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The final answer is not mine. I'm neither a Bishop, nor the Pope.
Many signs lead me to think that a good inquisition is necessary and urgent in the Province of Quebec. The Catholic Church in Quebec is sick.
First, there are statistics. General statistics, like the high rates of abortion, of young people committing suicide, of divorce, etc. Then you have more directly religious statistics: low attendance at Mass, fewer baptisms, priestly vocations, etc. You also have statistics which as far as we know don't exist, but which should be obtained: high rates of ignorance of dogmas in the laity, high rates of heresies among priests, of sexual deviances in the clergy, etc.
There are also the books which deal with this topic, like "Goodbye, Good Men" by Michael S. Rose, "The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America", by David Carlin, etc. Many articles are also available on the Internet, like The Promotion Of The Culture Of Death By The "Catholic" Clergy.
There are also the informal samplings of various publications handed out to the faithful in the churches, like the parish bulletins. I've begun a collection of these documents where you can pick up either obvious heresies, or suffocating silences (i.e. a touchy topic is discussed, but without quoting or referring to official Church teachings, and using mental restriction and ambiguous language, so as to hint that a position contrary to the Church is acceptable).
There is also the lack of engagement of Bishops in the means of social communication. For example, in the bookstore located inside the Chancery building in Quebec City, books containing doctrinal and moral errors are openly sold. Also, a quick review of official diocesan websites in the Province of Quebec shows that there is little or no dogma and morals, apologetics (the reasons to believe), polemics (defence of Catholicism against the attacks of other religions and atheists), etc. Also, few or no newspapers have a kind of weekly "Dear Bishop" column, or something of the sort, where the local Bishop defends the teachings of the Church against the constant attacks of some journalists.
There is the lack of quality control of catechesis given to children and teenagers. Some schools, while schools in Quebec could still talk about God, gave catechesis courses based on non-approved textbooks [Canon 827, para. 2], which present Catholicism as just another choice among others, which omit some teachings of the Church in general, and specifically teachings on sexuality (abortion, contraception, sex before marriage, masturbation, etc.), or who adulterate them.
Finally, there are my subjective impressions. You have the churches where most of the flock is very old, and quite lethargic. Also, you have all the young people I meet at university or elsewhere, and who often are opposed to the teachings of the Church, even though they don't know what they are! And of course you have the sermons that we don't hear anymore.
But granted that the Church in Quebec is ill, that doesn't mean this disease is caused by the "wolves in sheep's clothing" that have infiltrated the sheepfold. So lets try to find that cause, by elimination.
Is it God's fault? No. God exists, and He's not stupid. God didn't forget to put "Call good young men to the priesthood" on His agenda, for example.
Is it the Pope's fault? No. The Seat of Peter is not vacant, the Pope is not a heretic, and so on.
Couldn't we accuse the teachings of the Church? No. They are true and good, because they come from God. Even the most controversial teachings (about abortion, the pill, etc.) are very good.
In that case, couldn't we blame the laity, especially the young people? Here, we must distinguish between the domain of holiness, and the domain of Sociology. Many saints in the history of the Church, even if they were only obscure little monks hidden in a cave, nevertheless blamed themselves for all the evils of their time, and did penance accordingly. So in that sense, yes, heroic laity can blame themselves for the ills of the Church in Quebec today, and pray and do penance to ask for a miracle. (And of course I highly recommend such heroism. On the other hand, when I need to go work in the morning, I don't pray and wait for a flying carpet to miraculously appear. I take out my bicycle.)
But from the point of view of Science (in this case Sociology), blame is proportional to authority. For example, if a bus drives off the road and falls over a cliff, blame will be attributed mostly to the driver who had control of the steering wheel and the brake pedal, not to a simple passenger who could only yell: "Watch out, Mister Driver, you are veering off the road!"
Sociology shows us that the laity has very little authority in the Catholic Church. Sociology can show us other religions where the hierarchy is much "flatter", but the Catholic Church is organized more like a "pyramid"; the laity has to obey the Priests, the Priests have to obey the Bishops, and the Bishops have to obey the Pope, etc. Since the laity have very little control over "the steering wheel and the brake pedal", the laity cannot shoulder most of the blame.
This can be said in other words. For example, in my infantry officer's course, I was taught that in a large group of soldiers, what made the difference was the quality of the officers. The Curé D'Ars used to say: Holy Priest? Pious congregation. Pious Priest? Lukewarm congregation. Lukewarm Priest? Pagan congregation.
So what is left? The leaders. [Si 10:2]
Criticizing anybody is always risky, and criticizing one's superiors is even more risky! (See: "Should a Catholic Publicly Criticize His Superiors?") In my opinion:
Our religious leaders in Quebec have failed us. A small minority has failed us by becoming heretics, and the large majority has failed us by not having the courage to speak up (i.e. by committing sins of omission).
(A large part of my web site is dedicated to providing the data to support that assertion. See among others: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, etc.)
We therefore need to do a good inquisition in Quebec, to reveal who are the wolves in sheep's clothing, and to deal with them according to Canon Law and Canadian Law.
In conclusion, as I repeat elsewhere, a good and joyful inquisition is only one of the elements of the complete solution. It's an element which is both necessary and which is painfully lacking these days, but a good inquisition is still not the complete solution. Another element of the solution is to learn to love the Cross. Indeed, the more you faithfully transmit all of the Church's teachings, the more you'll be persecuted, and the Cross is lovable only if Jesus-Eucharist comes with it. Actually, it's a bit like a Catholic "Yin and Yang": the more you lose focus on Jesus-Eucharist, the less you feel like suffering persecutions, and therefore the more you try to hide the teachings of the Church. And vice-versa!
Great Battle in Heaven. Daniel Mitsui.
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