Gregory Baum at age 90 has launched yet another book, Truth and Relevance a great boon to English speaking Canada, hopelessly ignorant of the fascinating theological currents in Quebec after Vatican ll. Here he introduces and contextualizes the writings of several theologians.
One of these is a brilliant Dominican J.P.Audet.
Audet was but one of the theologians invited to address the priests for the Central Conference in the mid 60s.
Tom Cain, a married priest (like most of the priests from the 60s) recalled the work of Audet and the gutsiness of the young clergy in those years before “the set decorator” priests arrived.
In my book Never Neutral:A Teaching Life (thebookband.ca) Tom Cain recalled the impact of this Francophone priest.
Audet, a brilliant Dominican, gave this talk on looking at the Church in an evolutionary way. Each step on the way proceeds from the one before. The next species looks like the one before. But what happens when there’s a break? That’s what happened to the Constantinian Church when it adopted the trappings of the Roman Empire. A whole new set of values invaded the Church and we lost the spirit of Jesus. We must get back there.
When I asked Bishop Pocock, who had attended the conference, if Audet was clear to him, “Very” was his answer. He was not pleased. Another time I told him that, in reading the Vatican documents, there was an emphasis on brotherhood, so I don’t think I can call you, “Your Grace.” He just looked at me. What a period that was. We were not afraid to challenge the bishops on these ideas.