Doing Ethics in a Pluralistic World: Essays in Honour of Roger C. Hutchinson

By Roger C. Hutchinson; Phyllis D. Airhart et al. | Go to book overview

2
THE CHURCH AND PLURALISM IN QUEBEC
An Account of a Participant
GREGORY BAUM

Today's church is challenged by pluralism in several contexts. Let me mention three of them. There is, first, the difficult theological problem of religious pluralism in a church that believes in a single saviour. There is, second, the political challenge of the new ethnic or cultural pluralism in the developed countries of the West, in which the church must play a reconciling role. And there is, third, the pastoral problem of cultural and spiritual pluralism within the church itself.

In this essay, I wish to examine the Catholic Church's reaction to the new cultural pluralism in Quebec. I am, of course, also interested in the theology of religious pluralism and hence duly unhappy with Cardinal Ratzinger's recent declaration. 1 I have also been involved in the pastoral effort of Montreal's Centre justice et foi to promote solidarity and tolerance in Montreal's pluralistic church. In this essay, however, I shall deal only with issues related to Quebec's cultural pluralism and the Catholic Church's response to it.

Because of the unjust distribution of wealth, resources and power globally and the grave suffering inflicted upon people in many parts of the world as a result, a stream of immigrants has arrived and continues to arrive in the developed countries of the West. Who can blame these people for wanting to better their lives? If we had lived in their part of

Notes to chapter 2 are on pp. 55–56.

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