CCHA, Historical Studies, 59 (1992), 11-32



Rethinking Catholic-Protestant Relations
in Canada:
The Episcopal Reports of 1900-1901


Mark G McGowan

Saint Michael’s College

University of Toronto



        In 1900 many Canadians believed that they were on the threshold of a new and better era. Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier boasted that “the twentieth century belonged to Canada,” and even the Catholic Register beamed that the colony was “now growing to be a fine young lady.”2 The upswing in the national economy brought a measure of hope to Canadian business and labour after nearly a decade of economic misery, unemploy­ment, and tariff warfare with the United States. Ironically, the Laurier government set aside their former free-trade policies and maintained Sir John A. Macdonald's protectionist “national policy.” The dream of an agricultural hinterland in the Canadian northwest was also materializing, as migrants from Britain, the United States, Eastern Europe and central Canada responded to the government’s aggressive marketing of the “last best west.” On the global stage, English Canadians celebrated their status as members and benficiaries of Queen Victoria’s vast empire, and the val­ues of Anglo-Saxon civilization for which it stood. As a litmus test of their imperialist zeal, Canadian troops took their place beside Imperial forces in an effort to quell the Boer insurgence in South Africa.3 In Kipling’s verse, Canada was “Our Lady of the Snows,” Britain's stalwart daughter.

     Reflections on contemporary Canadian religious life in 1900, how­ever, were less enthusiastic. George Monro Grant, in his contribution to Christendom Anno Domini MDCCCCI, lamented upon the irreconcila­ble differences between Canadian Catholics and Protestants, claiming that: “the two currents of religious life flow side by side as distinct from each other as the St.Lawrence and the Ottawa right after their junction. But the two rivers eventually blend into one. The two currents of reli­gious life do not.”4 On the surface, the debates over separate schools west of the Ottawa River, the Jesuit’s Estates Act (1888), the rise of the Equal Rights Association and Protestant Protective Association, and alleged clerical interference in politics, in the 1880s and 1890s, seemed to harden Canada’s two religious solitudes. In 1900, Catholics in Can­ada, particularly French Canadians, had little to celebrate, especially in light of the abolition of separate schools in Mantioba in the 1890s and Dalton McCarthy’s ongoing assault on Catholic schools in the North­west. Henri Bourassa’s dream of a strong French Catholic presence nationally appeared to be jeopardized by the erosion of separate schools and by the growing demographic power of anglo-Canadians.

     With the apparent worsening of Protestant-Catholic relations in the public forum, and increasing feelings of alienation among French Cana­dians, it was an interesting coincidence that, in 1900, the Holy See desired an assessment of the health of the Catholic faith in Canada. On 1 September 1900, Vatican Secretary of State, Mariano Cardinal Ram­polla del Tindaro, upon the orders of Pope Leo XIII, requested that the Apostolic Delegate to Canada, Archbishop Diomede Falconio, conduct a survey to determine the nature and extent of Protestant proselytism in Canada.5 Twenty-five of Canada’s twenty-eight dioceses and vicariates apostolic responded to the Vatican’s request, and the episcopal survey was augmented by reports from the Provincial superiors of the Basilian and Franciscan orders in Canada.6 When the survey results were tabu­lated in March 1901, the Vatican had the most complete and comprehen­sive report on Protestant-Catholic relations submitted to date by Canadian bishops. The respondents not only apprised the Vatican of proselytism, but revealed a unique portrait of Catholic popular piety, education, clerical activity, and home missions.

     For historians, however, the episcopal reports offer more than just a snapshot of the bishops’ candid impressions of Protestant-Catholic rela­tions in Canada. The reports also reveal a level of inter-denominational relations as they occurred among ordinary rank and file Catholics on a day-to-day basis. These observations of the private relationships between Protestants and Catholics, frequently conflict with popular per­ceptions of institutional and public peace or violence. In 1900, for exam­ple, the bishops describe both the public face of Protestant-Catholic relations, and a more sophisticated network of private relations that vary according to province, settlement, and culture. At times the public image of relations and the private reality exist at cross purposes. The reports also fail to posit a “typical’ case study of Protestant-Catholic relations in Canada. Consequently, the historian must acknowledge that J.M.S. Careless’ “limited identities” thesis is also applicable to discussions of Canadian Catholicism.7 In 1900 the Canadian hierarchy describes sev­eral levels of denominational intercourse that are tied intimately to regional factors, class, demography, language, and ethnicity. The result is a patchwork of impressions that often imitate the confidence of the era, but also betray a sense of fear that, below the surface, not all may be well.

     Diomede Falconio had been Apostolic Delegate to Canada less than a year when he administered the questionnaire on proselytism. His solic­itation of the report, however, was commensurate with his duties as liai­son between the Canadian hierarchy and the Vatican, and as the arbiter of disputes between bishops, their clergy, and the laity.8 Each bishop was sent a schedule of ten questions regarding “the evils caused by Prot­estant proselytism.”9 The first three questions asked the bishops to decribe the nature and the extent of direct proselytism in their diocese, Protestant use of charities and civil education, and the attitude of “public authorities” towards Catholics and Protestants. A second series of ques­tions asked the bishops to assess the religious “disposition” and piety of the local population and the activities of both clergy and religious. Implicit in these three questions was an attempt by the Vatican to assess how Catholics lived and survived in a non-Catholic society. A third cat­egory of questions asked bishops to consider indirect means of proselyt­ism, such as mixed marriage, that contributed to the “advance of this evil” proselytism.10 Finally, the Vatican asked the bishops to suggest remedies for proselytism and proposals for the strengthening of the Catholic faith in Canada. Although nine questions were directed specif­ically to the bishop’s specific jurisdiction, Cardinal Rampolla inserted a question asking if local Protestants were financing proselytizing efforts in Italy, specifically in Rome. Evidently, in 1900, Leo XIII was con­cerned by inroads made by Protestant groups at the very heart of Catho­lic Church and the inclusion of this question suggests, perhaps, that the Pope feared a Protestant conspiracy of international proportions.11

     The Canadian prelates who responded to Rampolla's questions represented a new generation in the Canadian episcopacy. Respondents from the Maritimes exemplified the transfer of power from a foreign­-born episcopate, typical of Bishops James Rogers and John Sweeney who dominated the Church in the nineteenth century, to a new group of native-sons. In Quebec as well, the major players in the Montreal-­Quebec rivalry and Liberal-Ultramontane disputes were dead and gone, and an uncharacteristic concord existed between local prelates.12 In Ontario, the formidable “hibernarchy’ of Archbishops John Lynch and James Cleary had given way to a new home-grown episcopate. In fact, nearly seventy-five per cent of respondents from across the country in 1900 were Canadian-born.13 In the Maritimes and Quebec, all of the respondent bishops were natives of their regions. In Ontario, four of six bishops were Ontario-born, and the two native Irishmen, Richard A. O’Connor of Peterborough and Thomas J. Dowling of Hamilton, had been raised and educated in Canada.14 Only in western Canada, the near exclusive domain of Oblate missionaries, were the majority of prelates French-born. The respondents to the survey were also remark­able in that most were younger than sixty-years of age, and that over forty per cent had served as bishop of their diocese for less than five years. It was this cadre of bishops that would lead the Canadian Church into the twentieth century, and most would still be in power by the First World War. It is also important to note that the majority in this generation of bishops could boast post-secondary education, including graduate degrees, from both Canada and Italy. Thus the Canadian bishops who assessed denominational relations in 1900 were generally home-grown and intimate with the people whom they served, highly educated with experience abroad, and young, many just embark­ing on their episcopal careers.15

     Given the apparent trouble experienced by Catholics in the sectar­ian politics of the late Victorian period, the response by this new cadre of bishops to the first series of Cardinal Rampolla’s questions may come as a surprise. When asked to assess direct Protestant proselytism in Canada and its means, most respondents were hard pressed to admit that such proselytism existed. Most Canadian bishops also conceded that the public authorities – the federal, provincial and municipal gov­ernments – were generally impartial when dealing with religious groups, and they supported no direct methods of proselytization. Epis­copal opinion varied, however, on how civil education was used to the Protestant’s advantage. Here comments differed from region to region, and usually the feelings of anxiety about “public schools” heightened as one moved from the Maritimes, westward through Quebec, Ontario and the mission territory in western Canada. In fact, on most issues the episcopal reports reflected the distinctiveness of Catholicism in these four regions.

