Friday, April 26, 2013

Pere G. H. Levesque in 20th century Quebec

Dr. Fr. Maxime Allard, OP of College Dominicain in Ottawa, Canada presented on the life and social transformation of Pere G. H. Levesque in 20th century Quebec. In Quebec in the 1960’s French Catholics lived in the rural areas but the cities were primarily controlled by English-speaking Protestants.  Levesque sought a way to keep the Catholic faith in a Protestant land.  He did not want to create Catholic ghettos, so the unions, cooperatives and schools he proposed were run by Catholics but open to all.  He sent students from the university he founded in Ottawa to northern France to study Economics, Sociology and Politics but to do so with a heart imbued by the Catholic faith.  His basic thesis was that through love of self and of others, individuals flourish and become free.  His socio-economic ethics draw upon Aquinas and Pius XI.   Over time the University of Ottawa began to turn out large numbers of priests with PhD.  Rather than sending them out to create more Catholic universities, Levesque sent them to invade and take over other existing universities with their intellectual tradition and knowledge of sociology, economics and politics.  Thus, Levesque and his followers eventually brought about the social transformation of Quebec.