Page 1, 19th May 1939

19th May 1939
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Locations: Alexandria


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The Royal visit to Canada has proved to be one of the greatest opportunities for the display of Catholic loyalty to the British Crown.

Nearly half the population Of Canada is Catholic according to the latest census. The full figures for Catholics are 4,285,000, two-fifths of the total population, a proportion that has been maintained for the last sixty years.

The French element in the population centred round Quebec, where their Majesties landed on Wednesday, accounts for this high figure, since there are 2,850,000 Catholics of French race.

The Bells Ring Out

By order of Cardinal Villeneuve, Archbishop of Quebec, the belfries of all the Catholic churches on the banks of the St. Lawrence rang out joyously as the of Australia sailed up the river on Tuesday. The clergy and their congregations gathered outside the churches to greet the royal visitors.

On landing at Quebec Their Majesties saw the unusual sight of the yellow and white Papal colours amid the British and American flags which decorated etreets and private houses.

" God Save The King" Sung After Mass

Cardinal Villeneuve had prepared for the royal visit by ordering God Have the King as well as the usual prayer for the King and Royal Family to be sung In church. The visit was freely referred to in sermons, and Mgr. Antoniutti, the Apostolic Delegate to Canada, expressed the loyalty of Catholic Canada in an address to the St. Jean Baptiste Society of Ottawa.

Cardinal Villeneuve has issued a message voicing that loyalty in the following terms: " I arn sure to be the interpreter of the Canadian episcopate by expressing to our sovereigns all the respect and loyalty with which we will be glad to receive them."

Canadian Freedom

In a special supplement published by the Times on the occasion of the royal visit Mgr. Couturier, Bishop of Alexandria, Ontario, writing in French, has referred to the relations between the Catholics of Canada and the democratic system under which they are ruled. " Our modern democracy and the liberty we enjoy," he says, " teach us that in the past we had to fight in order to make ourselves understood. The fights for education in many provinces continue the ancient Catholic tradition whose foundation lies in the principles of the Catholic Faith in Canada.

" To-day, through our democratic principles, we can force others to respect Us as we respect ourselves.

" May this liberty continue always."

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