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Gerald Emmett Carter

By Lorna Bowman



"Cardinal Carter, a man for all Canada - Educator, author, papal adviser. Concerned for the entire community." So read the front page of The Toronto Star the day following the death of Gerald Emmett Carter on April 6, 2003 (Scrivener, 2003, p. A1). As a Roman Catholic diocesan priest, Carter reformed public education for English-speaking Catholics in Quebec and founded both a teachers' college and an institute of adult education. As a bishop in the London, Ontario diocese he participated in the four sessions of the Second Vatican Council and was instrumental in the implementation of the reforms called for in his diocese, across Canada and in the universal Church. As Cardinal-Archbishop of Toronto, the largest and most ethnically diverse episcopal jurisdiction in Canada, he saw full governmental funding granted to the Catholic separate school system of Ontario. For Carter, each of these roles made possible "the whole idea of communication of the Christian message" - the more challenging meaning of "catechesis" so often reduced to "only the image of teaching religion" (Carter, 1961, p. ix).

State education and religion are integrally linked to Canada's educational history. G. Emmett Carter was a major player in the social and political forces in the latter half of the twentieth century that influenced Catholic public education and the teaching of religion in Quebec and Ontario. The funding of Catholic schools by the governments in these provinces dates to the British North America Act of 1867 that established Canada as a self-ruling dominion within the British Empire. Section 93 of the BNA Act made education the sole responsibility of provincial governments and it remains so today. Thus, unlike most Christian educators in North America, Carter's contribution to the field of Christian education includes elementary and secondary public education in a rather unique manner. Furthermore, as bishop, and father of the Second Vatican Council, he participated in the international implementation of its decisions, particularly the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and the Constitution on Christian Education. As a cardinal and prince of the Church, he was an adviser to Pope John Paul II.

How does one understand the work of such a person in the Catholic hierarchy as Christian education? Carter's orchestration of the funeral arrangements for Canada's Governor General, the Queen's representative in Canada, provides insight. It was 1967 and The Right Honourable Georges Vanier died in office. Vanier was very much beloved throughout the country. There would be a State funeral.1 It was an opportunity to have "The Liturgy" [demonstrate] "Religion in Action" (Carter, 1961, p. 173).

Following the funeral of the Governor General, Carter wrote to the Secretary of Consilium at the Vatican:

Ottawa [the seat of the federal government] [information added] is one of the dioceses in Canada authorized to conduct the experiment [on the new Funeral Rite] and the family had immediately requested the use of white vestments, etc. As a result, we had a most spectacular opportunity of experimenting with the Funeral Rite as drawn up by Consilium. Moreover, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation put most of the ceremony on film. I may report immediately that the Rite drew extraordinary favourable comment right across the country. The comparison between the Rite and the Funeral Rite used at President Kennedy's Funeral was much discussed. May I say in passing that Vice-President Humphrey of the United States was present, along with all the outstanding ambassadors and dignitaries of Canada and most of the world. In every discussion which we have heard the reformed Rite was chosen as far preferable. (1967, cited in Higgins & Letson, 1990, p. 75)

In The Modern Challenge to Religious Education he had written:

It was all but inevitable that the liturgical revival and the catechetical revival should develop simultaneously, and that the liturgy be restored to the place it once had in the Christian community as a major instrument of religious education as well as the source of our life in God. (Carter, 1961, p. 4)

The funeral of Georges Vanier was an opportunity to do just that.

In 1947, Carter earned a Ph.D. in [religious] education from the University of Montreal. Throughout his life he sought to improve the professional quality and theological integrity of Catholic Christian education. In whatever role he assumed, Carter acted and communicated with the insight of the professional religious educator. From his earliest work in education, Carter translated his life experience into a philosophy and vision of Christian education which he implemented throughout his life. The literary genre of educational biography is used to trace this development and his contribution to the field.2

Family, Schooling and Education for the Priesthood (1912-1937)

Gerald Emmett Carter was born March 1, 1912 in Montreal, Quebec, the youngest of eight siblings. His parents, Thomas Joseph Carter and Mary Agnes (Kelty) Carter (Simpson, 1986) were strong Irish Catholics living in the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec. His father, whose family had been in Quebec for several generations, was a typesetter at The Montreal Daily Star and a union activist. In 1920 the United Kingdom had passed an act of parliament creating Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Tom Carter promoted Montreal's Catholic Irish cultural heritage with great loyalty to the vision of a reestablished united Catholic Ireland. His mother, Mary, was born in New York City. Her family moved to Montreal when she was a child. As the mother of seven surviving children, she was the traditional Irish matriarch and homemaker of the day. (Higgins & Letson, 1990)

