Maurice Roy

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His Eminence
Maurice Roy
Cardinal, Archbishop of Québec
Primate of Canada
See Québec
Installed 1 May 1946 – 20 March 1981
Predecessor Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve
Successor Louis-Albert Vachon
Other posts Previously Bishop of Trois Rivières
Created cardinal 22 February 1965
Personal details
Born (1905-01-25)25 January 1905
Quebec City, Canada
Died 24 October 1985(1985-10-24) (aged 80)
Quebec City, Canada
Coat of arms Maurice Roy's coat of arms
Styles of
Maurice Roy
Coat of arms of Maurice Roy.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Quebec

Maurice Roy, CC OBE (January 25, 1905 – October 24, 1985) was a Canadian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Quebec from 1947 to 1981, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Quebec City as one of three children. His father was a judge, the dean of the faculty of law at the University of Laval, and a friend of Maurice Duplessis. His mother was a descendant of the poet Napoléon Legendre. Initially homeschooled, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph Brunault on June 12, 1927 after attending the Seminary of Quebec from 1915 to 1923. He obtained his licentiate in theology from the Université Laval in 1927, and then studied at the Angelicum in Rome, receiving a doctorate in philosophy in 1929. From 1929 to 1930, he attended the Sorbonne and the Catholic Institute in Paris. Roy then taught dogmatic and sacramental theology and apologetics at Quebec's Grand Seminary until 1939. He worked as a chaplain to the University of Laval (1935–1937) and to the Canadian Army during World War II. He served in Great Britain, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1939-1943, and attained the rank of Colonel. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his "extremely courageous conduct" as a chaplain in the war.[1] Resuming his teaching posts upon his return to Canada in 1945, Roy was named superior of the seminary in December of that same year.


On February 22, 1946, he was appointed Bishop of Trois Rivières by Pope Pius XII. Roy received his episcopal consecration on the following May 1 from Cardinal Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve, OMI, with Bishops Albini Lafortune and Arthur Douville serving as co-consecrators, in the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame. His episcopal motto was In nomine Jesu.[2] Roy became Bishop of the Catholic Military Vicariate of Canada on June 8 of the same year, later resigning from the post on March 12, 1982, after thirty-five years of service.


Ordination history of
Maurice Roy
Priestly ordination
Ordained by Joseph-Simon-Herman Brunault
Date of ordination June 12, 1927
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve
Co-consecrators Albini Lafortune,
Arthur Douville
Date of consecration May 1, 1946
Place of consecration Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec, Québec City, Canada
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Maurice Roy as principal consecrator
Jean-Louis Jobidon May 22, 1961
Laurent Noël August 29, 1963
Charles Henri Lévesque December 27, 1965
Francis John Spence June 15, 1967
Henri Légaré September 9, 1967
Bertrand Blanchet December 8, 1973
Jean-Guy Hamelin February 9, 1974
Roch Pedneault June 29, 1974
Jean-Guy Couture August 15, 1975
Louis-Albert Vachon May 14, 1977
Jean-Paul Labrie May 14, 1977
Gérard Drainvile June 12, 1978
Raymond Saint-Gelais July 31, 1980

A little over a year after Roy's first episcopal appointment, Pope Pius raised him to Archbishop of Quebec on June 2, 1947. He was made Primate of the Canadian Church upon Quebec's elevation to that ecclesiastical rank on January 24, 1956.

Roy condemned the supposed miracles of Saint-Sylvestre in 1949,[3] and prohibited Fr. Georges-Henri Lévesque from sitting on Parliament in 1955, fearing that a priest with such a postiton would bring embarrassment to the Church.[4] Participating in the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), Roy was created Cardinal-Priest of Nostra Signora del Ss. Sacramento e Santi Martiri Canadesi by Pope Paul VI in the consistory of February 22, 1965. He was named the first President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and of that for Justice and Peace on January 6, 1967, and then first President of Family on January 11, 1973.

As President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, it was to Cardinal Roy, that Pope Paul VI addressed his apostolic letter of 14 May 1971, Octogesima adveniens commemorating the eightieth anniversary of Rerum novarum and discussing the role of the laity and local churches in responding to situations of injustices.

In 1971 Roy was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, and he resigned all three of his Curial posts on December 16, 1976. He was a cardinal elector in the conclaves of August and October 1978, and stepped down as Quebec's archbishop on March 20, 1981,[2] after a period of thirty-three years.

He died in his sleep at a hospital in Quebec, at age 80. He is buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Thus his baptism, confirmation, priestly ordination, episcopal consecration, installment as Archbishop of Quebec, and burial all took place at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.[5]


  1. ^ TIME Magazine. Youth in the Archbishopric June 16, 1947
  2. ^ a b Miranda, Salvador. "Roy, Maurice", Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church
  3. ^ TIME Magazine. Miracle Business October 3, 1949
  4. ^ TIME Magazine. The Church Said No February 7, 1955
  5. ^ TIME Magazine. Enthronement August 4, 1947

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Alfred-Odilon Comtois
Bishop of Trois Rivières
Succeeded by
Georges-Léon Pelletier
Preceded by
Charles Leo Nelligan
Bishop of Military Ordinariate of Canada
Succeeded by
Francis John Spence
Preceded by
Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve
Archbishop of Quebec
Succeeded by
Louis-Albert Vachon
Preceded by
President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Succeeded by
Opilio Rossi
Preceded by
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Succeeded by
Bernardin Gantin
Preceded by
President of the Pontifical Council for the Family
Succeeded by
Édouard Gagnon