     In the Maritimes, where Catholics composed a significantly large minority,16 local prelates would have agreed with Archbishop Cornelius O’Brien of Halifax when he commented that there was no organized attempt to propagate Protestantism in “any special way.”17 While his suffragan bishop, John Cameron of Antigonish, conceded that such pros­elytism existed only in the late 1850s and early 1860s in Nova Scotia,18 he added that the “hydra of anti-Catholic bigotry” had “concealed its diminished head” and that “proselytism in Nova Scotia [had] become so intensely unpopular that no self-respecting Protestant would take any part in it.”19 Much the same was echoed by the bishops of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, although Thomas Barry, the coadjutor bishop of Chatham, did concede that ministers from outside of his dio­cese sometimes attempted to proselytize the Acadians using “immoral books, such as those written by Chiniquy.”20 Barry admitted, however, that all such endeavours ended in failure. The Acadian incidents aside, respondents from the Maritimes confidently indicated that Protestant and Catholic neighbours lived in peace with each other, provided they did not enter into theological discussion, which Bishop James Charles McDonald of Charlottetown admitted ‘begets ill-feeling.”21

     Maritime bishops, however, were more cautious in their assessment of how institutions and governments treated Catholics. All the bishops agreed that local authorities did not interfere with the religious liberties of Catholics, particularly their right, where the law allowed Catholics, to establish a separate school and hire a Catholic teacher, or to provide cat­echism after public school hours. Even when Catholics could only attend public schools, Archbishop O’Brien of Halifax echoed the thoughts of most his suffragans when he asserted that such public instruction “is rather secular than Protestant.”22 In New Brunswick and PEI, where public funding did not extend to Catholic schools, the bishops warned that although there was no formal government approval for religious instruction in schools, the occasion might arise when unscrupulous Prot­estant teachers could use their position to weaken the faith of Catholic children.23 Bishops McDonald of Charlottetown and Barry of Chatham regretted the potential danger posed to Catholic children in public schools, and the financial burden borne by Catholics – mostly farmers and fishermen with seasonal incomes – who had to pay fees to private separate schools in addition to their public school taxes. When separate schools were established, often under the auspices of religious orders, the bishops boasted, however, that even local Protestants considered the education provided to be of very high quality.24

     Similar to the hierarchy in the Maritime provinces, English-speak­ing bishops in Eastern Ontario were generally satisfied with Protestant-­Catholic relations in their dioceses. In the ecclesiastical Province of Kingston, where Catholics of Irish, Scottish and French-Canadian extraction comprised at least one fifth or more of the population, bishops indicated that little direct proselytism existed. After having polled his parish priests, Alexander Macdonell of Alexandria claimed: “A spirit of toleration prevails between Catholics and their Protestant neighbors [sic]: they dwell together peaceably as citizens.”25 Bishop Richard O’Connor of Peterborough added that no such propaganda would be tol­erated in Canada and that: “Public opinion would not approve the buying of Catholics into heresy with gifts of food, clothing or other material advantages.”26 O’Connor, Macdonell, and Charles Hugh Gauthier, the Archbishop of Kingston, also commented on the absence of institutional propagandizing, acknowledging the fairness of the Ontario government and the freedom accorded to Catholics to establish separate schools. O’Connor did confess, however, that in some locales Catholic children faced the danger of becoming indifferent to their faith if they attended a neutral public school, especially where Protestant children were the majority.27 Nevertheless, it is clear from the bishop's responses that Catholic leaders in Eastern Ontario and north of Lake Superior did not feel Catholics were threatened either institutionally or publicly by Prot­estants.28

     In Southwestern Ontario, however, bishops were far less sanguine than their Maritime or Eastern Ontario colleagues. Bishops Denis O’Connor of Toronto and Thomas Dowling of Hamilton acknowledged the absence of direct propaganda, although the latter admitted that Meth­odist Sunday schools, the distribution of tracts, and public lectures and meetings facilitated the “work of propagating heresy’ and had resulted in a few conversions to Protestantism.29 Bishop Fergus McEvay of Lon­don, however, was far more anxious, and with good reason. With the notable exceptions of Kent and Essex counties, the proportion of Cath­olic population within London’s diocesan boundaries fell far short of the province-wide figure of 17.9 per cent.30 In some counties under McEvay’s jurisdiction, Catholics were a most vulnerable religious minority constituting less than five per cent of the population. McEvay claimed that Catholics were not “as a rule openly attacked,” but the pres­ence of Sunday schools, sewing circles, the Children’s Aid Society, and Bible Societies compromised Catholics in rural areas not served by a priest, and Catholics in hospitals and prisons faced danger from Protes­tant chaplains.31 McEvay and his colleagues recognized the general fair­ness of public authorities, but both he and Denis O’Connor admitted that beneath the surface politicians and political parties were in Protestant hands and, as a result, Catholics could attribute their achievements less to the generosity of governments, than to their exercise of the “balance of power” in Ontario.32

     In general, the Ontario bishops shared the perception with their anglophone colleagues in the Maritimes that “direct” Protestant prose­lytism really did not exist in an organized fashion. Even McEvay’s anx­iety came as a result of sporadic as opposed to a comprehensive programme of Protestant propagandizing. Nor is it surprising that McEvay, Dowling and Denis O’Connor would be less optimistic. After all, Southwestern Ontario had a proportionally smaller Catholic popula­tion than any other part of the province, the Protestant Protective Asso­ciation and Equal Rights Association had a strong following in the area in the 1890s, and Catholics themselves were fragmented into Irish, Ger­man, and French Canadian enclaves, so much so that the anglophone bishops had to balance cultural interests delicately in order to preserve Catholic unity.33 Consequently bishops were careful to qualify what they considered to be institutional and public fairness and tranquility with what they regarded as the more fundamental problems between Catholics and Protestants in the private sphere. Victorin Marijon, the French-born superior-general of the Congregation of St. Basil, however, was more candid. From his vantage point in Toronto he told Falconio that “le proselytisme protestant s’exerce à l’aise et sans pudeur.”34 In sharp contrast to his native France, Marijon saw evidence of Protestant power everywhere in Ontario, and Catholics were distinctly disadvan­taged as a result.