The Carter brothers received their elementary education in St. Patrick's Parish Boy's School. The pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Monseigneur Gerald J. McShane, had a strong and formative influence on the Carter children. A priest of the Société de St. Sulpice, a foundation from France committed to the training of clergy, McShane was one of the few English-speaking Sulpicians in Montreal and a leader in the English-speaking Catholic community of that city. Through his parish ministry he fostered interest in service to the Church. Two of Carter's sisters entered religious communities and his brother Alexander preceded him into the seminary. It was Father McShane who advised the Carter family that if Emmett wished to pursue the diocesan priesthood in the Province of Quebec he would need a French education. Thus, following his elementary education, Emmett entered Montreal College in the classical French system of education. He was thirteen and a total anglophone. All classes were in French. Carter's natural ability with languages and overall academic ability resulted in his winning the top prize in a compulsory province-wide French composition contest. Later, at the University of Montreal, he scored among the top students in the French examinations (Higgins & Letson, 1990). Canada has two official languages. From the late 1960's onwards, beginning with the Trudeau era, bilingualism was a necessity if one were a leader in the country. Carter would be well-positioned.

Following graduation from Montreal College in 1933, Carter entered the Grand Séminaire de Montréal as one of thirty or so native English speakers from the United States and Canada among a student population of three hundred. Higgins and Letson (1990) indicate that his brother Alexander spoke of lifelong relationships forged among this English-speaking group - friendships which were important throughout both their lives as clerics and leaders in the Church. It was a time when the work of Thomas Aquinas was normative for theological education. Formed in Thomistic thought, the effects of this perspective and a traditionally Irish Catholic mother sealed his understanding of the distinct roles of women and men carried out in separate spheres. In a speech in 1951 about the "Spirituality of Marriage" he taught: "Man will always see the world in male fashion, women in female. A true view of the world comprises both manners of seeing it; men and women are two complementary beings to be identified one with the other"(cited in Higgins & Letson, 1990, p. 24). In later years, when considering the possibility of the ordination of women, this theological position based on an understanding of complementarity roles for the genders would not change; for Carter, women were not meant to be ordained.

The Grand, an educational institution under the auspices of the University of Montreal, awarded Carter a B.A. in 1933 and B.Th. in 1936. He received the highest marks in the university's history. On May 22, 1937, he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Montreal. (Higgins, 2001)

The life-choices of two of Carter's sisters, Irene and Mary, and his brother Alexander, were significant for Emmett's contribution to Catholic education. His sister Irene entered the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul founded in Kingston, Ontario in 1861. Known as Sister Mary Lenore, he was four when she entered at the age of eighteen. As a distinguished educator in Ontario and leader in her religious community, Sister Mary Lenore served as principal of a Catholic secondary school in Belleville, on the executive of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), as superior general of the Sisters of Providence, and as president of the Ontario Teachers Federation (OTF) The OTF was an umbrella organization for all public and Catholic elementary teachers in Ontario. She lived until 1990. Her wide-ranging experience was a valuable resource to Carter in his work for Catholic education, particularly with the government of Ontario. Carter's sister, Mary, entered the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in upstate New York when she was twenty-nine. She was the third-youngest, followed by Alexander and Emmett, who were already in the seminary at the time. Particularly close to Emmett, they remained lifelong friends. Alexander was three years older than Emmett and preceded him by three years into the seminary and the priesthood. After only a year in a parish, he studied canon law at the Angelicum. He became a bishop in 1956. (Higgins & Letson, 1990)

Educational Ministry in Quebec (1937-1961)

Missioned on his ordination in 1937 to a small Irish parish in the Laurentians, St. Hoppolyte de Kilkenny on Fourteen Islands, within two months Father G. Emmett Carter was appointed ecclesiastical inspector for English Catholic schools, a position he held for two years. Under section 93 of the British North America Act provision was made for Catholic and Protestant public schools in Quebec; both systems received the same governmental funding. Higgins and Letson (1990) cite Carter's recollection of this time:

I didn't know the front door from the back. I really began on a pragmatic basis. I learned the programme and how things should be in the schools. To some degree that meant that I had to learn my way by going into classes and seeing what was going on. It really was an inductive process. And when I saw the problems, then I started to work on the situation on the higher levels, such as the foundation of the teachers' college and the foundation of the Thomas More Institute. (n.d., cited on p. 33)

