restricted access Immigration, Minority Rights, and Catholic Policy-Making in Post-War Canada

This paper addresses the Canadian Roman Catholic episcopacy’s approach to such issues of public interest as immigration and minority rights between 1945 and 1965. The definition of the Church’s involvement in temporal matters, it is here argued, requires an understanding of the institutional interests of Catholicism and traditional Catholic approaches to governance. The conceptual framework offered by contemporary administrative and policy studies now better enables scholars of Catholicism to assess the social and political significance of the Church in this period. Catholic bishops were not indifferent to immigration or the rights of minority groups, but chose to address these matters by utilizing “discreet” channels of interaction consistent with corporatist governance. Quebec and Ontario are taken as illustrative examples of jurisdictions where Catholics were respectively the majority and a minority.