     As one might expect, reports of sectarian relations in Protestant Ontario were turned on their head in the episcopal reports from Catholic Quebec. In such rural dioceses as Nicolet, Rimouski, and Chicoutimi, where Catholics constituted over ninety per cent of the population, bish­ops spoke of peace between Protestants and Catholics. Michel Labre­cque, Bishop of Chicoutimi and administrator of the Vicariate Apostolic of the Gulf of St. Lawrence confessed that he would be hard pressed to find even twenty Protestant families, and those of which he had knowl­edge were all on good terms with their Catholic neighbours.35 Rural Quebec, according to her bishops, was simply too insulated from the out­side world to be susceptible to non-Catholic proselytism. In fact, Bishop André-Albert Blais was so confident of the situation in his diocese of Rimouski that he took the report as an occasion to wax eloquently on the harmony between laity, clergy, and the Catholic government of the region. Blais admitted that there were small Protestant settlements in Temiscouata County and in the new lumber camps, but even here “la paix règne.”36 This confident report was repeated by bishops Joseph­Médard Emard of Valleyfield and the venerable Louis Moreau of St­Hyacinthe. Despite the fact that Protestants in these latter dioceses con­stituted in excess of twenty per cent of the total population, both bishops saw the distribution of bibles and tracts by Swiss Protestants as a rare phenomenon. Moreau claimed that there was more danger to the faith posed by the American voluntary insurance associations that were beginning to appear in the Eastern Townships.37 Interestingly enough, aside from the few references to Swiss and American proselytizers, none of the bishops in predominately rural areas made reference to Chiniquy and his Presbyterian colleagues, or the efforts by other Canadian Protes­tant Churches who had active missions in Quebec since the 1830s.38

     While the religious landscape described by Quebec’s rural bishops suggested an ambiance typical of Maria Chapdelaine, prelates in Mon­treal, Quebec, Trois-Rivières, and Ottawa were more cautious in their assessments.39 These bishops generally agreed that there was little organized Protestant proselytism, but, in the words of Archbishop Louis-Nazaire Bégin of Quebec, there were a few occasions when Prot­estants sewed “la semence de la zizanie.”40 Bégin observed that the dis­tribution of biblical tracts, meetings of occult societies, and the charitable activities of the Salvation Army were the worst cases of direct proselytism. The Archbishop added, however, that only Catholics who were “corroded away by laziness” ever succumbed to the Salvation Army, a group that had actually been attacked by Catholic mobs in the Quebec riots of 1887.41 Bégin and his colleagues in the larger dioceses also acknowledged that some Protestant ministers took advantage of bickering between priests and the laity. At Maskinongé, for example, Marie-Sophone Baril of Trois-Rivières reported that, in 1892, seventeen families left the local church and formed a new Protestant congregation when Bishop Laflèche chose what they considered to be a poor location for the new parish church.42 Similar cases of apostasy as a result of Catholic resistance to clerical authority were cited by prelates in Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa.43 Nevertheless, the bishops viewed this resistance as exceptional and wrote confidently that French Canadian Catholics ignored most Protestant advances, including free schooling, the dissemination of Chiniquy’s writings, and philanthropic aid. Arch­bishop Paul Bruchési of Montreal declared direct proselytism an abject failure; French Protestant services in Montreal were poorly attended and, in one Protestant effort, the missionary, a certain apostate priest named O’Connor, was sent packing back to New York by local Protes­tants after they discovered him drunk in a local bordello.44

     Consequently, as was the case in Eastern Ontario and the Maritimes, Quebec’s bishops regarded direct proselytism as rare and ineffective. Protected by their sheer numerical strength, the presence of Catholics at all levels of local government, and state supported Catholic education, Quebec’s bishops trumpeted their cordial relations with their Protestant neighbours. Archbishop Bruchesi struck a common chord when he com­mented:


Les protestants en ce diocèse, à l’exception d’un groupe assez restreint de fanatiques décidés, sont assez bien disposés à l’égard de notre sainte religion. Volontiers ils reconnaissent l’influence de l’autorité catholique. Pour ma part je suis en très bons termes avec eux.45


The only discordant note sounded was by Franciscan Provincial Colom­ban-Marie Dreyer, who considered agents of direct proselytism in Que­bec to be very active, particularly the followers of Chiniquy and the Salvation Army. Dreyer, however, admitted he was a stranger in the country who had imperfect knowledge of Quebec's political or religious affairs.46 Life in France had not prepared him for the denominational and linguistic pluralism he discovered in Montreal.

     Although Dreyer’s comments constituted a tiny voice of dissent in Quebec, he was not alone in Canada in terms of his observations of direct proselytism. In the Northwest, the predominantly French-born cadre of bishops reported the existence of well-organized Protestant home missions directed at First Nations and Ukrainian immigrants. Such news was not new in 1900; historically, the western mission territory was characterized by a competition for souls between rival Christian denominations. Religious tension was compounded by the battle between the competing visions of Canada by French and English-speak­ing leaders and settlers in the West.47 According to most of the western prelates, First Nations in the region were the most vulnerable group to proselytizers. Anglican and Methodist missionaries were singled out for their successes. Native peoples, Catholic and non-Christian, were offered material goods, food, and clothing by the Protestant missionar­ies. Archbishop Adélard Langevin of St. Boniface stated cynically that some ministers offered bribes of up to “100 piastres (500 francs) as an incentive for baptism.”48 The bishops also observed that poor parents were also enticed by Protestant offers of free education and boarding schools.

     The Liberal government’s aggressive immigration policies also increased denominational tension in the western missions. In 1901, Archbishop Langevin recounted how Presbyterians were training Ukrainian ministers to infiltrate the Eastern Rite Catholic colonies, where there was a serious shortage of priests. Langevin hoped that he could recruit Redemptorist clergy to serve the 14,000 Ukrainians and 4,000 Poles in his diocese.49 Similarly Emile Legal, the coadjutor of St. Albert, claimed that young Ukrainian girls, employed as domestics by Protestant families, were being recruited by Protestant ministers through English-language classes and socials.50 The Ukrainian problem would continue to increase in intensity, as the Ukrainian Catholic population would rise to over 150,000 by 1914, and few Ukrainian priests would be available due to the Vatican's restriction on the migration of married clergy to North America.51

     Money appeared to be at the heart of the problem of direct proselyt­ism in the case of the Ukrainians and the First Nations. The Oblate bish­ops and vicars apostolic acknowledged that Protestant missionaries were financially supported by Bible societies, eastern Canadian congrega­tions, the Methodist Bureau, and the Anglican Church Missionary Soci­ety. The western prelates also criticized the federal and local governments, whom they accused of showing favouritism towards Protestant applicants for jobs in the Department of Indian Affairs. The bishops alleged that these Indian agents and reserve employees know­ingly facilitated the spread of Protestantism. Bishops in the Northwest Territories also assailed the federal government for continuing an unfair division of corporate tax revenues, which created financial hardship in the Catholic schools. Archbishop Langevin added that public schools were no alternative, because Catholic children attending them were essentially thrust into a dangerous Protestant environment.52 Fishing for material assistance, Langevin suggested that with “10,000 francs” per year he could “do wonders for separate schools” and secure the newest generation of Catholics in the West.53

     With the notable exception of the western dioceses, however, the Canadian bishops’ comments on Catholic-Protestant relations in 1900 indicate that direct proselytism by Protestants was simply not a major concern. According to the hierarchy east of Manitoba, and the clergy reporting to them, public and institutional peace between Catholics and Protestants was normative. When they considered how Canadian Catho­lics might respond to those rare occasions of direct propagandizing, bishops from all regions of the country spoke highly of the Catholic lai­ty’s ability to resist abandoning their faith. If public anti-Catholicism occurred at all, it resulted in Catholics becoming firmer in their devotion to the Church. Prelates described their flocks as “foncièrement catholique,” “pious,” “zealous,” and “well grounded in their faith.” Even in the West, Oblate bishops commended the faith of First Nations and European Catholics who generally resisted intense Protestant proselyt­ism. Perhaps Bishop Cameron of Antigonish, however, summarized the faith of the laity for many of his colleagues when he wrote that:


