|Archbishop Emeritus of Montreal|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Appointed||17 March 1990|
|Term ended||20 March 2012|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Priest of Nostra Signora del Santissimo Sacramento e Santi Martiri Canadesi|
|Ordination||24 May 1959
by Laurent Morin
|Consecration||9 June 1982
by Paul Grégoire
|Created Cardinal||26 November 1994
by Pope John Paul II
26 June 1936|
Montréal, Québec, Canada
|Died||8 April 2015
Montréal, Québec, Canada
|Coat of arms|
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Jean-Claude Turcotte (26 June 1936 – 8 April 2015) was a Canadian Roman Catholic cardinal. Upon his elevation into the cardinalate he was made the Cardinal-Priest of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Canadian Martyrs.
He was the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal from 1990 to 2012, and was succeeded as Archbishop by Christian Lépine. He died on Wednesday, 8 April 2015 after an illness relating to diabetes.
Early life and priesthood
Jean-Claude Turcotte was born on 26 June 1936 as one of seven children to Paul-Emile Turcotte. Turcotte attended Collège André-Grasset from 1947 to 1955, the Grand Seminaire and the Université de Montréal, where he graduated with a degree in theology.
He was ordained as a priest on 24 May 1959 after the completion of his studies for the priesthood. He went to Lille for further studies from 1964 to 1965. In 1965 he earned a diploma in social ministry in Lille, France.
On 14 April 1982, his appointment as the Titular Bishop of Suas (a titular see in what is now Tunisia) and Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal was announced. He was consecrated on 29 June that year in the cathedral of Montreal. When Pope John Paul II visited Canada in 1984, Turcotte organized his visit to Montreal.
|Ordination history of Jean-Claude Turcotte|
|Principal consecrator||Paul Card. Grégoire (Montreal)|
|Date of consecration||29 June 1982|
|Vital Massé (Auxiliary Saint-Jérôme aux.)||8 December 1993|
|Neil E. Willard (Montreal aux.)||15 August 1995|
|André Rivest (Montreal aux.)||15 August 1995|
|Anthony Mancini (Montreal aux.)||25 March 1999|
|Louis Dicaire (Montreal aux.)||25 March 1999|
|Luc Cyr (Valleyfield)||17 June 2001|
|Émilius Goulet (Saint-Boniface)||16 September 2001|
|André Gazaille (Montreal aux.)||25 March 2006|
|Lionel Gendron (Montreal aux.)||25 March 2006|
Turcotte was appointed Archbishop of Montreal on 17 March 1990. John Paul II appointed him a Cardinal-Priest of the titular church of Nostra Signora del SS. Sacramento e Santi Martiri Canadesi in the consistory on 26 November 1994.
After his elevation to the cardinalate, he was appointed to several departments of the Roman Curia. He was appointed to:
- Congregation for the Causes of Saints
- Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
- Pontifical Council for Social Communications
From 1997 to 1999, he served as the president of the Canadian Episcopal Conference. Cardinal Turcotte participated in the 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2002 World Youth Days.
Cardinal Turcotte was known for his work with the poor and wrote a weekly religion column in the Sunday edition of the Journal de Montréal. In 1997, he gave his opinion about Quebec being a distinct society.
He was a voting member (cardinal elector) of the College of Cardinals in the 2005 papal conclave. Margaret Hebblethwaite, co-author of the book The Next Pope, identified him as papabile. Other books and the BBC also identified him as a long-shot possibility for Pope.
Daniel Cere, head of the Newman Centre at McGill University, told The Toronto Star that Turcotte "is very much a pastoral figure, much like John Paul II." A Toronto priest told the newspaper he was "your man if you want a pastoral bon vivant Pope John XXIII figure." John Allen wrote in the 2002 book Conclave that Turcotte was seen as a "diamond in the rough, a potentially magnificent leader who is still finding his way." His lack of proficiency in the Italian language, as well as his lack of international experience, were seen as shortcomings.
Turcotte died at the age of 78 in Montreal on 8 April 2015.
In 2007, Turcotte presided over the funeral of Supreme Court judge Antonio Lamer, who controversially decided to remove all restrictions to abortion in Tremblay v. Daigle in 1989. At the funeral, Turcotte praised Lamer as “a giant of the law” and a man “who worked a great deal for justice”. He was not, however, directly addressing the subject of abortion when he spoke those words.
On 11 September 2008, Turcotte returned his Order of Canada (appointed in 1996) insignia in protest of the induction of pro-choice activist Henry Morgentaler on 1 July 2008. The return of his insignia happened later than that of others who had protested against Morgentaler's entry because Turcotte had hoped that the Consultative Council for the Order of Canada would revise its decision. Eventually, fearing that his silence on the matter might be misinterpreted, Turcotte renounced his title Officer of the Order of Canada and returned his insignia. This became effective on June 1, 2009.
In 2009, Turcotte said in an interview that "I can understand that in certain cases, there is almost no other choice than to practice (abortion)", which was seen as controversial in light of his previous condemnation of Morgentaler.
- Fitterman, Lisa (8 April 2015). "‘People’s priest’ Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte spoke in language of hope". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Cardinal Turcotte on Quebec independence
- "Jean-Claude Turcotte, Former Archbishop of Montreal, Dies at 78". New York Times. Associated Press. April 8, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Antonio Lamer 'liberated' Canada for abortion
- "Cardinal Turcotte gives back Order of Canada". CBC News. September 11, 2008.
- "Resignations from the Order of Canada".
- "I can understand abortion": Montreal cardinal
- Copps 'facts' denied
- ¨Montreal Catholics vote for women, married men as priests
- Cardinal Turcotte on catholic-pages.com
- Cardinal Turcotte on catholic-hierarchy.org
- Cardinal Turcotte at Diocese of Montreal
- Cardinal Turcotte's column in the Journal de Montréal (in French)
- Qui succédera à Jean-Paul II? (Le Canal Nouvelles, April 2, 2005; in French)
- John L. Allen, Jr., Conclave: The Politics, Personalities, and Process of the Next Papal Election ISBN 0-385-50453-5
- "Montreal cardinal 'long shot'" (Toronto Star, April 4, 2005, page A7)
- "Declaration by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal", 
|Catholic Church titles|
|Roman Catholic Archbishop of Montreal