Carter discovered that there was no provision in the province for the training of English-speaking Catholic teachers. Furthermore, the textbooks used in English Catholic schools were poor translations of French texts geared to the French culture. In 1939, Carter was appointed English-speaking director of the École Normal Jacques Cartier for the preparation of English-speaking Catholic male teachers; in 1952 he founded and became principal of St. Joseph Teachers' College, a totally separate coeducational institution for the preparation of elementary and secondary English Catholic teachers in Quebec. From 1948-1961, he served as the English-speaking member of the Montreal School Commission - most likely appointed by Premier Maurice Duplessis. (Higgins & Letson, 1990)

In his work in school education and teacher training Carter attended to the total curriculum. A primary concern, however, was "the training of teachers of religion" (Carter, 1946, p. 393). An article published in the first volume of Lumen Vitae: International Review of Religious Education, reflects this commitment. Carter (1946) writes:

In all the fields of teaching the greatest burden falls upon the shoulders of the catechist. In the final analysis all the other subjects of the curriculum are important and useful only in as much as they contribute to the fulness of life, which is to be found only in the relationship of the soul to God.

It is not necessary to stress this point. All Catholic educators, worthy of the name, realize the importance of this matter, and particularly does the responsibility weigh heavily upon the shoulders of those in charge of Normal Schools. It is they who are called to train the future teachers, be they religious or lay, and it is at the Normal School that the attitudes are formed which will foreshadow the success or failure of the teaching of religion. (p. 393)

Carter's philosophy of Catholic education and the central role of "catechesis" is clear. The article addresses the total complexity of the task of teaching religion. He proposes that such teaching must be based both upon good educational practice and an understanding of the psychology of the human person. "With the advance of pedagogical method at long last making itself felt in the religion class, the first three aims [understanding, appreciation and memorization] are being more and more realized." (Carter, 1946, pp. 396-403)

By 1950 Carter had in place a new curriculum for English-speaking students in Quebec's Catholic elementary and secondary schools. He worked with an English-Catholic group to establish a standardized high school examination and, in 1940, they obtained entrance equivalency to McGill University for a trial period of five years. The project was successful. In 1957 he published The Catholic Public Schools of Quebec, writing:

The first and principal aim of [of the book] is to make better known to the English-speaking educational world a system of schools in which all the agencies of educational significance are blended in a comprehensive smooth-running unit. We believe that the philosophy behind Quebec's educational system merits attention and study (p. vii)

Published twenty years after his initial appointment as an inspector of schools, Carter's book reveals a person fully acquainted with the complex dynamics - both political and religious - of public education in Quebec. In many ways it is the Catholic partner to W. P. Percival's Across the years: A century of education in the province in Quebec published in 1946. Percival deals with the organizational system and curriculum of Quebec's English Protestant public schools. Both books are very respectful of the other's efforts to educate in a manner consistent with their religious persuasion.

In the concluding chapter of The Catholic Public Schools of Quebec, Carter emphasizes the place of the parent, the church and the state in public education - a recurrent theme in Catholic education in Canada since the 1700s. He also articulates a "Catholic Philosophy of Education" that addresses intelligence and education, the guidance of the moral life, the nature of the child, the person of the teacher, and the need for a curriculum that meets the needs of all children whatever their academic ability or vocational strengths (Carter, 1957, ch. 10). "The division into College Entrance and High School Leaving courses is a basic step in the right direction" (Carter, 1957, p. 115). Without the work of G. Emmett Carter, Catholic public education geared to the needs and culture of Quebec's English-speaking minority may never have developed. It was also through his efforts that English-speaking Catholics gained access to higher education in English. Initially, the only such institution in Quebec was McGill University.

Sensitive to the needs of the professional English-speaking Catholic community of Montreal, Carter had founded the Thomas More Institute for Adult Education (1945-1961) while serving as chaplain to the Newman Club at McGill University (1941-1956). The Thomas More Institute "grew out of the intellectual curiosity of a group of Montreal English Catholics . . . who wondered if some structured form of post-baccalaureate education wasn't possible. . . . " (Higgins & Letson, 1990, p. 37). The University of Montreal did not offer such courses in English but granted credits for those at Thomas More, awarding the first diplomas on May 17, 1948. This was very early in the adult education movement in England and before Malcolm Knowles spearheaded its development in the sixties at Boston University. Carter later spoke of those days in which instructors and "students" learned together as equals. The Thomas More Institute in Montreal continues today. Carter, in all of these initiatives, realized that without access to quality education English-speaking Catholics in Quebec would always be at a social disadvantage.