Catholics of this diocese would compare favourably with those of any other in the Dominion of Canada in their splendid spirit of faith and self [-] sacrifice. Such a being as a Catholic, who does not at least go to Confession and receive the Blessed Eucharist at each receiving Eastertide is a raravis in terris, and looked upon as a self-constituted outcast ... but O! what consolation to find everywhere so much edifying, manifest, virgin faith!54


Pastors commended Canadian Catholics for their Sunday mass attend­ance, devotion to the Eucharist, Sacred Heart and Blessed Virgin Mary, the praying of the Rosary, and in their creation of Catholic sodalities and associations. In fact, Franciscan Colomban-Marie Dreyer thought that some French Canadians had too intense a piety which dangerously bor­dered on superstition.55 Similarly, bishops in Western Ontario and Char­lottetown qualified their praise of the laity by lamenting that Catholics, despite private piety, were far too timid to assert their Catholicism in public life.56 In Toronto, Archbishop Denis O’Connor added that he was not satisfied by catechetical teaching in schools, although he conceded there was little one could do “with youth from 14 to 21 years.”57

     The respondent bishops also indicated to Rome that the “zeal” and dedication of clergy acted as a second shield against direct Protestant proselytism. Thomas Dowling reiterated the thoughts of most Anglo-­Celtic bishops when he praised his clergy for their desire to “preserve the faith and counteract heresy.”58 The only negative comment made in English Canada was by the Basilian Superior Marijon, who observed that secular priests in Ontario, who had been educated in public high schools, “ne se débarrassent jamais d’une certaine teinte de protestant­isme.”59 None of the Ontario bishops supported this accusation, although Denis O’Connor, a fellow Basilian, would experience resist­ance from many of his priests when he attempted to bring practices in the Archdiocese of Toronto more in line with the Canon Law.60

     Bishops in French Canada, however, heaped unqualified praise on Francophone priests and religious, who were singled out for founding parishes, conducting missions, and catechizing the faithful in churches and schools. André Blais of Rimouski gushed with sentiment, commend­ing the clergy for not only protecting the faith, but securing the “rem­parts pour la défense et protection de notre nationalité, de sa langue et de les dogmes contre toute tentative d’invasion et domination hétero­doxe dans la domain de l’héritage de nos croyances et des conquêtes de nos libertés.”61 Consequently, for most Canadian bishops direct prose­lytism did not stand a chance so long as clergy and religious were zealous and the laity were secure in their devotions. In the West, bishops might add that the battle against Protestant missionaries could be strengthened if only there were more priests in the field.62

     If one’s reading of the episcopal reports concluded here, one might be left with the impression that Catholic leaders should have shared the optimism of the rest of the country, given Canada's rising fortunes domestically and internationally. Yet, however amicable the public face of peaceful co-existence between Protestants and Catholics appeared to be, at least outside of the Oblate mission territory, the episcopal reports to Rome reveal more troubling features of interdenominational relations that were identifiable, but more difficult to solve. Bishops east of Mani­toba could be reasonably comfortable with the public face of the “pros­elytism” questions, but private and personal relations between Catholics and Protestants, however innocent, had the potential of becoming a major danger to the Catholic Church. As has been demonstrated, French and English prelates were concerned about the mingling of Catholic and Protestant children in public schools and Catholic membership in secu­lar fraternal associations. The former was resolved by establishing sep­arate schools or catechizing Catholics after school hours. The latter was remedied by the introduction of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Associa­tion, whose national membership had mushroomed from 5,650 in 1890 to 17,088 by 1902.63 Even the Protestant domination of library boards was envisioned by the bishops as being remedied by more Catholic par­ticipation in book buying. What most concerned the bishops, however, was everyday contact between Catholics and Protestants. For English-­speaking Catholic bishops in Ontario and prelates in Quebec’s urban areas denominationally mixed neighbourhoods, businesses, shop floors and recreation areas could potentially lead to a gradual tolerance, wherein Catholics might lose their sense of “horror” regarding heresy. Such social intermingling could subtly disarm Catholics, create moral and devotional laxity, and finally imperil their faith itself.64 Although the bishops could praise the piety of their flocks on the one hand, they feared that if Catholics were not vigilant, they could be seduced unknowingly by heterodoxy.

     The greatest danger of this day-to-day contact was mixed marriage. The bishops argued that not only did such unions disrupt the ideal of the Catholic home, they also threatened the nurturing of the future genera­tion of Catholics, especially if the non-Catholic party was the mother. Even in the Maritimes and rural Quebec dioceses, where mixed mar­riages were few because of the proportionally large Catholic population, bishops still regarded inter-faith marriage as a “danger to religion.”65 Bishops in these areas reported only one or two mixed marriages annu­ally and in these cases the canons on marriage were strictly applied: nup­tials were always celebrated in front of a priest, only after all conditions of the official dispensation had been agreed to by the non-Catholic party. The Maritime and rural Quebec prelates reassured the Vatican that Prot­estants, usually in writing, promised not to interfere in the faith life of the Catholic party and agreed that children were to be raised Catholic. Typical of his colleagues in the East, Bishop McDonald of Charlotte­town reported that these promises were usually kept and that in the few mixed marriages that did occur the non-Catholic party usually embraced the Catholic faith.66 In an apparent reversal of the national trend, mixed marriages in these jurisdictions seemed to augment the Catholic popula­tion.

Bishops in urban Quebec, Ontario and the West, however, were extremely concerned about what one cleric called “the plague of this country.”67 The reports themselves reveal two principal problems. In areas of sporadic Catholic ecumene, such as the Diocese of London or the Oblate missionary dioceses, Catholics found it difficult to find mar­ital partners and mixed marriages were common.68 The second major problem was the aforementioned social mingling between Catholics and Protestants at schools, parties, and workplaces. Bishops complained that in the mixed marriages that often resulted, if the female party was Prot­estant, the children of the marriage were lost to the Church. Prelates also indicated that the promises made by non-Catholic parties, required for a dispensation “dispiratus cultus” or “mixtae religiones,” were frequently violated, thereby compromising the faith of the Catholic party and the children. Denis O’Connor of Toronto was unequivocal in his opposition to this form of “indirect” proselytization:


Few perversions occur as a result of direct proselytism ... the greater number is due to mixed marriages, public schools, newspapers and protestant company. Those causes produce tepid Catholics, who without living as Catholic, like to die as such. The number who die perverts is, thank God, relatively small. ... Protestant company is sought after by some Catholics because it commonly constitutes what is called good society. Other Catholics in country districts have few or no neighbours that are not protestants. Forced to associate with them, they accept little by little their notions, go to their churches and neglect their own which are frequently far distant, intermarry with them and the children are generally protestant. We have lost much in this way in country places and there are many, very many protestants with names of undoubted Catholic origin.69


O’Connor had much to fear, despite his near prohibition on dispensa­tions for mixed marriage, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Toronto con­tinued to marry outside of the faith, without solemnization, at a rate of seven times the number of mixed marriages dispensed by the Church.70 While O’Connor’s stinginess in granting dispensations was somewhat uncharacteristic in Ontario, his episcopal colleagues in all dioceses, except Alexandria, warned of the potential leakage from the Church caused by mixed marriages. Although local clergy, the canon law, and catechisms71 denounced mixed marriage, Church teaching seemed hum­bled in the face of young love.

