served, in fact, as a convenient shorthand for what he believed was an ongoing struggle within Catholicism itself, between the spiritual values of an activist elite, which stood for dynamism and modernity, and those of a conformist mass, whose religious values had remained immobile for over three centuries. For Catholic Action leaders like Ryan, the essential precondition to the task of rechristianizing the modern social order was the cultivation of a new, outward-looking, dynamic Catholic spirituality, appropriate to men living in a highly educated, economically prosperous industrial civilization, one that would not lapse into an inward-looking, unrealistic personal piety dependent upon the promptings of clerical authority figures,(56) but would confidently seek out new terrains of social and cultural endeavor. To achieve this end, Ryan urged a purging from Catholicism of what he called its "historic encrustations," by rediscovering the sources of religion in the Bible, the church fathers, and the liturgy.(57)

Although forceful, Ryan's indictment of French Canadian Catholicism was hardly original, and indeed, it belonged to a tradition of social analysis that had gained wide currency within Catholic personalism since the 1930s. Under the influence of the French Catholic thinker Emmanuel Mounier and his circle, Catholic Action's spiritual views, especially after 1945, were strongly marked by a kind of Christian existentialism in which older models of Catholic piety were denounced as completely divorced from the reality of human life. The Catholicism of the modern masses, personalists maintained, could only be reinvigorated by the energies supplied by a new spiritual elite, whose chief quality was an unmitigated, Promethean scorn for the old conventions of Catholic spirituality.(58) Within these intellectual circles, it was fashionable to decry what was termed "traditional" French Canadian Catholic piety, dismissing it as hopelessly credulous, routinized, and anti-intellectual, utterly lacking in holiness and heroism, and thoroughly pervaded with decadent bourgeois sensibilities. In 1936, Francois Hertel, a mentor to both Pierre Trudeau and the future separatist leader Rene Levesque, described Catholicism in Quebec as "a habit to which the mass of the people simply conforms." The clergy, he charged, had preached a religion that was overly negative, devoid of dogmatic rigor, and obsessed with a rather narrow, legalistic moralism.(59) Catholicism was responsible for creating a cultural and social climate in which "ignorance of Christian commitment, social indifference, fear of engagement, and collective egoism" flourished.(60) Such a Catholicism devoid of spiritual content, Hertel believed, was appropriate to what French Canadians in fact were, "an immobilized people, a nation turned to the past more than to the future."(61)

What gave this critique of popular religion compelling urgency after World War II was the very effort to assert an alternative to the economically driven social theories of both liberalism and Marxism. Central to the Catholic program of rechristianization was the notion adumbrated by Claude Ryan that "the religious fact, contrary to what the proponents of liberal philosophy believe ... is a basic element in the formation and evolution of cultures and civilizations; it is not simply a by-product."(62) However, in asserting the primary causal link between religion and human civilization, the promoters of Catholic Action brought to the fore serious reservations concerning the very character and nature of the religious practices of the Catholic majority in Quebec. On all counts, their social analysis convinced them that the Catholicism familiar to the majority of French Canadians was a complete failure, as it had remained, in its fundamental values and practices, profoundly rural, "strongly marked by a climate of orthodoxy and submission to authority." Such a religion could offer little in the way of inspiration or cohesion for modern French Canadians, for its character had been framed according to the needs of a rural rather than an urban society. The anachronistic character of this popular Catholicism meant that, in effect, religion, from their point of view, rather than playing a creative role in modern society by fostering social solidarity and personal fulfillment, opened "a gulf between religion and life that works at the level of the daily life of ordinary people, opening it to diverse manifestations of a decadent civilization."(63)

Thus, for leading activists like Claude Ryan, the essential spur to their efforts at rechristianization was not the fear of class conflict, but the conviction that Quebec was passing through a "spiritual crisis" that affected the religious values of all sections of society. This crisis could only be met by a rapid, thorough and authoritarian infusion of modernist, personalist values into French Canada's religious fabric. To allow the persistence of "traditional" religion would be to institutionalize and perpetuate an already palpable conflict of values between older and younger generations, a struggle that risked the destruction of "those immutable principles that lie at the basis of any true humanism."(64) In accounting for this cultural tension between "traditional" and "modernist" values, Catholic Action assigned the principal blame to the values of the older generation, which they criticized as "outmoded visions of history," founded upon ultraconservative strands of Catholic thought imported from France between 1850 and 1935.(65) Catholic Action leaders dismissed these ideologies as thoroughly vitiated by the misguided attempt to locate social cohesion in a synthesis of nationalism and clericalism. In the context of Quebec, Catholic Action leaders stated that in the interests of religion's role as the harmonizer of both dynamic and cohesive social values, Catholicism must be freed "from the nationalist myths that we grew up with and we must, in our thinking, definitively break the conjunction of religion and nation that we have learned to venerate as dogma."(66)

During the late 1950s, the specialized Catholic Action movements devoted a great deal of effort to surveying, describing, and analyzing the religious practices and values of all social classes, and what they found was profoundly disturbing. Working out of a tradition of American sociological study that cast rural and village communities as "folk" societies governed by unthinking habits and traditions relegated to the level of instinct,(67) personalist commentators defined popular Catholicism, particularly of working-class and rural people born before 1930, as little removed from the childish superstitions of primitive societies, "a question of prayers, of rosaries, of devotions rather than a life lived day by day; it is a question of passive acceptance, of obedience in everything, not of profound understanding of the mysteries of Christ's Mystical Body; there is often nothing positive or active and there is little search for personal improvement."(68) At best, popular Catholicism was a "sociological religion," an amalgam of moral precepts and "practices more or less devoid of spirituality" that had provided cohesion and identity to a small-scale, unchanging rural society.(69) However, in a modern, urban world of rapidly changing values, customs, and social practices, personalists believed that this older Catholicism created a divorce between religion and life and would ultimately be overwhelmed and discarded. Indeed, they could point to the experience of highly industrialized parts of Quebec, where they ascribed the decline in religious practice to the inability of traditional religious values to speak to the needs and realities of daily existence in the modern world.(70) Without the conversion of a critical mass of Catholics to a more realistic, modern, dynamic, "adult" religion that emphasized the awareness of the interconnectedness of human relationships and was consciously and directly lived, Catholic Action personalists feared that Quebec Catholics would simply be carried along by the social, industrial, and cultural conditions that had affected Protestant countries. The older Catholic mentality, which functioned in many individuals as a sort of "automatic pilot" would, when exposed to the solvents of modern civilization, wither away from within, leaving nothing but a morass of consumerist conformity and a loss of faith among the masses.(71) The resulting spiritual void would render nugatory the Catholic reformist project of a civically conscious, Christian social democracy.

