Sad news via CBC News:
“Father Raymond Gravel, a well-known Catholic priest, an advocate for Quebec sovereignty and a social activist, has died.
“He served one term as the Bloc Québécois MP for Repentigny, before he was ordered by church authorities to choose between his priesthood or politics and returned to the pulpit.
“He was a progressive force in the Catholic Church and an outspoken supporter of gay and women’s rights.
“At one point Gravel called the Vatican’s opposition to same-sex marriages “discriminatory, hurtful and offensive.”
“Gravel challenged the Catholic Church to adopt a more compassionate tone and get in touch with the beliefs of its adherents.
“”The Church must evolve beyond the language of interdiction and condemnations,” he wrote in an open letter dated April 23, 1999. “Such language only proves, once again, to the entire world just how disconnected the Church is from reality.”
“Gravel personally opposed abortion except in cases of rape, but he said he also opposed rules and regulations that “infantilized” women.”
Listen to an interview with one of Father Gravel’s parishoners, Gregory Baum, a retired professor of religious studies at McGill University, after the fold: