Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 12, 2007
Petition pleads for pope to come to Quebec City
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
A former Quebec justice minister has launched a petition aimed at bringing Pope Benedict to Quebec City for the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in June.
"With the petition maybe we can help him decide to come to Quebec City," said Marc Bellemare in a phone interview.
The Vatican, however, says there are no plans for the pope to visit Quebec.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec has said he will meet with the pope later this month to get a final answer on his attendance. The Congress also coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec.
"It is not only the birth of the city but the birth of Catholicism in North America," said Bellemare. "There will be 15,000 people to celebrate. Without the pope it's not the same."
His website (www.pape2008.com) enables people to sign an electronic version. In less than a week, more than 4,000 had done so.
"He must come!" said Bellemare. "For all the Catholics of the world it is important for him to come here. We need the pope."
The Vatican press office, however, says there are no plans for a papal visit to Quebec.
The press office director Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told the Catholic News Service Nov. 7 that the pope will visit the United Nations, World Youth Day in Australia and Lourdes, France. "I have not seen any plans for a visit to Quebec."