From this analysis of the roots of secularization in Quebec, Catholic modernists in turn feared that French Canadian nationalism would in turn become progressively uncoupled from Catholicism. Therefore, they cast their thinking in terms of a reciprocally creative relationship between nationalism, Catholicism, and Quebec society in order precisely to forestall the supposed bogey of secular nationalism. What the modernists ideally preferred was that ordinary Quebecers be loyal not to the institution of the church, but socially linked to Catholicism as a cultural force.(72) For example, at the conclusion of his 1950 report on religious values and French Canadian society, the young Camille Laurin asked: "Will it always remain true in French Canada, that the French language will be the guardian of Catholic faith?"(73) In light of Catholic Action's equation of clerico-nationalism with outmoded tradition, Laurin's question appeared somewhat paradoxical. However, the dominant consensus within Catholic Action indicated the persistence of a belief, especially among "modernist" elements, that the symbiosis between religion and national character must continue to animate Quebec in a period of rapid social change, when elements of social cohesion were even more necessary. As Laurin emphatically stated, French Canadians must remain faithful to their religion as a condition of their survival in the modern world, to their distinctive educational traditions, and to social institutions such as large, father-centered families. It must be emphasized, however, that Laurin was not merely upholding traditionalism, for he emphatically linked family values to the more modern, dynamic values of competence, which would allow them to thrive in the spheres of commerce, finance, and business. Such statements placed in bold relief the cultural program of Catholic Action, which aspired not to displace, but to rejuvenate the creative synthesis of Catholicism and French Canadian nationalism by uncoupling Catholic values from their identification with qualities derived from a more static, poor rural society that perpetuated psychological immaturity and inferiority.(74)

What must be made clear about the relationship between Catholicism and Quebec nationalism that developed after 1940 is that, since the late 1930s the church clerical hierarchy, following the lead of the Pope, espoused a more universalist interpretation of Catholicism that tended to overturn the nineteenth-century complementarity between clerical leadership and Quebec nationalism. While the church hierarchy had aimed to sever Catholicism and nationalism during the 1930s through the creation of the specialized Catholic Action movements in the 1930s,(75) this movement had been usurped by its lay leadership by the late 1940s, whose modernist vanguard--Claude Ryan, Camille Laurin, Pierre Trudeau and Gerard Pelletier--believed that although it was necessary to avoid nationalist excesses, certain qualities of nationalism were themselves religious. Claude Ryan, for example, stated his conviction in 1947 that the principal task of the Catholic social movements was to preserve a balance between two rival tendencies, "one fundamentally nationalist, the other is further to the left, more open to ideas of collaboration with other cultures."(76) These Catholic activists drew much of their inspiration from the works of the older nationalist intellectuals, Esdras Minville and Father Richard Ares, whose writings emphasized the primary emotional, patriotic allegiance owed to the French Canadian national community, based upon kinship and friendship, coupled with a more reasoned, strictly "political" allegiance identified with the wider Canadian federation.(77) This primary patriotism, stated one circular, "is linked to the virtue of piety, insofar as we owe devotion and respect to the homeland, its principles of existence, of life, and subsistence." Catholic youth groups vigorously deprecated and combatted the diminution of national sentiment, a phenomenon particularly pronounced among modern urban young people.(78)

The project of creating a heightened sense of community and the fulfillment of the social democracy envisioned by Catholic progressives were nothing less than a "national community that constitutes a community of a superior order, that either raises to a higher degree a community consciousness already in existence, or that is born as a newly formed community in which diverse nationalities have been melded."(79) While thus remaining open to the possibility of a wider Canadian nationalism, Catholic modernists placed the primary emphasis on "the integral preservation and flowering of our French and Catholic traditions," which, in terms of Quebec's place in the Canadian federation, enjoined the necessity of "decentralization to ward off the danger that a monster bureaucracy that would accompany the centralization of power would represent for our democracy." For men like Camille Laurin and Claude Ryan, the possibility of a national sentiment incorporating both French and English national groups rested upon the abandonment by the Anglo group of their "conquistador" ideology and a frank recognition of French Canadian cultural particularism, which could then be bridged by bilingualism at the level of the political elites of both countries.(80)


What these discussions reveal is the conviction that "secular," nonreligious nationalism had little currency in Quebec prior to the 1960s and that even though "modernist" elements demanded reform in church, state, and society, voices envisioning a community defined by "secular" values were few and far between. Even the project of democratizing the political order, of building a more "pluralist," open society clearly had its limits, as Father Louis O'Neill argued in 1961. Speaking to the annual meeting of the Institut Canadien de l'Opinion Publique, O'Neill reminded his audience that "in a country like Quebec, where the Church is omnipresent and plays a preponderant role in social life, it would be unrealistic to wish that politicians feign to ignore it or to treat it as one religious group among others."(81) The belief that Catholicism, by combining the qualities of cohesion and dynamism, could continue to serve as the spiritual cement of a national community provided that the church unloaded its control of temporal institutions, particularly in the sphere of higher education and social welfare, and devoted itself to "recovering the deeper sense of its spiritual mission by the teaching of revealed truth." By enjoining a more strict separation between the spiritual and the temporal, however, no one envisioned the privatizing of the church. Indeed, because their vision of rechristianization emphasized cultural influence, Catholic modernists did not see the constriction of the institutional role of the church as a necessary harbinger of secularization of Quebec society. In the context of Quebec, the fact that Catholicism had historically been the religion of the vast majority conferred upon it, in the minds of even forceful advocates of deconfessionalization, a public role as the repository of the religious values of the nation, with a key role in building a more humane civilization.(82)

