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First Pastoral Letter of Cardinal Cram Telleuo

Rogier van der Weyden. St. George and the Dragon.
"Take that, spirit of Vatican II!"
(Rogier van der Weyden. St. George and the Dragon. Source)

Note: Cardinal Cram Telleuo is a mythological character in the Quebec Diocese. Some claim Mr. Telleuo is actually Cardinal Marc Ouellet, but only at night, when he is wearing his Spider-Man outfit ("Cram Telleuo" is "Marc Ouellet" spelled backward, for the people who read this at 2 A.M. and who don't get it).

Beloved disciples of Jesus Christ,
(Who is True Man and True God)

One week ago today, our Holy Father John Paul II honored me by naming me at the head of this Diocese, the oldest Diocese in Canada. I want to thank you all for your warm welcome.

I'm sorry, but I'll get right to business. I'm writing this on my laptop on the corner of my kitchen table, while I'm eating. It won't be a literary masterpiece, but I must talk to you now, and not twenty-one months after my arrival here in the Diocese!

In a way, it is as if I had just purchased a large apartment-building, and I've just finished my first quick tour of the apartments. To my great dismay, many apartments are in a state of disrepair, and worst, some of them don't even have smoke-detectors!

If this happened to me, I would write a letter to all the families living in those apartments, telling them I'm sorry about the state of the building, but also telling them to go and buy brand-new smoke detectors right now! "I'll subtract that from your rent, but don't delay!" I wouldn't wait, and I wouldn't pretend everything is hunky-dory. It is a matter of life and death.

This gives you an idea of why I'm writing my First Pastoral Letter so quickly. I've done a quick tour of the Diocese of Quebec, and some things "are not quite perfect". Of course, we all agree that many people in the Diocese are doing a wonderful job at evangelization, and I take this occasion to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Nevertheless, some of you are in danger of spiritual death, because of widespread errors concerning the Gospel of Christ.

I'm the Bishop, so it's my responsibility "to be vigilant that the word of God is faithfully taught. [...] As Bishops, we have the grave obligation to be personally vigilant that the "sound doctrine" [1Tm 1:10] of faith and morals is taught in our Dioceses." [Veritatis Splendor, #116]. Except I just don't have the time and the staff to go into all of the "apartments" of the Quebec Diocese to fix everything right away.

I will fix everything, or die trying. That is my promise to you. In the meantime, please run to the store to buy a spiritual "smoke-detector": the CCC or Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you have access to the Internet, it's free on the Vatican web site.

If you hear or see anything that contradicts the CCC, your spiritual alarm should go off. If somebody tells you something that doesn't fit with the CCC, they are wrong, even if they are Priests or Pastoral Associates.

If you can, you should also buy "Redemptionis Sacramentum", which explains some common errors in the Liturgy. If your parish Priest does something during Mass which is forbidden by "Redemptionis Sacramentum", send me a letter with the name of the Priest, the date and place, and a description of exactly what happened.

Thank you very much for your patience.

God bless you all,

Cardinal Cram Telleuo
Quebec City, January 15, 2004.

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