November 1, 2018 — On October 25, in the context of the Convention of the Catholic and Ecumenical Media Association, our collaborator Frédéric Barriault won a prize for excellence awarded by this association for his article on remembering the struggles. Des sources chrétiennes aux luttes sociales was published in the May-June edition of the magazine Relations.
In his article, Frédéric revisits the history of Christian personalism and of Catholic social action as they emerged in Québec in the years between 1930 and 1960; that is, in the lead-up to and the aftermath of the Quiet Revolution and of Vatican II. He looks at this legacy also through the eyes of a Christian of Generation X – a generation torn between the self-destructive nihilism of No Future and the insatiable thirst for transcendence and social transformation of anti-globalization, which posits that another world is possible. We offer here a few extracts from the conclusion of his article:
“It is significant enough that the majority of historians and sociologists who have resurrected the personalist legacy are of my generation, Generation X, the generation of No Future, born at the peak of the Cold War, at the height of the nuclear threat, Cruise missiles, and the catastrophe of Chernobyl. A generation which grew up also at the height of the neo-Liberal assault on the Welfare State, in favour of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and their Canadian and Québecois variations. A generation that has only known a faint-hearted Québec, bereft of ideals and social projects, especially after two referendum failures. Finally, a generation that has tasted the bitter fruits of a liberal, rationalist, technocratic and instrumental modernism that promises everyone freedom, equality and liberation, without ever actually fulfilling the promise. And all of this while showing itself incapable of responding to the existential questions of our contemporaries, incapable of offering meaning, incapable of breathing life into our social projects. Hence the self-destructive nihilism of so many members of my generation, of Sid Vicious, of Trainspotting and of Dédé Fortin.”
“And yet, for someone who knows how to be attentive to the signs of the times – to use the language of Vatican II – one cannot but notice that the salt and the yeast are again at work deep within the human dough. (Christian?) hope refuses to kowtow. There are rumblings of revolution here and there. Many of our contemporaries declare loudly that another world is possible, and that it is urgent that we again put the dignity of the human person at the centre of our concerns in the face of the commercial, technocratic and totalitarian thinking that crushes, humiliates and dehumanizes, while it also pays homage, probably without knowing it, to the prophetic intuitions of Christian personalists.”
Other collaborators of the Province and of the Centre justice et foi were also honoured that evening. The editorial by Jean-Claude Rivet, titled Pour une insurrection non-violente, published in the January-February edition of Relations, was a finalist in the Opinion category. The dossier Le corps obsolète? L’idéologie transhumaniste en question, published in Relations #792, was also a finalist, this time in the Dossier category. Finally, we point out that the program Foi et Turbulences, with contributions from our collaborators Frédéric Barriault, Jean-Claude Ravet and Louis Rousseau, won the prize for excellence in the Radio Program category.