The extent to which Catholic personalism had penetrated many key sectors of church, university, and government was the existence of this peculiar consensus, even among "secularist" intellectuals, and the relative absence of aggressively antireligious ideologies in Quebec in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The fundamental agreement on religious matters by articulate groups of clergy and laity encouraged many Quebec Catholics to acquiesce in, and even positively to encourage, the deconfessionalization of a number of key public institutions. If Catholicism could be regarded as a set of spiritual values, rather than institutional structures, a system of authority, or the force of tradition, then one could sustain a view that the church's role in such a society would be indirect, but nonetheless palpable in articulating and animating the moral criteria and common religious values around which all the diverse interests of modern society could converge. This course, which reflected much of the personalist agenda that had been advocated since the 1930s, compelled a change of direction from "a Christianity of security to one of anxiety for concrete reality," "from a Christianity that is disincarnated to one that is incarnated," "from a Christianity of institutional management to one of spiritual animation."(83) Basing itself upon the personalist conviction that the religious knowledge and beliefs of ordinary Catholics had to be drastically altered in the direction of a more "pure," "authentic" faith, the Catholic church as a whole moved from direct institutional management to launch a vast program of pastoral education in schools and colleges during the 1960s. More cynically, this might be regarded as a massive effort to recycle the nearly 50,000 priests and members of religious communities who found themselves suddenly deprived of employment by the takeover of education and public welfare by the government.(84)

Despite the personalist consensus that such a program of pastoral education could assure, even in the midst of pluralism and change, the continued identity of Catholicism and the fundamental bases of the national community, the project of Catholic modernism had, by 1970, collapsed in a welter of contestation and recrimination, a cacophony admirably described in the findings of the Commission Dumont. The process of secularization, which in the 1940s and 1950s had been impregnated with religious values and to some extent controlled by the energies supplied by various Catholic social movements, had abruptly shifted into reverse, and exposed Catholicism to the backwash of "profane ideologies in the religious universe."(85) However, it would be too simple to assign the erosion of Catholicism to the increased presence of external, "secular" forces. The identity of Catholicism, with the consensual values of the national community, warned the conservative economist Francois-Albert Angers in 1962, depended upon a constant and judicious exercise in reconciling the aspirations of both "left" and "right": "Catholic thought is not simply a bland middle-of-the-road ideology. It is complete in and of itself, and incorporates within it the whole series of tendencies of left and right, of all radicalisms and all conservatisms. It excludes only those forms of right and left that are not worthy of Christian thinking."(86)

What men like Angers so feared, the polarization of Catholicism into "left" and "right" factions, came to fruition in Quebec in the late 1960s. The victory of the personalist version of Catholicism among the intellectual classes after 1945 marginalized the "traditional" elements in Catholicism because their view of a Christianized modernity rested upon an inevitable rupture between a "traditional" and a "modern" religion. At a particularly critical moment of social and political conflict between 1956 and 1970, Catholic personalists equated the "traditional" elements of Catholicism, the authority of the clergy, the quaint "folk" practices of the rural faithful, and the conservative nationalism that venerated a past in which Catholicism stood as the heroic guardian of French culture in North America, with the cultural, social, and economic inferiority of Quebec as a national community. As Fernand Dumont stated in 1961, the forging of religious unanimity in nineteenth-century Quebec was the triumph of a Catholicism pervaded with magic and superstition, unable to comprehend the social realities of an urban society because of an unthinking subservience to authority, "an overly simple, `natural' concordance between the secular community and the religious community."(87) Because the values of personalist Catholicism pervaded. Quebec's intellectual circles in the 1940s and 1950s, it was no coincidence that notions of Quebec's "inferiority" and the unbridgeable gulf between rural "folk culture" and urban civilization provided the central concepts that guided the professionalization of the disciplines of history and sociology during the postwar decades.(88)

This insistence upon the pernicious effects of "tradition" and the conviction that a more "authentic," highly spiritual Catholicism could be created apart from an institutional point of reference in politics and nationalism were themselves major sources of the breakdown of unanimity and the cause of a great deal of the psychological confusion reported among many ordinary Catholic believers. As early as 1962, Francois-Albert Angers had warned that Catholicism was not simply "an individual adherence to certain religious practices, but the most profound element of social homogeneity in our culture." The modernist propensity to weaken the authority of institutional Catholicism in the name of spiritual purity and integrating religion with democratic pluralism, Angers maintained, would not preserve the social cohesion of Quebec Catholics; for the French language itself, divorced from religion, would not protect Quebec from the inroads of Americanization.(89) By 1966, it was apparent that the turn to pastoral education had run into serious difficulties. In many colleges, Catholic educators were brought face to face with a pluralism that was "not only cultural but equally ideological and religious ... we can now measure the progress that indifference makes in matters of religious practice."(90) Indeed, one major reason for the decline in church attendance that has remained unexplored by historians was the impact of two decades of persistent denigration of "tradition" and cherished popular beliefs by Catholic intellectuals. The downplaying of institutional authority and the exposure of the clergy to open criticism and ridicule, stated one concerned Catholic, constituted a "prodigious humiliation of Christianity,"(91) a development that many conservatives blamed upon the "secularized Christianity" of personalists like Dumont and Ryan for abstracting universal values from their moorings in the lives of ordinary people, thus destroying any principle of authority or clear sense of direction.(92) As the prescient critique of Angers. so well demonstrates, the roots of the Quiet Revolution with its massive deconfessionalization of Quebec society, lay not with Catholicism per se but with a particular strain of Catholic thought, namely modernist, personalist theology. This ideology fomented a cultural schism, the consequences of which profoundly unsettled Quebec society in the 1960s and polarized its social and political elites over the nature of the fundamental values that must guide the nation.(93) Because its impetus rested upon an antihistorical, conflictual relationship between tradition and modernity and it consciously posited the severing of Catholicism from its roots in popular practice, it became the central force behind the supposed secularization of Quebec during the 1960s. Thus, while economic change, mass media, consumerism, and political conflict certainly played a role in the secularization of Quebec, considerable responsibility must also rest with the message propagated by Catholic personalism, that the religious values of the masses had no place in a "modern" church. As the Dumont Commission observed, the fact that many chose to leave the church "without noise," indicated that the problem was less a fundamental conflict over issues of religious doctrine, than a widespread realization that the course taken by the church simply did not speak "to the essential values of our people."(94) Thus, the "Quiet Revolution" must be understood not simply as the modernization of the state, the act of deconfessionalization, or the rise of a "secular" territorial nationalism, but as a cultural shock-wave released by the Catholic attempt to define and dictate the very criteria of modernity. Indeed, one could argue that "secularization" was simply an elitist assault on working-class and rural religious values in Quebec.

(1.) Archives Nationales du Quebec, Quebec [ANQ-Q], P428, Action Sociale Catholique, S2, "Sans date, 1970": "drolement traumatises."

(2.) Commission d'etude sur les laics et l'Eglise, L'Eglise du Quebec: un heritage, un project (Montreal: Fides, 1971), 19.