     Francophone bishops, particularly in the West, Montreal and Ottawa, were also concerned by the annual increases in mixed mar­riages. Language and culture did help to insulate French Canadian youths from unions with anglophone Protestants, but as Archbishop Bruchesi indicated, anglophone Catholics in his diocese were exposed to the “danger” on a daily basis.72 Similarly Bishops Moreau and Bégin cited frequent contact between Catholics and Protestants in parts of St. Hyacinthe and Quebec, as the principal causes of mixed marriage. Both bishops organized pastoral visits and priestly instruction of the faithful to prevent further interfaith unions and Bégin, in particular, indicated that the Redemptorist Fathers in charge of local Irish Catholics in Que­bec were most vigilant in preaching against mixed marriages and Cath­olic attendance in “Protestant associations.”73 Less confident, Archbishop Langevin of St. Boniface confessed that despite warnings to parents by priests, the paucity of Catholics in the West made the mixed marriage evil inevitable. The problem was exacerbated further by the absence of many Catholic schools and Catholic benevolent societies, where Catholics could meet and recreate.74

     What is clear in the episcopal reports of 1900-1901 is the fact that there was universal concern about indirect means of proselytism. While most of the nation’s bishops suggested the absence of public and insti­tutional manifestations of Protestant propagandizing and anti-Catholi­cism, they were sincerely troubled about socializing between Catholic and Protestant youths that could lull even the most pious Catholics into a false sense of their faith, laziness, or apostasy. Mixed marriage was one such agency, through which an entire generation of Catholics could be lost, especially in regions where the Catholic population was propor­tionally small and where Catholic schools and organizations were either fragile or non-existent. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that the Canadian Catholic bishops suggested very practical “remedies” to the Vatican, that formally addressed the problems of Catholics coping with Protestant influences in their social and private worlds. Regardless of region bishops suggested that: more priests be recruited to bring the Church and its teachings to more people; more Catholic schools be built; the network of Catholic charities and confraternities be expanded; better instruction be offered to the laity on mixed marriage; and the prolifera­tion of Catholic newspapers and literature be more effective. Bishop Barry of Chatham saw the increase of Catholic societies and publica­tions as of paramount importance in offsetting the “non-sectarian school system of his province.”75 Similarly, while espousing the five general requests of the Canadian Church, some bishops made additional sugges­tions of particular import to their region or diocese. Bishop Cameron of Antigonish reflected the Scottish Catholic concern for higher education, when he called for more “nurseries” of Catholic professionals like St. Francis Xavier University. Archbishop O’Connor of Toronto proposed small tightly-knit Catholic neighbourhoods around parish churches to remedy the frequent Catholic-Protestant intermingling in his city. Archbishop Bruchesi suggested a Catholic counter-offensive to prose­lytize Protestants, and he informed the Vatican that he had recently com­missioned the Paulist Fathers to undertake a special mission to Protestants in Montreal. Bishops in the Western missions simply expressed a need for all forms of assistance: financial, personnel, and organizational.

     Little is known, however, about how the Vatican responded to these requests. In March 1901, Falconio sent his synthesis of the reports to the Propaganda Fide; he was thanked and nothing more was said of the report.76 Moreover, there appears to be no formal link between the epis­copal reports and the creation of three more dioceses by 1904.77 Cer­tainly, the Canadian bishops’ concerns seemed to pale in comparison with those of the French and Italian hierarchies, who faced open anti­-clericalism from governments and social groups on a daily basis. More­over, despite the storm generated in Rome and North America by the papal letter Testem Benevolentiae in 1899, the reports gave little cause for the Curia to be alarmed that the recent “Americanist” heresy had a discernible Canadian variant. The Vatican could also be assured, that if the Canadian bishops were correct, Canadian Protestants could neither afford nor had much interest in sustaining Protestant proselytism in Rome.

     It is unfortunate that the Vatican shelved Falconio’s synthesis, however, the episcopal reports themselves are more than just a single snapshot of the opinions of Catholic leaders. They are both a valuable insight into a pivotal period in the history of the Canadian church and they offer important instructions to historians who study Protestant­-Catholic relations. First, the reports indicate that the history of the Catholic Church in Canada is imbued with the emergence of “limited identities.” While there have been issues of spiritual and moral import that have united Catholics from sea to sea, factors such as region, culture, demography, and language have transformed the Church in Canada into an amalgam of distinctive entities. Language has tradition­ally been seen as a major distinction, if not an obstacle, within the Canadian Church. The bishops’ reports underscore the fact that while francophone Protestants failed to punch significant dents in the numer­ically overwhelming francophone Catholic Church, the Anglo-Celtic Catholic minority was particularly vulnerable to the anglophone Prot­estant majority, particularly in their day-to-day relations. Similarly, the limited identities of the respondents themselves must be factored in. The respondents who had recently arrived from France were often scandalized by what they considered the brazen display of power by Canadian Protestants; whereas, locally-born bishops, francophone and anglophone, who were more intimate with the nature of Canadian reli­gious pluralism and the liberty accorded to Catholics by Canadian laws, learned to live, albeit vigilantly, with the Protestant “fact.”

     The episcopal reports also clearly define the differences in Protes­tant-Catholic relations that occur according to region and locale. The Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and the West provide different perspec­tives on Catholic-Protestant relations. Denominational co-existence in each of these regions has been further characterized by factors of culture, the ratio of Catholics to Protestants, the historical legacy of sectarian bitterness in a given locale, or a distinctive urban-rural split, as evidenced perhaps in the differences between the sedate pastoral life of the Diocese of Nicolet, versus the secular influences on Catholics in Montreal. The frontier nature of the Canadian Prairies, Northwest Ter­ritories, and British Columbia engendered a different relationship between Catholics and Protestants. The presence of non-Christian First Nations and new immigrants ensured the rise of competing Christian missions to claim the West and its peoples for either Protestantism, Catholicism, or in the case of the Ukrainians, Eastern Orthodoxy.78 The emerging public image of peaceful co-existence in eastern Canada appeared strange by comparison. The episcopal reports of 1900-1901 are imbued with this regional imprint and send the scholar an impor­tant caveat: beware the historian who would make Ontario the yard­stick of the nation.

     The episcopal reports also suggest more fundamental methodolog­ical questions about studying Protestant-Catholic relations in Canada. Much of our literature on the subject has posed questions directed to institutional relationships, ideology, politics, or public manifestations of discord or concord.79 While such studies are useful in probing the public face of relations and monitoring the lightening rods of intoler­ance, such as separate schools, they are ineffective in their treatment of Catholic-Protestant relations from the perspective of the pew. Be they confrontational or irenic in describing denominational behaviour, few Canadian historians have endeavoured to flesh out the relations between Catholics and Protestants as they lived their lives from day-­to-day.80 How did they associate in the work place, family life, mar­riage, social organizations, public school classrooms, or in business? While theological barriers appeared to remain a constant between Christian communities, social intercourse, co-operation, and tension may often vary according to one’s focus of study: be it in the private, public, or institutional spheres. Even though they contain the opinions and perspectives of the contemporary clerical elite, the episcopal reports of 1900-1901 indirectly suggest that social studies “from below” are necessary-that public and institutional manifestations of Protestant-Catholic relations can be misleading. In 1900 the growing problem of mixed marriage, behind the scenes, tarnished the lustre of improved Protestant-Catholic relations in public. Thus, the balancing of social historical perspectives with more traditional historical inter­pretations can offer the historian a more sophisticated and complete picture of Protestant-Catholic relations in Canada.

