Commentary and reflections from a religious perspective on the human rights abuses of organized Scientology
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet's Three Momentous Statements on Scientology
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet has spoken out strongly in criticism of the Church of Scientology and warned Catholics about it on three occasions over the last two years including his last two annual press lunches in 2009 and 2010 before taking up his present post as head of the powerful Congregation for Bishops in the Vatican. He is regularly cited as a leading candidate to succeed Pope Benedict.
We are proud that Light In The Darkness and For Great Justice have been the only places that Cardinal Ouellet’s momentous remarks have been reported outside the French-language media in Quebec.
The assistance of researchers and translators from Anonymous Quebec has been indispensable. The Cardinal’s statements deserve to be widely-known throughout the Catholic and secular worlds.
Cardinal Ouellet is by far the highest-ranking hierarch in the Catholic world to warn Catholics about Scientology and to publicly criticize it. He has repeatedly posed the question of what the criteria are that tax authorities in Quebec extend tax exemptions to religious organizations.
He raises sharply what the distinctions are in society and government between organizations like the Catholic Church and the great world religious traditions of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism and organizations like the the Raelians and the Church of Scientology.
We have previously reported his remarks at an ecumenical retreat in 2010 when he stated flat out that Scientology is not a church, followed one week later by his annual press lunch in which he took note of Scientology’s penchant for suing its critics for libel and government action in other countries, by which he undoubtedly referred to moves of the French, German, and Belgian governments to investigate and curb Scientology’s harmful activities in those countries.
The other major hierarch in the Western Hemisphere and the only prelate to speak out against Scientology has been Archbishop Robert Rivas of Castries in St. Lucia. He devoted the last third of his Easter Homily last year to denouncing infiltration of the island by The Way To Happiness International, a Scientology front group that promotes Hubbard's booklet of moral maxims of that name.
The following is a translation of an article on his remarks at his 2010 annual press lunch from the Quebec City newspaper, Le Soleil.
Scientology: Cardinal Ouellet Serves A Warning
(Québec) Cardinal Marc Ouellet served a warning against the Church of Scientology inviting Catholics to be cautious and again asking the Quebec government for clear criteria for an organization to be recognized as a religion.
Even in a country where people respect the pluralism of opinions, the archbishop of Quebec said that he does not want prohibition, but recalls that some countries like France and Belgium consider Scientology as a cult.
"In Quebec, there should be a clearer definition of what constitutes a religion," he declared at its annual meeting with the press of Quebec, Thursday morning, taking care to point out he does not know enough the foundation of Scientology to criticize.
"There are historical religions, he says, but we should not forget that there are cults and all religions cannot be treated equally."
The Cardinal mentions the excesses of the Solar Temple and the mass suicides due to other sects, stressing that the vigilance of the State and citizens was necessary to protect the public against abuse of all kinds.
To the journalists emphasizing that the first apostles of Christ were only a dozen in the Jewish world, the cardinal admitted that strict rules could be wrong for emerging groups. However, the Cardinal stresses that techniques of manipulation and the use of money are things that should motivate people to be vigilant.
In Belgium, Scientology could not meet the criteria for the status of religion. In France, Scientology is also regarded as a cult, not a religion.
Source - Scientologie: Le Cardinal Ouellet sert une mise en garde by Yves Thierrien, Le Soleil, Quebec City, 04 February 2010. http://tinyurl.com/ye7g2mb