It is with great sadness that Development and Peace has learned of the loss of his Eminence Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte (1936-2015), who was Archbishop of Montreal from 1990 until he took his retirement in 2012. During that time he showed great compassion for the poor of the world and supported Development and Peace in many of its actions.
He was very active in Development and Peace’s many campaigns, including an emergency appeal in response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The visibility he brought to this humanitarian disaster helped raised $13 million for aid for those most affected. He travelled with Development and Peace to Honduras the following year, bringing a message of hope and solidarity to the communities who had lost everything in the storm.
Always at the service of the poor, he spread Jesus’ message that all should be treated with dignity and justice. In support of our 2011 Share Lent Campaign Building a World of Justice, he said:
“The Gospel spoke to us about globalization before anybody else. That wasn’t the term used back then. But the way Christ presented it – the way he told us that we were all children of the same Father, that we are brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ – was an invitation to recognize that the resources of the Earth were made available, not just to one particular people but to all of humanity. The Earth was given to all human beings.”
This great Church leader will be dearly missed by those who were touched by his charismatic words and actions, which extended beyond the borders of Quebec and Canada, but went as far as the hearts of the communities and partners we work with in the Global South.