(3.) Jean-Paul Gignac was a member of the team that assisted Rene Levesque, the Minister of Natural Resources, in his nationalization of Hydro-Quebec. He later became president of the state-operated steel corporation, Sidbec. See Pierre Godin, Rene Levesque: heros malgre lui, tome 2, 1960-1976 (Montreal: Boreal, 1997), 50-53.

(4.) This interpretation receives its most complete formulation in Michael Behiels, Prelude to Quiet Revolution: Liberalism vs. Neo-Nationalism, 1945-1960 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1985). It has been most elegantly restated in the 1990s by Leon Dion, Quebec 1945-2000: Tome II: Les intellectuels et le temps de Duplessis (Quebec: Les presses de l'Universite Laval, 1993).

(5.) See, for example, synthetic historical works such as P.-A. Linteau et al., Histoire du Quebec contemporain: Le Quebec depuis 1930 (Montreal: Boreal, 1989) and John Dickinson and Brian Young, Quebec: A Socio-Economic History (Toronto: Copp Clark, 1994). An influential recent study of the Duplessis regime, such as that by Gilles Bourque, Jules Duchastel, and Jacques Beauchemin (La societe liberale Duplessiste [Montreal: Presses de l'Universite de Montreal, 1994]), places his government clearly within the liberal pantheon. All of these studies, however, emphasize cultural and religious developments as a function of economic change.

(6.) For a critique of these two interpretations of the modernization of Quebec since 1930, see Ronald Rudin, "Revisionism and the Search for a `Normal' Society: A Critique of Recent Quebec Historical Writing," Canadian Historical Review 73 (1992): 30-62.

(7.) Jean Hamelin and Nicole Gagnon, Histoire du catholicisme quebecois: Le XXe siecle, tome 2: de 1940 a nos jours (Montreal: Boreal Express, 1984).

(8.) For this critique of Quebec historiography as it developed after 1970, see Rudin, "Revisionism and the Search for a Normal Society," 30-61. Rudin has pursued the theme by placing the writing of Quebec's national history within a broader framework of disciplinary, professionalization and university culture. See Rudin, Making History in Twentieth-Century Quebec (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997). For a particularly perceptive analysis and appreciation of Rudin's work, see Jean-Marie Fecteau, "Entre la quete de la nation et les decouvertes de la science. L'historiographie quebecoise vue par Ronald Rudin," Canadian Historical Review 80 (1999): 440-63.

(9.) For the major works in this historiographic orientation, see Antonin Dupont, Les relations entre l'Eglise et l'Etat sous Louis-Alexandre Taschereau (Montreal: Guerin, 1972); Bernard L. Vigod, Quebec Before Duplessis: The Political Career of Louis-Alexandre Taschereau (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1986); Fernande Roy, Progres, harmonie, liberte. Le liberalisme ties milieux d'affaires francophones a Montreal au tournant du siecle (Montreal: Boreal, 1988); Patricia Dirks, The Failure of l'Action liberale nationale (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991); and Yvan Lamonde, Combats liberaux au tournant du XXe siecle (Montreal: Fides, 1995). In many respects, the highlight of this historiography has been the work of Bourque, Duchastel, and Beauchemin on the Duplessis regime between 1944 and 1960. The authors of La societe liberale Duplessiste place the Union Nationale government and the Roman Catholic Church within a "modern" liberal value system (26-29, 42-54). These authors define "modernity" as a commitment to economic progress under a regime of liberal capitalism, the separation of public and private spheres, an explicit distinction between church and state, and a lack of reference to religious arguments in legitimizing the regime's policies and social arrangements.

(10.) Behiels, Prelude to Quebec's Quiet Revolution; Dion, Les intellectuels et le temps de Duplessis.

(11.) Bourque, Duchastel, and Beauchemin (La societe liberale Duplessiste) are correct in describing the central conflict of the Duplessis regime as one between two types of liberalism, one more individualist, the other, collectivist and interventionist. The origins and presence of the second current within Quebec, however, remains rather shadowy because it is interpreted exclusively through the eyes of Duplessis and his government.

(12.) According to Jacques Rouillard, the events of the 1930s and, in particular, the reformist programs of Catholic intellectuals constituted a shift to the right. See Rouillard, "Duplessis: Le Quebec vire a droite," in Duplessis: Entre la grande noirceur et la societe liberale, eds. Alain-G. Gagnon and Michel Sarra-Bournet (Montreal: Editions Quebec-Amerique, 1996), 183-206.

(13.) Pierre Elliott Trudeau, ed., La greve de l'amiante: une etape de la revolution industrielle au Quebec (Montreal: Les editions Cite libre, 1956). Trudeau's celebrated critique of corporatism, conservatism, and ruralism has long held the favorable attention of the historical community. Standard studies such as Behiels's Prelude to Quiet Revolution dismisses the pre-1945 period as the heyday of "traditional" ideology, a view echoed by Leon Dion in Les intellectuels et le temps de Duplessis.

(14.) ANQ-Q, P428, S1, Action Sociale Catholique, Les Noces d'Argent de l'Action Sociale Catholique, 1er fevrier, 1933; R. P. Philippe Perrier, "Pius XI et l'action catholique': "[u]nir sans unifier; Coordonner sans absorber; Grouper sans confondre." For the "pluralist" direction of the 1931 encyclical, see James W. Skillen and Rockne W. McCarthy, eds., Political Order and the Plural Structure of Society (Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars, 1991), 161-73.

(15.) The origin and history of these movements, most dating from the mid-1930s, has been outlined in Gabriel Clement, Histoire de l'Action catholique au Canada francais (Montreal: Fides, 1972).

(16.) ANQ-Q, P428, S1, Action Sociale Catholique, Les Noces d'argent, R. P. Joseph-Papin Archambault, "Vingt-cinq ans d'education religieuse et sociale": "le sens catholique"; "amener les intelligences a penser, a concevoir, a juger--naturellement, spontanement --en catholiques, apres l'esprit de l'Eglise, suivant la doctrine de ses docteurs et les directives de ses chefs."

(17.) For an outline history of these specialized Catholic Action movements, see Clement, Histoire de l'Action catholique au Canada francais.

(18.) For a discussion of French personalism and its implications, see John Hellman, Emmanuel Mounier and the New Catholic Left, 1930-1950 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981), 5, 8, 49.

(19.) For a critical discussion that leans heavily to the socialist option, see Gregory Baum, Catholics and Canadian Socialism: Political Thought in the Thirties and Forties (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1980).

