|Mount Royal cross lit purple in 2005. (source)|
Then, with the 2014 Secular Charter downplaying the crucifix in the National Assembly, things began to go downhill. This was apparently for our highly endangered patrimoine historique -- we couldn't even move it into another room! (Although the Secular Charter 2.0 will apparently address this.)
I suppose all this could be excused, but then I learn that Quebec funds private Catholic schools, to the tune of around 70%! Does this make these schools 30% private? Is this secular business all for show here in Quebec? Because it seems like the government talks the talk for the mainly secular population while walking arm and arm with the Catholic Church.
So with all this, I learn that back in 2005, our secular city government decided to colour the Mount Royal cross purple because the Pope died -- just to show everyone in the city the deference still paid to the Catholic church.
In 1992, the incandescent lights were replaced with a high-tech fibre-optics lighting system that reduced the number of bulbs to 30 and increased the bulb life to three years. There would be no more bare-handed bulb changes. The new system allowed the cross to be lit in several colours, including purple, which occurred in 2005 when Pope John Paul II died. The cross remained purple until a new pope was elected. In 2009, the cross was taken down so an LED lighting system could be installed. The city of Montreal also improved access to the site. However, the cross is still off limits to the public and cameras and motion detectors alert authorities if someone climbs on the cross.This isn't just preserving the cross as a piece of our Quebec heritage -- like the Parthenon in Athens -- this is active praise towards a religion.
I know this is not a really big deal. It doesn't bother me any more than a single paper cut out of many, but it sort of makes me think twice before jumping all over the Ontarians for celebrating their Pope Day every April 2nd. In the end, it comes to the same thing.