Thus, we find in these early years that Carter moved from being an ecclesiastical inspector of Catholic schools (1949) to being a member of the Commission of the Catholic Schools of Montreal (1948). He was the first president and charter member of the Thomas More Institute for Adult Education (1945) and the founder and principal of St. Joseph's Teachers' College (1955). In 1947 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Montreal, having completed his M.Ed. in 1940.3 His dissertation, "Some aspects of the psychological import of religious education" was published as Psychology and the Cross in 1957. The dedication reads:

To my sisters, Sister Mary Lenore, SP, Past President of the Ontario Teacher's [sic] Federation and Rev. Mother M. Carter, R.S. C. J. who so well exemplify in their dealings with youth the "meeting of the ways," this book is affectionately and gratefully dedicated. (Carter, 1957, n.p.)

Known as "Mr. Education" in Quebec, Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger, Montreal's archbishop, made him a Canon of the Basilica of our Lady Queen of the World in Montreal in 1953. In the same year, he was awarded the Medal of Scholastic Merit by the provincial government for his work in education. Five years later, in 1958, Carter was made a Commander of Scholastic Merit of the Province of Quebec (Simpson, 1986). In the spring of 1961, Canon Carter was appointed Rector of St. Lawrence College in Ste. Foy, a new English language college. But this appointment was to be short-lived.

On December 1, 1961, Pope John XXIII named Carter titular Bishop of Altiburo and, on December 5, auxiliary bishop to John Christopher Cody, Bishop of London, Ontario. A photo in My Fathers Business shows Carter and his brother, Alexander, with John XXVIII during the latter's ad limina visit to Rome in 1959. He had returned to St. Joseph's Teachers' College very struck by John XXIII's humility (Higgins & Letson, 1990). Carter was consecrated bishop on February 2, 1962 in Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica by Cardinal Léger assisted by Bishop Cody and his brother, Bishop Alexander Carter of Sault-Sainte-Marie. He was forty-nine.

First Years in Ontario (1961-1978)

Gerald Emmett Carter's work in Quebec as a Catholic educator established his reputation across Canada. On his nomination as bishop, Philip Pocock, coadjutor archbishop of Toronto, wrote "Your experience in the educational field will be invaluable to us, and of course to all of Canada" (Pocock, 1961 as cited in Higgins & Letson, 1990, p.58). Within two years, on the death of Bishop Cody, Emmett Carter was named ordinary (bishop in charge) of the London diocese. The Second Vatican Council, convoked by Pope John XXIII, occurred between 1962 and 1965. Carter participated in all four sessions of the Council.4 He would be asked by Walter Abbott, SJ, to write the introduction to Gravissimum educationis: The declaration on Christian education in the definitive English version of The Documents of Vatican II. In this introduction, Carter explains that "the Declaration breaks little new ground and limits itself to a strong statement of basic positions" because it deals primarily with "formal education, particularly in schools" (Carter, 1966, pp. 634-635). For him, what is most distinctive about Gravissimum educationis is "the insistence upon the integration of Christian education into the whole pattern of human life in all its aspects Thus we note [he writes] the strong emphasis on the intellectual values of all education and an appeal for all to strive to the highest development of the mind that this must be done in the framework of the moral formation of man [sic] and in the fullness of his [sic] spiritual, supernatural destiny" (Carter, 1966, p. 635). Not surprisingly, these are themes articulated earlier in his "Catholic Philosophy of Education" in The Catholic Public Schools of Quebec and more fully developed in The Modern Challenge to Religious Education published in 1961. A religious educator, convinced of the value of the gospel vision for the good of all humanity, he concludes: "There may be some disappointment that a further development is lacking in terms of what Christian education can mean to the modern world and some suggestions for practical forms of greater collaboration and integration" (Carter 1966, p. 636). Carter would begin to see his hopes for Christian education realized with the apostolic exhortations Evangelii nuntiandi and Catechesis tradendae issued following the international synods of bishops in 1974 and 1977 respectively.

Bishop Carter and the Catholic Separate School System of Ontario

During his first two years in the London diocese Carter served as auxiliary bishop, residing in Windsor. He was appointed to the Education Committee of the Ontario bishops and became fully involved in their efforts to obtain fuller funding for the province's Catholic schools. It was the early sixties and Catholics comprised more than 30 per cent of Ontario's population. The funding of Catholic schools, with the implementation of section 93 of the BNA Act, had included only elementary schools in the tax base. "The custom of offering grades 9 and 10 was not universal" and "separate [Catholic] school boards received no high school taxes for those grades but they did receive provincial grants" (Walker, 1986, p. 281). It was a complex arrangement: the government, for example, did not permit grades 9 and 10 for which provincial grants were given to be housed in the same building with a private Catholic high school.