(20.) Jacques Rouillard, "Major Changes in the Confederation des Travailleurs Catholiques du Canada, 1940-1966," in Quebec since 1945: Selected Readings, ed. M. Behiels (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1987), 111-32 argues for an "abandonment" of corporatism by the C.T.C.C.; see also Simon Lapointe, "La gauche catholique francaise et l'evolution de la C.T.C.C.-C.S.N., 1940-1960," Revue d'histoire de l'Amerique francaise, 1996.

(21.) For an assessment of the intellectual bases of this "Catholic Renaissance" in the United States, see Philip Gleason, Contending with Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 124-25, 148-49.

(22.) For the theological conservatism and post-World War II social conservatism of American Catholic intellectuals, see Gleason, 164-66, 261-74. For the anticommunist, conservative Catholic mainstream in the period 1945-1960, see Patrick Allitt, Catholic Intellectuals and Conservative Politics in America, 1950-1985 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993). For Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, see William D. Miller, Dorothy Day: A Biography (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982); James T. Fisher, The Catholic Counter-Culture in America, 1933-1962 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1989).

(23.) For a recent assessment of this strand during the 1930s, see Catherine Pomeyrols, Les intellectuels quebecois: formation et engagements, 1919-1939 (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1996); Xavier Gelinas, "La droite intellectuelle et la Revolution tranquille: le cas de la revue Tradition et Progres, 1957-62," Canadian Historical Review 77 (1996): 353-87.

(24.) For this "left" ideological current, a particularly important factor within French personalism, see John Hellman, Emmanuel Mounier and the New Catholic Left, 1930-1950, 5.

(25.) For the presence of this strand of personalism in the Catholic labor movement of Quebec, see Jacques Rouillard, "Major Changes in the Confederation des Travailleurs Catholiques du Canada, 1940-1960," in Quebec since 1945: Selected Readings, 111-32; Lapointe, "La gauche catholique francaise et l'evolution de la C.T.C.C.-C.S.N." For the origins of a left-leaning personalism in Quebec in the 1930s, see Christian Roy, "Le personnalisme de l'Ordre Nouveau et le Quebec, 1930-1947: Son role dans la formation de Guy Fregault," Revue d'histoire de l'Amerique francaise 46 (1993): 463-84 and Pomeyrols, Les intellectuels quebecois, 329.

(26.) ANQ-Q, P428, S2, Action Catholique (journal), "La parole est aux lecteurs," "Sans date, 1970," Jacques Poulin, 6851 1ere avenue, Ville St. George: "marque une rupture avec le passe et la tradition au lieu simplement d'effectuer la synthese entre ce qu'il y a de valable dans le passe avec ce qu'il y a de bon dans les nouvelles valeurs."

(27.) Francois Hertel (pseudonym, Rodolphe Dube), Leur Inquietude (Montreal: Editions `Jeunesse' A.C.J.C., 1936): "un bouleversement mondial au profit de la jeunesse inquiete et chercheuse face a l'age mur satisfait, embourgeoise"; "herissee, farouche, ardente"; "ont soif de la profondeur" (89).

(28.) Francois Hertel, Leur Inquietude, 93-4, 104: "la liberte de faire le bien, de se sanctifier, a la barbe de tous les conformisants. Elle reve d'un christianisme a restaurer, d'un sain nationalisme a opposer aux racismes oppresseurs"; "la grande offensive de l'esprit."

(29.) For these efforts, which gathered steam particularly after 1936, see the revisionist treatment by Pierre Trepanier, "Quel corporatisme? (1820-1965)," Les cahiers des Dix 50 (1994): 186-87. Trepanier's central contribution to the debate on corporatism is to separate the term from an exclusive identification with right-wing, quasi-fascist ideological tendencies.

(30.) Esdras Minville, Comment etablir l'Organisation corporative au Canada (Montreal: Ecole Sociale Populaire, 1936). Minville stressed the voluntaristic character of corporatism and its role in breaking the hold of economic dictatorship on the province of Quebec.

(31.) For the 1934 visit of Jacques Maritain to Montreal, see Archives de l'Universite de Montreal [AUM], P16, Fonds Action Catholique Canadienne, P16/K1.47, "Jacques Maritain," "Les conferences de M. Maritain," Le Devoir, 21 October 1934. For the intellectual diversity of personalist influences, see Christian Roy, "Le personnalisme de l'Ordre Nouveau et le Quebec, 1930-1947," Revue d'histoire de l'Amerique francaise 46 (1993): 463-84.

(32.) Francois Hertel, Pour un Ordre Personnaliste (Montreal: Editions de l'Arbre, 1942), 85-88: "la solidarite humaine"; Hertel, Leur Inquietude, 92: "etatismes."

(33.) Hellman, Emmanuel Mounier and the New Catholic Left, 49.

(34.) Hertel, Pour un Ordre personnaliste, 94: "centre du monde."

(35.) AUM, P16/K1.11, "Emile Bouvier, SJ," "Votre tache, jeunesse," Le Devoir, 18 November 1942: "les libertes des individus, des families, des corps professionnels"; "aux classes de determiner les relations du travail et du capital et les problemes professionnels en fonction de la famille."

(36.) Hertel, Pour un Ordre personnaliste, 114, 117, 129; AUM, P16/C2,3.2, "Etude de la Position Lociste au Point de Vue Social a la Palestre nationale les 2 et 3 novembre 1946 a une reunion de l'A.C.C.": "corporatisme chretien"; "cite pluraliste."

(37.) AUM, P16/K1.12, Mgr. Joseph Charbonneau, "L'Action Catholique: Lettre Pastorale," Cahiers d'Action catholique, Montreal, July 1941: "une armee puissante, disciplinee, conquerante, ou tous font du service actif."

(38.) AUM, P16/G2,1.38, "Spiritualite," Alex et Gerard Pelletier, "Caracteres de la spiritualite etudiante," Cahiers d'Action catholique, "Spiritualite etudiante," numero special, December 1944: "nous apparait trop souvent comme une aventure individuelle, ce voyage solitaire sur un sentier borne de ronces des cantiques jansenistes ... nous voyons au contraire route l'humanite, comme un fleuve, en marche vers le Royaume. Nous sommes une petite goutte d'eau dans ce fleuve. Nous sommes des membres du Corps mystique, membres d'un peuple immense de pecheurs et de saints, solidaires de tout ce monde.... La spiritualite ... mettra en relief cet aspect communautaire du christianisme."

