Catholic Church of Montreal > Publications > Info Archives > NOVEMBER - Consistory of 26 November 1994: Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte elevated cardinal

NOVEMBER - Consistory of 26 November 1994: Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte elevated cardinal


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On November 26, 1994, a consistory was held in Rome, in which the Holy Father appointed thirty new cardinals. In this sixth consistory convened by Pope John Paul II, the former Archbishop of Montreal Jean-Claude Turcotte was invited to join the College of Cardinals. Archbishop Turcotte thus became the third archbishop of Montreal to be granted this honor. Indeed, Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger had joined the College of Cardinals in 1953 and Cardinal Paul Grégoire in 1988. This Consistory had a truly international character. The newly appointed cardinals came from 24 countries including among others, Lebanon, the Czech Republic, Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Uganda, Cuba, Vietnam and Albania. The Archbishop of Montreal and the 29 other cardinals were offered by the Holy Father a red biretta, a Papal bubble assigning each one a Roman Church and a pastoral ring.

Archival documents covering the episcopate of Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte (1990-2012) are unfortunately not yet open to consultation. If only pre-1925 documents can be currently consulted, all issues of the Diocesan magazine are available to those interested in the history of our diocesan Church. Published continuously from 1883 to 2006, it was known as La Semaine religieuse de Montreal before becoming in 1965, L'Église de Montreal and Vivre en Église after 2000. Valuable information on the life of the diocese, its important events, official appointments and the concerns of the Montreal Church can all be found there. To mark the elevation to the cardinalate of Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte, L'Église de Montréal published an issue entirely dedicated to this memorable event. A few pages of this special edition accompany this text.

L'Église de Montréal allows us to experience the 1994 consistory through the eyes of the Montreal delegation that had accompanied Archbishop Turcotte. Among those who travelled to Rome with the new cardinal, were his mother, family members and several members of the Diocesan Curia. Bishop Neil Willard, then auxiliary bishop, Father Anthony Mancini, now Archbishop of Halifax, Father Louis Dicaire, now auxiliary bishop in Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Father René Martin and Father Pierangelo Paternieri were among those in Rome on that occasion. A few employees of the Archdiocese were also present. One can recognize in a photograph Mrs Lucie Martineau, the Archbishop's Press Secretary and now director of communications for the Archdiocese. Representatives from the different levels of government also travelled to Rome.

On 27 November 1994, Pope John Paul II celebrated with the new cardinals in Saint Peter's Basilica the Mass of the first Sunday of Advent. Two days later, the Holy Father met with Cardinal Turcotte and members of the Canadian delegation in a private audience. In accordance with tradition, the new cardinal was assigned a titular church in Rome. Cardinal Turcotte became the third titular of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and the Canadian Martyrs parish. Previously, Cardinal Maurice Roy of Quebec and Cardinal Paul Grégoire had also been assigned the same Church. On 30 November, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte celebrated the Eucharist there, officially taking possession of his parish. Since then, as member of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Turcotte participated in both the 2005 and 2013 papal conclaves. 



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