In 1962, Carter was the main author of a brief submitted to the provincial government from the Ontario bishops and Catholic community. He was assisted by the Ontario Separate School Trustees' Association's (OSSTA) president, Francis Carter, for the legal arguments and by Robert Wilson of the Metropolitan Toronto Separate School Board (MSSB) for the section on tax revenue (Walker, 1986). Carter excelled at this kind of collaboration. In the brief they requested the extension of funding to grades 9 and 10 for Catholic schools. Carter also argued for investigation of the policy towards Catholic secondary schools overall, to the end of grade 13, and for better training for Catholic teaches. Unlike Quebec, Ontario has never had a Catholic teachers' college or separate programme of teacher preparation. The work of the Education Committee was rejected. But, in 1964, the provincial government instituted the Ontario Foundation Tax Plan in which Regulation 16/64 established an equalization plan for the distribution of corporate taxes previously denied to the end of grade 8. The increased funding was significant but still did not meet the needs of the Catholic community. Again, Carter prepared a brief from the Ontario bishops seeking the full funding of Catholic secondary schools to the end of grade 13. (Walker, 1986)

During these years in London, Carter worked closely with the partners in Catholic education - the Ontario bishops, the Ontario Separate School Trustees' Association (OSSTA), the English Catholic Education Association of Ontario (ECEAO) and, later, the Ontario Catholic English Teachers' Association (OECTA). Walker (1986) traces both the work of the Catholic community and the various government commissions that studied "the place of separate schools and [italics added] the role of religion in education in [both public and Catholic schools] . . . in Ontario education in the late sixties" (p. 211). These studies included the Committee on Religious Education in Public Schools of Ontario (1966-1969) as a result of which Ontario's Ministry of Education instituted the teaching of world religions as a social science in the secondary curriculum (Bowman, 1991).5 The Catholic viewpoint was solicited by the government in all of the commissions and inquiries. (Walker, 1986)

Building on his earlier experience in the province of Quebec Carter was tireless in his effort to see fully funded Catholic public education in Ontario. The increased monies provided by the Ontario Foundation Tax Plan provided more equitable funding for Ontario's Catholic elementary schools. Parents, who no longer had to subsidize the lower years, put their monies into a private Catholic system for grades 11 to 13. Many Catholic secondary schools, particularly those administered by religious communities, closed. With the exodus from religious life and the loss of their human capital following Vatican II (vowed women and men religious had worked for very low salaries), many Catholic upper-level schools were unable to afford the salaries needed by lay teachers. Discussions ensued both within the Catholic community and with the government about the option of governmental grants for private Catholic secondary schools - a solution unacceptable to the Catholic community. In 1966, the leaders in Catholic education informed Ontario Education Minister William Davis that they "wanted 'a system of state-supported Catholic Academic High Schools to be administered by elected boards of Education" [in the same manner as the public boards] (Walker, 1986, p. 293).

Bishop Carter was fully involved in the ongoing deliberations about Catholic secondary education in Ontario. The province had both separate and private Catholic school boards and many schools were in trouble. One suggestion vetted was a proposal that Catholic secondary schools be affiliated with public school boards. The model was in place for denominational colleges federated with the University of Toronto. In Carter's London diocese, Christ the King College and Brescia College were Catholic colleges affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. The proposed affiliations met with mixed response in the Catholic community; the French Catholic school boards had put their secondary schools under the public system earlier and were having difficulty maintaining their Catholic identity. (Walker, 1986)

Carter, however, was committed to making Catholic education fully available in his diocese. His support for the proposed amalgamation of London's Catholic Central Separate School with the London [public] Board of Education still creates newspaper copy today. On October 31, 2005, an op ed appeared in The London Free Press headlined "Catholic Central High School to Merge with the London Board of Education":

Catholic Central High School would now be General Vanier Secondary School and part of the Thames Valley District School Board if Bishop G. Emmett Carter and Trustee John Bennett had gotten their way in 1967-68

It was a time of amalgamation in 1967. Catholic Central Separate School (grades 9-10) and Catholic Central High School (grades 11-13) were to be united under one principal, Father J. Harold Conway, O.M.I., and the two buildings physically linked by a "tunnel." It was Bishop Carter of the diocese of London, later Cardinal Carter of the Archdiocese of Toronto, who suggested to Trustee Frank Carter that the united school be named in honour of Canada's recently deceased Governor-General. This name change, however, was not as enthusiastically received by the trustees of both the London Separate School Board and the Board of Governors as was Bennett's proposal.