(39.) AUM, P16/G2,1.36, "Divers, 9 juillet 1936-15 avril 1961," Jeanne Benoit, Jean Dostaler, "Un Congres etudiant, 10 ans de la J.E.C.," Le Devoir, 10 February 1945: "la religion catholique est une institution eminemment sociale"; AUM, P16/G3, 3.2, "Conseil general, -1943," R. P. Raymond Dunn, SJ, "Corps Mystique et sens social"; AUM, P16/G2.1.1, "Elite et Masse"; AUM, P16/G2.1.1, "Histoire de la J.E.C.--Documents," "Probleme special: Le Sens Familial," program 1940-41.

(40.) AUM, P16/G2, 1.27, "Les Services en J.E.C.," R. P. Maurice Lafond, CSC, "A base de christianisme social," Cahiers d'Action catholique, Numero special sur les Services, Montreal, December 1943. For the effects of the proclamation of the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ, see Hellman, Emmanuel Mounier and the New Catholic Left, 7.

(41.) AUM, P16/G2, 1.27, Lafond, "A base de christianisme social": "Dans la societe d'aujourd'hui, les institutions sont trop souvent une occasion permanente de peche et d'evasion du divin. Nous devons nous en emparer. Par elles nous pouvons preparer ce climat social chretien qui, avec la grace assurera la vertu chez tous."

(42.) Hertel, Pour un Order personnaliste, 96, 132, 324-25: "primaute du social"; AUM, P16/G2, 1.20, Cahiers d'Action catholique. Numero special, la J.E.C., mouvement apostolique, Montreal 1943, Guy Cormier, propagandiste general, "J.E.C. en fonction du milieu"; Jeanne Benoit, propagandiste general, J.E.C.F., "La J.E.C. mouvement d'action"; AUM, P16/G2, 1.38, "Spiritualite etudiante," Cahiers d'Action catholique, "Spiritualite etudiante, numero special," December 1944, R. P. Francois Prud'homme, CSV, "Le Probleme d'une Spiritualite etudiante."

(43.) Pierre Trepanier (in "Quel corporatisme," Les Cahiers des Dix 51 [1994]) argues for the survival of corporatist thinking as an important current of economic and social analysis in Quebec after 1945. For the emphasis on the family and the rise of currents of feminism, see Michael Gauvreau, "The Emergence of Personalist Feminism: Catholicism and the Marriage Preparation Movement in Quebec, 1940-1966," in Households of Faith: Family, Gender, and Religion in Canada, ed. Nancy Christie (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001).

(44.) AUM, P16/G2,1.38, Cahiers d'Action catholique, 1943, R. P. Gerard Desagne, Seminaire de Chicoutimi, "Les Services dans l'Eglise": "relever la personne humaine"; "le capitalisme avare."

(45.) AUM, P16/C2, 3.7, "Rapport Camille Laurin," 1950: "une nouvelle doctrine ... qui empruntera aux idles de Locke et Smith leur esprit, mais qui ne sera pas sans emprunter aux types d'economie socialistes une bonne partie de leur methodes et rouages administratifs. La liberte individuelle, au sens classique, s'en trouvera certes diminuee ... ce sacrifice ... doit ... etre la rancon du progres social que semble promettre une economie plus propice a l'organisation de la vie collective qu'exige notre epoque."

(46.) AUM, P16/G3, 5.1, "Ecole Civique d'Ete," Pierre Trudeau, "Ou Va le Monde?," 1949: "seul le Christianisme offre a l'esprit de l'homme la veritable liberte.... Le Christianisme vecu est une religion sociale, la seule qui donne une reponse a tous les problemes."

(47.) AUM, P16/G3, 9.1, Gerard Pelletier, "L'Europe Oublie Abraham," Jeunesse canadienne, March 1947: "les chretiens sinceres, malgre leurs objections irreducibles a la doctrine marxiste, sont beaucoup plus pres des hommes marxistes donnes a leur cause que les hommes egoistes vendus a la defense des abus capitalistes"; Hellman, in Emmanuel Mounier and the New Catholic Left, argues that after 1945 Mounier sought to equate personalism with Marxism. According to Trudeau, "[T]hanks to two French thinkers, Jacques Maritain and Emmanuel Mounier, I never came to believe in the doctrine of absolute liberalism." See Trudeau, Memoirs (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1993); Gerard Pelletier, Les annees d'impatience, 1950-1960 (Montreal: Alain Stanke, 1983), 40-41.

(48.) Trudeau, "Ou Va le Monde?": "une liberte politique et non une liberte economique"; AUM, P16/G3, 5.1, "Libres pour Vivre Pleinement--Rapport de l'Ecole Civique d'Ete, Lac Stukeley, juin 1950," Claude Ryan, "Gravite du probleme de la liberte."

(49.) AUM, P16/D1, 4.5, "La richesse--sondage 1957-58," "Notes pour servir a l'etude du civisme."

(50.) AUM, P16/G3, 5.1, "J.I.C. de Montreal: Rapport de la deuxieme Ecole Civique d'Ete, tenue au lac Stukely, du 18 au 25 juin, 1949": "la fontion sociale"; AUM, P16/A1,2, "Pour comprendre l'Action Catholique: Notes sur les fondements doctrinaux et la methode de l'Action catholique," Jeunesse Catholique des classes moyennes, September 1950.

(51.) AUM, P16/B6, 3.18, Claude Ryan, "Rencontre de Deux Mondes," ca. 1955: "aptitude a la communion."

(52.) AUM, P16/D1, 4.10, "La Culture, programme d'action, 1959-60," Fernand Jolicoeur, directeur, Service d'Education, C.T.C.C., "La vie de l'esprit chez les ouvriers": "nous sommes peut-etre a l'aurore d'une culture liberee des attaches individualistes, utilitaires, dont l'avait alourdi le monde bourgeois des derniers siecles, d'une culture redevenue plus humaine ... non plus au service d'une classe comme instrument de domination et de separation, mais au service de l'humanite comme moyen de communion"; AUM, P16/K1.4, R. P. Emilien Bedard, "Causerie sur l'apostolat laic," 28 June 1959.

(53.) AUM, P16, C2, 3.7, "Rapport Camille Laurin": "l'union democratique de tous les citoyens ... dans un but de conservation et de progression du patrimoine civilise."

(54.) AUM, P16/D1, 4.5, "La richesse--sondage 1957-58," "Notes pour servir a l'etude du civisme": "l'integration sociologique"; "de prosperite materielle et de richesses spirituelles, de sagesse hereditaire."