     In 1900 the Canadian bishops acknowledged that the Catholic Church was entering a new era in its relations with the nation’s Protes­tants. While many bishops were confident that open violence and insti­tutional bigotry could be relegated to the pages of history, they were not so certain how Catholics would survive in an increasingly cosmopolitan and secularized society. The increased urbanization and industrializa­tion of the “Laurier-Borden” Era would throw Catholics and Protestants into closer quarters, and shared language would increasingly supplant shared creed as a focus of identity. Imperialist politics in the Boer War, naval debate, and Great War would further agitate differences between anglophone and francophone, immigrant and native, and Catholic and Protestant. If anything, at the dawn of the twentieth century, Catholic­Protestant relations would prove to be even more complex than before.


DIOCESE                                       BISHOP                                         BIRTH    COUNTRY                    BISHOP                 PREVIOUS SEE


HALIFAX                          O’Brien, Cornelius             1843    PEI-Can                 1882                      none

ANTIGONISH                  Cameron, John                   1826    NS-Can                 1870                Coa-ANTIGON.

CHARLOTTETOWN       McDonald, James C           1840    PEI-Can                 1890                      none

CHATHAM, NB               Rogers, James NR             1826    Ireland                   1860                      none

                                          Barry, Thomas                    1841    NB-Can                 1899                Coa-CHATHAM

SAINT JOHN                   Sweeney, John                   1821    Ireland                   1859                      none

                                          Casey, Tim                         1862    NB-Can                1899                Coa-ST JOHN

KINGSTON                       Gauthier, Charles H            1843    Ont-Can                 1898                      none

ALEXANDRIA                 Macdonell,Alexander          1833    Ont-Can                 1890                      none

PETERBOROUGH           O’Connor, Richard             1838    Ireland                    1889                      none

TORONTO                        O’Connor, Denis                1841    Ont-Can                 1890                LONDON

HAMILTON                     Dowling, Thomas                1840    Ireland                   1886                PETERBORO

LONDON                         McEvay, Fergus P             1852    Ont-Can                 1899                      none

QUEBEC                          Bégin, Louis-N                   1840    Que-Can                1888                Coa-QUEBEC

TROIS-RIVIERES            Cloutier, François               1848    Que-Can                1899                      none

                                          Baril, Marie S H                 1847    Que-Can                                        Vicar-General

CHICOUTIMI                   Labrecque, Michel             1849    Que-Can                1892                       none

NICOLET                         Gravel, Elphège                  1838    Que-Can                1885                      none

RIMOUSKI                       Blais, André-Albert            1842    Que-Can                1889                Coa-RIMOUSKI

MONTREAL                      Bruchesi, Paul                     1855    Que-Can                1897                      none

ST-HYACINTHE              Moreau, Louis-Z                1824    Que-Can                1875                      none

SHERBROOKE                Larocque, Paul NR             1846    Que-Can                1893                      none

VALLEYFIELD                Emard, Joseph-M               1853    Que-Can                1892                      none

OTTAWA                           Duhamel, Joseph T             1841    Que-Can                1874                      none

PEMBROKE                     Lorraine, N-Z NR               1842    Que-Can                1882                      none

ST-BONIFACE                 Langevin, L Adélard           1855    Que-Can                1895                      none

ST-ALBERT                      Grandin, Vital-J                  1829    France                   1857                Coa-StBONIFACE

                                          Legal, Emile                        1849    France                   1897                Coa-ST.ALBERT

N.WESTMINSTER           Dontenwill, Auguste            1857    France                    1897                Coa-N.WESTMIN

SASKATCHEWAN          Pascal, Albert NR               1848    France                    1891                      none

                                          Brueck, Wilhelm                 1872    Belgium                                                Secretary

ATHABASKA                  Gouard, Emile J.                 1840    France                    1891                      none

VICTORIA                       Orth, Bertram NR               1848    Germany                1900                      none

NR Indicates that no report was submitted


                                                                CATHOLIC         PCT           LCE Estimate

HALIFAX                                      54,301             18.3           50,000

ANTIGONISH                              75,277             46.2           73,000

CHARLOTTETOWN                   51,258             46.9           52,000

CHATHAM                                   66,571             69.6           53,000

SAINT JOHN                               59,124            25.1           58,000

KINGSTON                                   41,384             16.4           43,000

ALEXANDRIA                             23,634             48.1           18,500

PETERBOROUGH                       54,002             21.2           39,000

TORONTO                                    59,566             12.1           57,000

HAMILTON                                 44,021             11.3           50,000

LONDON                                     59,383             14.5           60,000

QUEBEC                                     324,040           96.3           325,000

TROIS RIVIERES                         76,370             99.0           70,814


OF ST.LAWRENCE                     68,001             93.5           66,000

NICOLET                                     85,296            97.7           79,369

RIMOUSKI                                   103,093           91.3           96,595

MONTREAL                                  436,356          83.8           400,000

ST-HYACINTHE                          112,820           74.7 1        15,000

SHERBROOKE                            70,424            64.0           65,500

VALLEYFIELD                            59,190             82.5           61,300

OTTAWA   82,077 53.7 (Ont)       155,272           63.3           128,000

PEMBROKE   23,402 38.1 (Ont) 40,376             45.9           39,636

ST-BONIFACE                            48,778             14.7           50,000

ST-ALBERT                                  13,349             19.7           16,000

NEW WESTMINSTER                 26,997             21.1           20,000

VICARIATES APOSTOLIC         14,637             20.0           14,400

VICTORIA                                    6,642               13.1           7,500


                                                                        CATHOLIC                PCT

BRITISH COLUMBIA                        33,693                   18.8

MANITOBA                                       35,672                   14.0

NEW BRUNSWICK                           125,698                38.0

NOVA SCOTIA                                  129,578                28.2

ONTARIO                                          390,304                 17.9

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND             45,796                   44.4

QUÉBEC                                        1,429,260                   86.7

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES           30,073                   18.9

UNORGANIZED TERRITORY            9,580                   18.2



Bothwell                                         2,736         10.9

Elgin East                                       1,460          5.4

Elgin West                                       928            4.0

Essex North                                    17,109      51.2

Essex South                                    4,721         18.6

Huron East                                        400           2.3

Huron South                                   2,252         12.9

Huron West                                    1,700           9.1

Kent                                               6,668         20.9

Oxford North                                 1,030           4.1

Oxford South                                 1,413           6.5

London, City                                  3,506         14.4

Middlesex East                               1,595           6.0

Middlesex North                            2,463         14.1

Middlesex South                                691           3.7

Middlesex West                                667           4.2

Norfolk North                                   816           4.4

Norfolk South                                   570           2.7

TOTAL DIOCESE                        59,383       14.5

SOURCES: Le Canada Ecclesiastique--Almanach Annuaire du Clergé Canadien, 1901 (Montréal: Cadieux & Derome, 1901) [LCE]; Fourth Census of Canada 1901 Volume I (Ottawa: S.E. Dawson, King’s Printer, 1902), tables I-II and IX-X. All calculations are my own.