At a time when Catholic high schools in Ontario were in desperate financial straits with grades 11-13 receiving no public funding, and in London being mainly operated through tuition fees and parish levees, Bennett, a trustee for both boards, after getting the backing of Bishop Carter sought to have Catholic Central merged into the public school system. It was proposed that the status quo be maintained within the school while operational and capital costs be borne by the London Board of Education.

This concept was enthusiastically approved by both the separate and private boards, Catholic leaders elsewhere in the province were aghast! This was seen as a clear violation of a united separate school movement for full public funding from kindergarten through grade 13. Both Bishop Joseph F. Ryan of Hamilton and Archbishop Philip F. Pocock of Toronto took exception to their brother bishop's position.

Father Carl Matthew, S.J., the recognized authority on Catholic education in Ontario, went so far as to state "that if a Board of Education was allowed to administer a Catholic high school, there was no stopping it from demanding to administer the elementary grades. It would be the end of separate schools, a frightening prospect."

Ultimately, in April 1968, it was the London Board of Education which nixed Bennett's and Bishop Carter's scheme when it unequivocally refused to accept the position of maintaining the "Catholic character" of CCH.

If the London Board of Education had accepted the terms of the two Catholic boards, and if this were the thin edge of the wedge which would ultimately bring about the end of separate schools as we know them in Ontario, as predicted by Father Matthews, then perhaps the supporters of Catholic school systems throughout the province owe a vote of thanks to the former London Board of Education, not only for the survival of their schools but also for their full public funding. (Brock, 2005, p. C4)

A closer look at the initiative, however, reveals that Carter had just returned from Rome and saw Bennett's recommendation "both as an intelligent lay initiative in education and as a solution for the government which had tried to be fair to Catholics" (Walker, 1986, p. 320). Carter, a pragmatist and accustomed to working successfully with the government in Quebec, may have been able to negotiate a workable model for Catholic high schools in Ontario. Today, Georges Vanier remains one of the most respected and beloved persons in Canadian history. The cause for canonization of the former Governor General of Canada and father of Jean Vanier, founder of the "L'Árche" communities worldwide, has since been introduced. Carter respected due process and had written to Bennett: "'Naturally mine is not the only opinion which will have to be sought on this matter. For better or worse, the day is gone when Bishops can make this kind of decision'" (Carter, 1967 as cited in Walker, 1986, p. 320). Carter continued to be involved in the discussions with the Ontario government for the completion of funding for Catholic secondary education. His work would come to fruition as cardinal-archbishop of Toronto in 1985.

Carter was one of four Canadian bishops who attended the Second Vatican Council and participated in all four sessions.

The Canadian delegation called for service not power; for communion, not regimentation; for an authentic application of the "principle of subsidiarity" in the Church itself; for the priest's role in the world to extend to legitimate pursuit of temporal objectives; for the preaching of social justice and not merely private justice. (Higgins, 2003, p. 9)

In the reforms emerging from the Council, Carter found resonance with his own perspectives as a religious educator, many of which had been expressed in The Modern Challenge to Religious Education. One finds from his earliest days and throughout his work - both in writing and in action - a respect for the role of the laity. He had chosen to become a diocesan priest - not to belong to a religious community. He sought in the early days to be one with the people and established the first coeducational teachers' college in Quebec, enabling women to become teachers. During the Council he pushed for the secular and religious press to have access to the deliberations for he believed that the active work of the Council needed to be communicated to the population at large. The thrust of Vatican II for the fuller participation of the laity in the life of the Church was one which he promoted in the London diocese - together with an emphasis on catechetics, his area of expertise, and the reform of the liturgy.

On Carter's appointment to London, Bishop Cody assigned him the diocesan education portfolio. Fully involved with Catholic education at every level - from the separate school system to the junior seminary and the Catholic university in Windsor and the two colleges and seminary in London - he proposed a diocesan office of education. He also suggested that Father John O'Flaherty be sent to Lumen Vitae in Brussels. His goal was to establish a catechetical centre for the adult education. Power (2006) notes that "Lumen Vitae was a proponent of a more psychological approach to teaching the truths of the Catholic faith. . . ." (n.p.). This was in keeping with Carter's early and somewhat controversial work Psychology and the Cross (Carter, 1959) based upon his 1947 doctoral dissertation. In the work of the Second Vatican Council Cater found support for the viewpoint he had developed over the years and wrote to Bishop Cody in July 1963 saying:

We have to admit that the presentation of the truths of our faith had tended to be somewhat conceptualized and also in some degree mummified. Without any blame for the past the council teaches us clearly that we have to address ourselves to a more vivid presentation, finding modern man where he is. (Cited in Power, 2006, n.p.)

