By Michael Gauvreau
The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution demanding situations a versionof heritage imperative to fashionable Quebec's figuring out of itself: that theQuiet Revolution all started within the Nineteen Sixties as a mundane imaginative and prescient of country andsociety which quickly displaced an out of date, clericalized Catholicism.Michael Gauvreau argues that companies corresponding to Catholic youthmovements performed a crucial function in formulating the Personalist Catholicideology that underlay the Quiet Revolution and that ordinaryQuebecers skilled the Quiet Revolution basically via a seriesof differences within the expression in their Catholic id. In sodoing Gauvreau deals a brand new realizing of Catholicism's position intwentieth-century Quebec.
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Christ, he concluded, "had nothing about him of the Jansenist-tinged austerity of those saints of the sad epochs that preceded ours. 76 Here was testimony to the notion that only the new youth Catholicism of energy, vitality, and the injunction to lead an integral life possessed the power to redeem adults as well. Salvation, the reconstruction of community in the Depression, and the future of Catholicism as the dominant element of French Canada's national identity were achieved not by the continuous handing of tradition and precedent from elder to younger generations, but rather through an abrupt backwash of values.
Catholic Action evoked a past that was of value because it was a resource of communitarian values that surged from a long-distant history, from the quasi-mythical heroic communities of the Middle Ages or the early days of the origins of Christianity. 63 As the apprentice historian Guy Fregault pessimistically observed in 1937, the "upward course of our history" had, for the past seventy years, experienced a reversal. "64 The ideologists of Catholic Action firmly believed that presentday humans could immediately recover, and insert into modern society, the meaning and purpose of this primitive Christian past without recapit- "The Presence of Heroism in our Lives" 29 ulating the experience of intervening generations.
Indeed, the attempt made during the Depression by Catholic lay activists and clergy to fuse the ideals of youthful endeavour and higher spiritual quality into a set of conflictual generational identities - in which certain Catholic leaders and educators encouraged young people to exalt their own psychological and spiritual qualities, and denigrate those of their parents - further distinguished Quebec Catholicism from its Protestant counterpart in English Canada. Like mainstream Protestantism, Catholicism was challenged by the emergence of totalitarian ideologies and public pressure for greater state intervention in the field of social welfare, and indeed, adopted a view similar to that of Protestantism, namely that the Depression was primarily a moral and spiritual crisis.