1I would like to thank Dr. Matteo Sanfilippo of the Canadian Academic Centre in Rome, who helped me obtain the Vatican documents and responded to a plethora of questions that I had regarding the Apostolic Delegation to Canada and the relations between it and the Propaganda Fide.

2Catholic Register, 14 February 1901.

3For a broad overview of these issues see Robert Bothwell, Ian Drummond and John English, Canada 1900-1945 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987), 1-24, and Robert Craig Brown and Ramsay Cook, Canada 1896-1921: A Nation Transformed (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1974).

4George M. Grant, “Canada,” in W.D. Grant, ed., Christendom Anno Domini MDCCCCI, vol. I (Toronto: Briggs, 1902), 81.

5Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Delegazione Apostolica Canada [hereafter DAC] scotala 157, fascicolo 37, “Affari generali,” Rampolla to Falconio, 1 September 1900.

6Pembroke and Sherbrooke did not respond. Victoria, which was a suffragan see of Oregon, was considered American and not consulted. See Vincent McNally, “Victoria: An American Diocese in Canada,” Canadian Catholic Historical Association, Historical Studies 57 (1990): 7-27.

7J.M.S. Careless, “‘Limited Identities” in Canada,” Canadian Historical Review 50 (March, 1969): 1-10.

8Roberto Perin, Rome in Canada: The Vatican and Canadian Affairs in the Late Victorian Age (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), 187-213.

9 Ibid.



11For anti-clericalism and freemason activity in Rome see J. Derek Holmes, The Triumph of the Holy See: A Short History of the Papacy in the Nineteenth Century (London: Burns & Oates, 1978), 187-89.

12Philippe Sylvain et Nive Voisine, Histoire de Catholicisme Québécois, Volume II: Réveil et consolidation. Tome 2–1840-1898 (Montréal: Boréal Express, 1991), 207-­234. Penn, Rome in Canada, 31-36.

13François-Xavier Cloutier of Trois-Rivières was in Rome at the time of the report, although his vicar-general, Marie-Sophone Hermyle Baril responded. They were only a year apart in age, and both born in Ste-Genevieve-de-Batiscan. Henry James Morgan, ed. Canadian Men and Women of the Time (Toronto: William Briggs, 1912), 59 and 242.

14Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 342 and 863; Gerald Stortz, “Thomas Joseph Dowling. The First Canadian Bishop of Hamilton, 1889-1924,” CCHA Historical Studies 54 (1987): 93-108. See Appendix A.

15There were some notable exceptions. Louis-Zéphirin Moreau of St-Hyacinthe would die within months of his report, after a quarter century as bishop and John Sweeny of St. John would expire in 1901 after forty years as bishop. His coadjutor Tim Casey, age 38, would also file a report on the diocese. Jean Houpert, Monsignor Moreau (Montréal: Les Editions Paulines, 1986). William Stewart Wallace, The Dictionary of Canadian Biography,vol. II (Toronto: Macmillan, 1945), 647.

16New Brunswick (331,120 or 38.0 per cent of the entire population); Nova Scotia (459, 574 or 28.2 per cent); Prince Edward Island (103, 259 or 44.4 per cent). See Appendix B.

17DAC, 157.37, Cornelius O’Brien to Falconio, 29 November 1900.

18A.J.B. Johnston, “Popery and Progress: Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia,” Dalhousie Review 64 (1984): 46-63; Faye Trombley, “Thomas Louis Connolly [1815-1876]: The Man and His Place in Secular and Ecclesiastical History,” (Ph.D dissertation, Leuven, 1983), 214-18.

19DAC, 157.37, John Cameron to Falconio, 15 January 1901.

20DAC 157.37, Thomas Barry to Falconio, 5 December 1900.

21DAC 157.37, James McDonald to Falconio, 19 November 1900 and Tim Casey to Falconio, 26 November 1900.

22DAC, 157.37, O’Brien to Falconio, 29 November 1900; Cameron to Falconio, 15 January 1901; McDonald to Falconio, 19 November 1900; John Sweeny to Falconio, 20 November 1900.

23DAC, 157.37, McDonald to Falconio, 19 November 1900; Barry to Falconio, 5 December 1900.


25DAC, 157.37, Alexander Macdonell to Falconio, 21 January 1901. See also Charles Gauthier to Falconio, 12 December 1900.

26DAC, 157.37, Richard A. O’Connor to Falconio, no date.


28 Historical precedents for tolerance are cited in Glen Lockwood, “Eastern Upper Canadian Perceptions of Irish Immigrants, 1824-1868” (Unpublished Ph.D dissertation, University of Ottawa, 1988).

29DAC, 157.37, Thomas J. Dowling to Falconio, 8 December 1900.

30Census of Canada, 1901, 1, Tables IX-X. See Appendix B.

31DAC, 157.37, Fergus Patrick McEvay, 19 November 1900.

32DAC, 157.37, McEvay to Falconio, 19 November 1900; Denis O'Connor to Falconio, 20 November 1900.

33 Robert Choquette, Language and Religion: A History of English-French Conflict in Ontario (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1975), 117-21; Stortz, “Thomas Joseph Dowling,” 98-100 and 102-04. J.R. Miller, Equal Rights: The Jesuits' Estates Act Controversy (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1979), 128-50.

34DAC, 157.37, Victorian Marijon, CSB to Falconio, 14 November 1900. Marijon had been in Canada ten years as the Provincial of the Basilian Province of Canada. The Basilians were noted for their educational endeavours at St. Michael’s College in the Archdiocese of Toronto and Assumption College in the Diocese of London. Robert J. Scollard, CSB Dictionary of Basilian Biography (Toronto: The Basilian Press, 1969), 96-97.

35DAC, 157.37, Michel Labrecque to Falconio, 11 November 1900. Similar sentiments are expressed in Elphège Gravel, Bishop of Nicolet, to Falconio, 19 January 1901.

36DAC, 157.37, André-Albert Blais to Falconio, 15 November 1900.

37DAC 157.37, Louis-Zephirin Moreau to Falconio, 16 November 1900; Joseph­-Médard Emard to Falconio, 6 December 1900.

38See Robert M. Black, “Different Visions: The Multiplication of Protestant Missions to French Canadian Roman Catholics, 1834-1855,” in John Moir and C.T. McIntire, eds., Canadian Protestant and Roman Catholic Missions (New York: Peter Lang, 1988): 49-74; John Moir, Enduring Witness: A History of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (Toronto: Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1976), 154-58; W. Nelson Thompson, “Witness in French Canada,” in Jerold Zeman, ed., Baptists in Canada: A Search for Identity Amidst Diversity (Burlington: G. R. Welch, 1980):45-66. See also Paul Laverdure, “Charles Chiniquy: The Making of an Anti-Catholic Crusader,” CCHA Historical Studies 54 (1987):39-56.

39Ottawa although in Ontario was considered by the Quebec hierarchy and the Vatican as a French-Canadian See. The archdiocese straddled the Ottawa River, incorporating large Franco-Ontarian communities in Prescott and Russell Counties and in the city of Ottawa, and Quebecois communities in Wright, Labelle, Terrebonne (parts) and Argenteuil counties in Quebec.

40DAC 157.37, Louis-Nazaire Begin to Falconio, 29 November 1900.

41Ibid.; Norman Murdoch, “Resistance to the Salvation Army’s Late 19th Century Invasions of Liverpool, Cincinnati and Quebec City,” (Unpublished Address to the Joint Meeting of the Canadian Society of Church History and the ASCH, Hamilton, April 1987); R.G. Moyles, The Blood and Fire in Canada (Toronto: Peter Martin Associates, 1977), 53­60.