Carter planned a "Crusade of Religious Education" for the entire diocese during 1964 and 1965. It was to involve the full participation of the clergy and laity and included the Catholic's Women's League, the Knights of Columbus, and the parent-teacher associations. The teaching venues were to be the Catholic post secondary colleges in London and Windsor, the seminaries, the separate schools and the private Catholic high schools. Every effort was to be made to include the children and adolescents enrolled in the public school system. With regret, the crusade was cancelled following the death of Bishop Cody in late 1963. Carter now had sole responsibility for the diocese.

On his appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of London, Carter turned his energies to establishing the Divine Word International Centre for Religious Education in London, Ontario.6 It opened in September 1966. Students enrolled from Australia, countries throughout Africa, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, India and the United States; regular instructors included Gregory Baum, Marcel van Caster, Charles Curran, Charles Davis, Thomas Francoeur, Josef Goldbrunner, Gustavo Gutierrez, Bernard Häring, Gabriel Moran, Emmanuel Milingo, Mark Link, Carolyn Osiek, Mary Perkins Ryan, John Shea, Kathryn Sullivan, Carroll Stuhlmueller, and Arlene Walker (Diocese of London Archives, Divine Word Center Papers, Box 7). The effort was timely. In 1971, Pope Paul VI approved the General Catechetical Directory to encourage and guide catechetical renewal throughout the Church and addressed the first International Catechetical Congress. Reminiscent of the entrepreneurial work between the Thomas More Institute and the University of Montreal, the Centre was affiliated with St. Paul University in Ottawa enabling its graduates to obtain a Master of Religious Education degree as of 1973. In 1975, Paul VI established the International Council for Catechesis, and released his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii nuntiandi. One of the methods identified in the exhortation is "Catechetics" (Paul VI, 1975, #44). "He [Pope Paul VI] decided that catechesis, especially that meant for children and young people, should be the theme of the fourth general assembly of the synod of Bishops, which was held in October 1977. . . ." (John Paul II, 1979, #2). The latter synod gave rise to the apostolic exhortation Catechesis tradendae. Bishop Carter was a delegate to both the third and fourth international synods of bishops. (Miranda, S., 2006)

Bishop Carter and the Liturgy as Christian Education

Carter had resonated with the Council's concerns regarding Christian education but the liturgical reforms mandated were even more important and more substantive. As a religious educator and priest he knew the power of the liturgy to "as a major instrument of religious education as well as the source of [Christian] life in God" (Carter, 1961, p.4).

Carter understood the psychology of learning. He does not mean that the liturgy is to become didactic; rather, the liturgical cycle educates in and of itself. He cites Cardinal Manning in 1879:

In every [liturgical] year the whole revelation of faith returns, mystery by mystery, dogma by dogma, precept by precept, upon our intelligences and our hearts. The lex credendi is the lex orandi, and the worship of Christ preaches to the world without, and to the faithful within. (Cited in Carter, 1961, p. 3)

Carter was passionate about liturgical renewal before the Council and within his London diocese he systematically implemented the liturgical reforms of Vatican II. Sacrosantum Concilium: The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, passed on December 4, 1963, introduced the first changes in the Latin Eucharistic Rite since the Council of Trent in 1570. Carter was appointed by Pope Paul VI to Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution for the Sacred Liturgy and to the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship that replaced it in 1970. He was among the eleven bishops from ten English-speaking countries who founded the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL). (Higgins & Letson, 1990). Their task was translate the reformed Latin Roman liturgical books mandated for the implementation of Sacrosantum Concilium. He served as vice-president, and became president of ICEL in 1971. At the time, Carter was also chair of Canada's Episcopal Commission on Liturgy (English sector) (Simpson, 1986). By the mid-eighties ICEL had an approved text for the Sacramentary in English-speaking countries. ICEL continues its work today.

In 1991, Rome approved an English-language lectionary for Canada that uses the inclusive language and translation of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Carter encouraged this publication and was most likely instrumental in obtaining its approval from Rome. Such approval was not granted to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who submitted their proposed lectionary at a later date.

