Appointment of a New Archbishop for Montréal

Tuesday, March 20 2012

lepineCardinal_Turcotte_2012(CCCB – Ottawa)… His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today accepted the resignation of His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte and named the Most Reverend Christian Lépine as Archbishop of Montréal. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Lépine was Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal. Cardinal Turcotte had been responsible for the Archdiocese of Montréal for 22 years. He had offered his resignation after attaining the age of 75 years in 2011, as stipulated by the Code of Canon Law.  With the announcement of the acceptance of the resignation of Cardinal Turcotte, the Holy Father also announced that he appointed him as Apostolic Administrator of Montréal until the new Archbishop takes canonical possession of his Archdiocese.

Born in Montréal on September 18, 1951, the Most Reverend Christian Lépine was ordained to the priesthood on September 7, 1983. He studied Theology at the University of Montréal and Philosophy in Rome.  After pastoral work at the Montreal parishes of Saint-Joseph-de-Mont-Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, he served at the Vatican from 1998 to 2000. Upon returning to Canada, he was appointed to the Grand Séminaire in Montréal and then, in 2006, served as pastor for the parishes of Notre-Dame-des-Champs and Purification-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie. On July 11, 2011, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal and his Episcopal Ordination took place on September 10, 2011.

His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte was born in Montréal on June 26, 1936, and was ordained to the priesthood May 24, 1959. In 1964, upon his return to the Archdiocese from a year of studies at the Catholic Faculties of Lille in France, he was named Diocesan Chaplain of JICF (Jeunesse indépendante catholique féminine) and of the Christian Worker Movement. From 1967 to 1974, he was responsible for a number of areas within the Office for Clergy. In 1974, he became Director of the Office for Parishes, and in 1977, he was named Diocesan Bursar.  Archbishop Paul Grégoire appointed him Vicar General of the Archdiocese and General Co-ordinator for Pastoral Activities, on September 25, 1981.

Pope John Paul II promoted him to the See of Suas and Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal on April 15, 1982. He was ordained to the Episcopate by Archbishop Paul Grégoire, on June 29, 1982. Pope John Paul II named him Archbishop of Montréal on March 17, 1990. The Pope announced his elevation to the rank of Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church on October 30, 1994. He became a member of the College of Cardinals, November 26, 1994, in Rome. Over the course of his 30 years as Bishop, Cardinal Turcotte was, for over 20 years, an Ex Officio Member of the CCCB Permanent Council.  He served as President of the Episcopal Conference from 1997 to 1999.  As a member of the College of Cardinals, he held appointments to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and of the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops.

The Archdiocese of Montréal is Canada‘s second largest Archdiocese, with 214 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 1,494,132, which is served by 440 diocesan priests, 572 priests who are members of religious communities, 3,678 Religious Sisters and Brothers, 96 permanent deacons and 105 lay pastoral assistants.