(55.) Claude Ryan, Esprits durs, coeurs doux: La vie intellectuelle des militants chretiens (Montreal: Action Catholique Canadienne, 1959), 11: "Une religion devirilisee, a laquelle les femmes d'ailleurs repondirent volontiers en y adherant beaucoup plus nombreuses que les hommes.... Une religion timide ... Une religion ou les questions du jour et les problemes fondamenteaux ne peuvent etre abordes sans que les controversistes ou les chercheurs soient tout de suite inondes de toute part de recours a des arguments d'autorite. Une religion ou la pensee theologique vigoureuse et les travaux historiques d'envergure ne se rencontrent presque plus.... Une religion en somme ou, pendant plusieurs generations, la vie intellectuelle fut extremement reduite."

(56.) Ryan, Esprits durs, coeurs doux, 21; AUM, P16/C2,3.7, "Rapport Camille Laurin," Troisieme Partie, "Revolution Technique et Valeurs Chretiennes."

(57.) AUM, P16/B6,3.18, Claude Ryan, "Rencontre de Deux Mondes": "deformations historiques."

(58.) Hellman, Emmanuel Mounier and the New Catholic Left, 192-93.

(59.) Hertel, Leur inquietude, 121-22, 126: "une habitude a laquelle la masse ... se conforme"; AUM, P16/G3, 9.1, Jacques Dubuc, "Patriote ... et plus encore," Jeunesse Canadienne, February 1949.

(60.) P16/G3, 2.1, Jeunesse Independante Catholique, "Correspondance, 14 avril 1944-25 septembre 1959," Gerard Lemieux a Cher Pere, 17 August 1946: "ignorance de son christianisme, indifference sociale, peur de l'engagement, egoisme collectif."

(61.) Hertel, Pour un Ordre personnaliste, 32: "`un peuple arrete, un peuple fige, un peuple tourne vers le passe plus que vers l'avenir."

(62.) AUM, P16/B6, 3.18, Claude Ryan, "La Rencontre de Deux Mondes," Conference donnee par Claude Ryan, le 20 fevrier 1955 pour la Corporation des Escholiers Griffonneurs: "[l]e fait religieux ... est un facteur de base dans la formation et l'evolution des cultures et les civilisations; contrairement a ce qu'ont pense les tenants de la philosophie liberale, la religion est a l'origine de la civilisation: elle n'est pas un simple sous-produit."

(63.) AUM, P16/B6,3.18, Ryan, "La Rencontre de Deux Mondes": "fortement caracterisee par un climat d'orthodoxie et de soumission a l'autorite"; "un decalage entre la religion et la vie qui s'opere au ras de l'existence quotidienne du petit peuple a la faveur de diverses manifestations d'une civilisation decadente."

(64.) Ryan, "Rencontre de Deux Mondes": "les principes immuables qui sont a la base de tout humanisme vrai."

(65.) Ryan, Esprits durs, coeurs doux, 17: "visions historiques desuetes"; AUM, P16/D1, 4.16, "Programme d'action, 1963-64," "Relations entre jeunes et adultes," enquete 1. Andre Thibault, in "Rapport d'une Enquete Exploratoire," established a typology of religious attitudes of older and younger generations. Adults, according to Thibault, maintained that "[l]a valeur religieuse de quelqu'un se mesure par une pratique fidele des principales observances du culte. Les fautes contre la chastete sont le principal obstacle a la vie religieuse. La valeur d'une pratique est proportionnelle au sacrifice qu'elle commande. La frequentation des non-croyants ... represente un danger pour la foi. Les pretres et les religieux sont les meilleurs guides et les meilleurs educateurs." Young people, Thibault maintained, generally believed that "la religion est une relation personnelle avec Dieu. Les formules sont la forme de priere la plus imparfaite. La meilleure priere, c'est l'action. Les personnes consacrees ne comprennent rien a la vie reelle. La preoccupation du peche fausse la vie religieuse des chretiens du Quebec. La religion n'a que faire des manifestations exterieures. Pour qu'un auteur soit bon, point necessaire qu'il soit catholique; il suffit qu'il soit sincere."

(66.) Ryan, "Rencontre de Deux Mondes": "des mythes nationalistes dans lesquelles nous avons grandi et d'operer dans notre pensee les dissociations definitives du couple religion-nation que nous avons appris a venerer comme un dogme."

(67.) Ryan's "Rencontre de Deux Mondes" (1955), for example, was an extended commentary on the work of the eminent University of Chicago sociologist, Everett C. Hughes's French Canada in Transition (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1963, 1943).

(68.) AUM, P16/D6, 5.1, "La Femme au Travail dans le Monde, 1957," "Personnalite de la Femme Rurale": "une question de prieres, de chapelets, de devotions plus qu'une vie de chaque instant; c'est une question d'acceptation, d'obeissance en tout, non de comprehension profonde des mysteres du Corps mystique; il n'y a souvent rien de positif, d'actif et il n'y a pas tellement question de perfectionnement"; P16/D6, 5.1, "Personnalite de la Femme Ouvriere"; P16/E3, 6,4.1, "Congres International, Rome 1957," "Personnalite de la femme canadienne-francaise catholique," "Personnalite de la femme independante"; P16/D1,4.10, "La Culture," Programme d'action, 1959-60, Gerard Lemieux, "Les Valeurs de l'esprit chez les gens de classes moyennes."

(69.) AUM, P16/E3, 6,4.3, "Congres International, Rome 1961," "La Femme Canadienne-Francaise, Instrument d'Unite," April 1961: "religion sociologique"; "pratiques plus ou moins videes de leurs esprits."

(70.) AUM, P16/G5, 8.7, "Situation religieuse des jeunes travailleuses," May 1957.

(71.) AUM, P16/G2, 2,1.3, "Mandat de Claude Ryan, 1961: Jean Francoeur," Jean Francoeur, "Quelques Caracteristiques du Milieu Actuel Canadien Francais": "pilote robot"; AUM, P16/E2, 5.8, "Enquete preparatoire au Congres de Rome, 1956," "Notes sur le Canada Catholique et sur le C.J.F.C.C.," March 1956.

(72.) AUM, P16/G3, 5.1, "Ecoles Civiques d'Ete," Claude Ryan, "Invitation," 24 July 1947.

(73.) AUM, P16/C2, 3.7, "Rapport Camille Laurin," 1950: "Demeurera-t-il toujours vrai qu'au Canada francais, la langue soit gardienne de la foi?"