42DAC 157.37, Marie-Sophone H. Baril, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Trois­-Rivières to Falconio, 30 November 1900.

43DAC 157.37, Paul Bruchesi to Falconio, 30 November 1900; Joseph-Thomas Duhamel to Falconio, 21 November 1900; Begin to Falconio.

44DAC 157.37, Bruchesi to Falconio, 30 November 1900.


46DAC 157.37, Colomban-Marie to Falconio, 5 December 1900. Jean Hamelin, dir., Les franciscains au Canada, 1890-1990 (Québec: Septentrion, 1990), 50-54.

47Robert Choquette, “Les Rapports Entre Catholiques et Protestants dans le Nord­Ouest du Canada avant 1840,” in Raymond Huel ed., Etudes oblats de l’ouest!Western Oblate Studies 1 (1990): 129-40.

48DAC 157.37, Langevin to Falconio, 5 February 1901.

49DAC 157.37, Adélard Langevin, OMI to Falconio, 5 February 1901.

50DAC 157.37, Emile Legal to Falconio, 15 November 1900.

51Mark G. McGowan, “‘A Portion for the Vanquished’: Roman Catholics and the Ukrainian Catholic Church,” in Lubomyr Luciuk and Stella Hryniuk, eds., Canada’s Ukrainians: Negotiating an Identity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991): 218-37.

52DAC 157.37, Legal to Falconio, 15 November 1900; Grouard to Falconio, 21 February 1901; Wilhelm Brueck, Secretary to Bishop Albert Pascal of the Vicariate Apostolic of Saskatchewan, to Falconio, 4 January 1901.

53DAC 157.37, Langevin to Falconio.

54DAC 157.37, Cameron to Falconio, 15 January 1901

55DAC 157.37, Colomban Marie [Dreyer] to Falconio, 5 December 1900.

56DAC 157.37, McDonald to Falconio, 19 November 1900; McEvay to Falconio, 19 November 1900; Duhamel to Falconio, 21 November 1900.

57DAC 157.37, Denis O’Connor to Falconio, 20 November 1900. Wilhelm Brueck also complained of lazy Catholics in the Vicariate of Saskatchewan, although he commended his diocese’s separate schools for remedying doctrinal and moral deficiencies. Brueck to Falconio, 4 January 1901.

58DAC 157.37, Dowling to Falconio, 8 December 1900.

59DAC, 157.37, Marijon to Falconio, 14 November 1900.

60Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto [hereafter ARCAT] Roman Correspondence, 8706, O’Connor to Cardinal Girolamo Gotti, Prefect of the Propaganda Fide, 22 October 1904 and 10 February 1905.

61DAC 157.37, Blais to Falconio, 15 November 1900.

62 ASV, DAC, Monsignor Falconio Letter Book, E. Fisher of New Westminster to J. Lynch, 20 November 1900; DAC 157.37, Langevin to Falconio, 5 February 1901; Légal to Falconio, 15 November 1900.

63The Canadian 10 (September 1904) and 11 (December 1905) Catholic Record, 7 February 1891 and 13 June 1896. Archives of Ontario, Charles J. Foy Papers, Grand Council Meeting Minutes.

64 DAC 157.37, Colomban-Marie to Falconio, 5 December 1900; Duhamel to Falconio, 21 November 1900; Bruchési to Falconio, 30 November 1900.

65DAC 157.37, Sweeny to Falconio, 20 November 1900.

66DAC 157.37, McDonald to Falconio, 19 November 1900. Bishop Gravel of Nicolet reported that there only had been twelve mixed marriages in the sixteen years before 1900. Bishops of Nicolet, Rimouski (19 dispensations in 6 years), Trois-Rivières (2 in 5 years), Chicoutimi, Valleyfield, Saint John, Chatham, and Antigonish that the mixed marriage problem was under control.

67DAC 157.37, Marijon to Falconio, 14 November 1900.

68DAC 157.37, McEvay to Falconio, 19 November 1900; Langevin to Falconio, 5 February 1901.

69DAC 157.37, Denis O’Connor to Falconio, 20 November 1900.

70DAC 89.20, Father J.R. Teefy, csb, to Donatus Sbaretti, 20 August 1906 and 10 June 1906. Teefy reveals that in the Archdiocese between 1894 and 1900 there were 205 mixed marriages officiated by a priest, and 617 by a minister, a ratio of 1:3. In O’Connor's first two years as bishop the ratio of solemnized to non-solemnized was greater at 1:5. Between 1901 and 1905, there were 102 mixed marriages officiated by a priest and 710 by ministers, a ratio of 1:7.

71The Catechism of the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa (1888), question 307. Butler’s Catechism (1871), lesson XI.

72DAC 157.37, Bruchési to Falconio, 30 November 1900; Duhamel to Falconio, 21 November 1900. The city of Montreal had at least 30,000 Catholics of non-French origin according to the 1901 Census.

73DAC 157.37, Begin to Falconio, 29 November 1900.

74DAC 157.37, Brueck to Falconio, 4 January 1901; Légal to Falconio, 15 November 1900. DAC 50, August Dontenwill of New Westminster to Falconio, 3 December 1901.

75DAC 157.37, Barry to Falconio, 5 December 1900.

76DAC, Letter Book of Mgr Falconio, p. 162.

77The Vicariate Apostolic of Mackenzie was created in 1901 out of the Apostolic Vicariate of Athabaska. In 1904 the Diocese of Joliette was carved out of the northeastern portion of the Archdiocese of Montreal, and the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie was created out of the northwestern portion of the Diocese of Peterborough. In 1903, the Prefecture Apostolic of the Gulf of St. Lawrence was removed from the administration of the Diocese of Chicoutimi and placed under the authority of the Eudist order.

78 Benjamin G. Smillie, ed., Visions of the New Jerusalem: Religious Settlement on the Prairies (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1983).

79J.R. Miller, “Anti-Catholic Thought in Victorian Canada,” Canadian Historical Review 66 (1985): 474-94; Murray W. Nicolson, “Irish Tridentine Catholicism in Victorian Toronto: Vessel for Ethno-religious Persistence,” CCHA Study Sessions 50 (1983): 415-36; J. Martin Galvin, “The Jubilee Riots in Toronto, 1875,”" CCHA Reports 26 (1959): 93-108; Gregory Kealey, “The Orange Order in Toronto: Religious Riot and the Working Class,” in Kealey, Toronto Workers Respond to Industrial Capitalism, 1867­-1892 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980): 98-123; Scott W. See, “The Orange Order and Social Violence in Mid-Nineteenth Century Saint John,” in P.M. Toner, ed., New Ireland Remembered: Historical Essays on the Irish in New Brunswick (Fredericton: New Ireland Press, 1988): 71-89; Robert Sylvain, Alessandro Gavazzi (1809-1889) 2 vols. (Québec: Le Centre Pédagogique, 1962); Paul Crunican, Priests and Politicians: Manitoba Schools and the Election of 1896 (Toronto: UTP, 1974).

80“Confrontational” and “irenic” schools of Protestant-Catholic relations are enumerated in John S. Moir, “Toronto's Protestants and their Perceptions of their Roman Catholic Neighbours,” in Mark G. McGowan and Brian P. Clark, eds., Catholics at the “Gathering Place”: Essays on the History of the Archdiocese of Toronto, 1841-1991 (Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto, forthcoming 1992).