Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Archbishop for Ottawa

~from Ottawa Citizen

For the first time, Ottawa will have an anglophone Catholic archbishop.

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Terrence Prendergast, archbishop of Halifax, to replace 75-year-old Marcel Gervais, who will retire as Ottawa's archbishop this summer.

Archbishop Prendergast is the first non-francophone to be appointed to the post in Ottawa's history, says Mark McGowan, principal of the University of St. Michael's College, a Catholic school linked with the University of Toronto.

In 1910, the archdiocese came close to having an anglophone with Charles-Hugues Gauthier, a Kingston cleric who served as archbishop here until his death in 1922. Despite his French name, the francophone community always considered him "a damned Scot," thanks to his Scottish mother.

Relations between French and English Catholics, specifically Irish Catholics, has always been highly charged in the city, says Mr. McGowan, who grew up in Ottawa and taught at the University of Ottawa where he specialized in Canadian church history.

"You can tell how far we've come in 100 years."

...He is the Canadian member of Vox Clara, a commission to the Vatican on the English translation of the Roman Missal, the Catholic prayer book, and he writes a regular column on scripture for the Catholic Register.

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