(74.) AUM, P16/G3, 5.1, Camille Laurin, "Libres Pour Vivre Pleinement," 1950.

(75.) Hamelin and Gagnon, Histoire du Catholicisme quebecois, le XXe siecle, tome 2, 120-21.

(76.) AUM, P16/G3, 5.1, Claude Ryan, "La Raison d'Etre de l'Ecole Civique d'ete," 1947: "une foncierement nationaliste, l'autre est plus a gauche, plus ouverte aux idees de collaboration."

(77.) AUM, P16/G3, 5.1, Claude Ryan, "La Raison d'Etre de l'Ecole Civique d'ete," 1947; P16/G3, 5.1, Camille Laurin, "L'Unite Nationale," 1950. For Minville and his influence, see Pierre Trepanier, "Esdras Minville (1896-1975) et le traditionalisme canadien-francais," Cahiers des Dix 51 (1995): 255-94.

(78.) AUM, P16/B4, 4.1, Anna-Maria Pigeon, "Circular," 18 March 1952, "Action Catholique et patriotisme": "se rattache a la vertu de piete, attendu que nous devons culte et respect a la patrie, principes d'etre, de vie et de subsistence." In this respect, Catholic laypeople seem to have been somewhat at odds with the pronouncements of the prewar church hierarchy, which sought to separate religion and nationalism, at least organizationally.

(79.) AUM, P16/D1,4.5, "La richesse--sondage 1957-58," "Notes pour servir a l'etude du civisme": "communaute nationale qui constitue une communaute de rang superieur, soit qu'elle eleve en degre une conscience communautaire deja existante, soit qu'elle prenne naissance comme une communaute de nouvelle formation dans laquelle diverses nationalites ont ete fondues."

(80.) AUM, P16/C2, 3.7, "Rapport Camille Laurin": "preservation integrale et epanouissement de notre tradition francaise et catholique"; "la decentralisation ... danger que representerait pour notre democratie la bureaucratie monstre qui accompagne toute centralisation du pouvoir."

(81.) Louis O'Neill, "Eglise et Etat: Reflexions theologiques sur le probleme," in L'Eglise et le Quebec, ed. Marcel Rioux (Montreal: Editions du Jour, 1961), 72: "dans un pays comme le Quebec, off l'Eglise est omnipresente et joue un role preponderant dans la vie sociale, ce serait irrealiste de vouloir que les hommes politiques feignent de l'ignorer ou la considerent comme un groupe religieux parmi d'autres." At the same conference, Bertrand Rioux, though not a clergyman, concurred with this opinion, echoing the causal creative link between religion and society posited by Catholic Action: "les forces religieuses jouent un tres grand role dans la vie d'une nation. La separation ne peut donc jamais signifier l'ignorance hypocrite d'une de ces deux societes par l'autre." See "Comment Doivent Evoluer les Rapports de l'Eglise et de l'Etat dans le Quebec," 106.

(82.) Bertrand Rioux, "Comment Doivent Evoluer les Rapports de l'Eglise et de l'Etat dans le Quebec," 110, 115: "retrouver le sens profond de sa mission spirituelle par l'enseignement de la verite revelee."

(83.) AUM, P16/D6,8.4, "La Pastorale en Education," July 1966: "un christianisme de securite a un christianisme d'inquietude de la realite concrete; d'un christianisme desincarne a un christianisme incarne; d'un christianisme d'encadrement a un christianisme d'animation."

(84.) L'Eglise du Quebec, un heritage, un projet, 45.

(85.) L'Eglise du Quebec, un heritage, un projet, 51: "ideologies profanes dans l'univers religieux."

(86.) AUM, P16/K1.1, Francois-Albert Angers, "Faut-il choisir entre la fidelite et l'humanisme," causerie au banquet du Prix Duvernay, 24 January 1962: "La pensee catholique n'est pas un simple juste milieu. Elle est complete par elle-meme, et laisse place e toute la serie des tendances de gauche et de droite, e tous les radicalismes comme a tous les conservatismes. Elle n'exclut que les formes de droite et de gauche qui ne sont pas dignes d'une pensee chretienne."

(87.) Fernand Dumont, "Reflexions sur l'histoire religieuse du Canada francais," in L'Eglise et le Quebec, 55, 60-61, 65: "un accord ... trop simple, trop `naturel', entre la communaute profane et la communaute religieuse." Dumont's early education exposed him to French Catholic modernist theologians, and his university experience in Paris acquainted him with the personalist spirituality of the Catholic "left." See Fernand Dumont, Recit d'une emigration: Memoires (Montreal: Boreal, 1997), 95-96.

(88.) On historical writing in Quebec, see Ronald Rudin, Making History in Twentieth-Century Quebec (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997); for examples of the sociological discussion typical of the 1950s and 1960s, see Marcel Rioux and Yves Martin, eds., French-Canadian Society (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964). Readers familiar with the thesis of Michael Behiels, that Quebec's "progressives" between 1945 and 1960 were divided into "neoliberal" and "neonationalist" camps, will observe that in their views of the place of traditional Catholicism and the "inferiority" of Quebec society, their views were entirely in accord.

(89.) AUM, P16/K1.1, Angers, "Faut-il choisir entre la fiddite et l'humanisme?": "adhesion individuelle a certaines pratiques religieuses, mais bien l'element sociologique homogene le plus profond de notre culture meme."

(90.) AUM, P16/D6,8.4, "Pastorale en Education," juillet 1966: "non seulement culturel mais egalement ideologique et religieux ... nous pouvons mesurer les progres que fait l'indifference en matiere de pratique religieuse."

(91.) ANQ-Q, P428, S2, Action Catholique (journal), file July 1968, "Un Lecteur Inquiet Mais Confiant," 13 July 1968: "prodigieux aplatissement du christianisme."

(92.) ANQ-Q, P428, S2, Action Catholique (journal), "Sans date, 1970," Lucienne Turgeon, Quebec: " christianisme laicise."

(93.) This interpretation diverges sharply from that of Gregory Baum, who relies upon the findings of the British sociologist David Martin in claiming that "Quebec society has moved into modernization without producing the cultural schism that has characterized Catholic socities." See Gregory Baum, The Church in Quebec (Ottawa: Novalis, 1991), 30.

(94.) L'Eglise du Quebec, un heritage, un projet, 20: "sans bruit"; "aux valeurs essentielles de notre population."

Michael Gauvreau is a professor of history at McMaster University.
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