Bishop Carter's Leadership in Rome and with the Canadian Bishops

During the seventies Carter was a major player in the universal Church attending the general assemblies of the World Synod of Bishops in 1974, 1977 and 1980. In October 1974 he addressed the synod on the topic of "The Dynamics of Pluralism in the Church." As mentioned earlier, this was the synod that led to Pope Paul VI's 1975 apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi: On Evangelization in the Modern World. Carter described the many manifestations of pluralism around the world - political, demographic, economic, geographic, social and religious and suggests criteria for evangelical discernment. Finally, he reflects on the metaphor of "the global village," a phrase coined by the Canadian educator, philosopher and communications theorist, Marshall McLuhan. In this address Carter talks about:

a new pluralism [that] is merging in the global village [italics added]. Modern humanity searches for meaning in a secular society. The dichotomy between this secularized world and the cultural faith experience of most Christians results from our inability to distinguish the essential Gospel message from the cultural accretions that yesterday facilitated its incarnation. The Second Vatican Council's recognition of the hierarchy of truths paved the way for a liberating experience. We can root the Gospel once more in the new cultural pluralism of the technological era. (Carter, 1975, p. 159)

McLuhan envisioned the global village as the emerging place where time and space barriers in human communication are dismantled enabling people to live and interact on a global scale (McLuhan, 1962). Carter concludes his address with suggestions for "the praxis of Church life" and makes reference to "the voices of our brothers and sisters of Africa and Asia calling for understanding and trust and a chance to adapt the Gospel message to their indigenous cultures" (Carter, 1975, p. 160). London was just 150 miles from Toronto and the offices of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops. The United Nations had identified Toronto as the most culturally diverse city in the world. Carter spoke out of his knowledge of the Catholic migrant community who resided there. It is not surprising that in 1979, while cardinal-archbishop of Toronto, he was appointed to the Vatican's Secretariat for Non-Christians and the Secretariat for Christian Unity by Pope John Paul II (Lumley, 2002).

In 1977, Carter was invited to Cracow by the then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II). It was a relationship that developed over the years. As Archbishop of Toronto, Carter would be elected to the permanent council of the synod and serve on its general secretariat from 1980-83 (Miranda, 2006). The significance for Christian education is that he was a papal advisor to Pope John Paul II.

Carter was also busy at the national level in Canada. In 1966 he became president of the Canadian Episcopal Commission on Liturgy (English sector) and in 1969 the vice-president of the Doctrine and Faith Department for the Canadian Catholic Conference (CCC). From 1973-75 he served as vice-president of the CCC and president from 1975-77 (Simpson, 1986). In 1977, under his leadership, the Canadian Catholic Conference became more clearly designated as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As a result of Carter's energy and many-leveled involvement, the London diocese was at the forefront of liturgical reform mandated by Vatican II.

For many Catholics, the encyclical promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1968, Humanae Vitae, remains controversial. It was Bishop G. Emmett Carter who drafted "The Winnipeg Statement," the response of the Canadian bishops to the encyclical in 1969. From his earliest days, Carter had been influenced by the work of John Henry Cardinal Newman on freedom of conscience, independent thought and the intellectual life. The Winnipeg Statement was the response of all the Canadian bishops but Carter's role was central. It is one of the few places where he may be seen as challenging papal teaching. The reasons were pastoral. In later years, Carter reflected:

Our statement was definitely meant to indicate to the people of Canada that if they found, as we anticipated and God knows history has proven us to be correct, that they couldn't follow the directives of the encyclical, then they were not to consider themselves cut off from the church. We were trying to create a situation where in Catholics would not feel that they were alienated from the church although on the issue of birth control they could not follow the teaching of the pope. (Cited in Higgins and Letson, 1990, p. 107)

Although Paul VI accepted the statement, some bishops in the United States and Catholic writers elsewhere were highly critical of the Canadian Catholic Council (Higgins & Letson, 1990). In 1973, the Canadian bishops issued a further clarification and commentary on Humanae Vitae entitled "Statement on the Formation of Conscience" (Higgins, 2001). Once again, Carter played a key role in the statement's formulation.

In 1978, Pope John Paul II appointed Carter Archbishop of Toronto and, in 1979, elevated him to the cardinalate. His installation took place at Toronto's St. Michael's Cathedral on June 5, 1978.

The Toronto Years and the Funding of Catholic Education (1978-1985)

It was during Carter's tenure as Cardinal-Archbishop of Toronto that completion of government funding for the Catholic school system in Ontario was achieved. Canada does not talk about the "separation of church and state" and many of its leaders at both the federal and provincial level have been Roman Catholic. At the practical level, Canada falls somewhere between Great Britain and the United States (Carter, 1986). There is not a "state" church but the BNA Act of 1867 provided for the government funding of denominational schools. Since 1943, the Canadian bishops have met as a national episcopal conference - beginning more than twenty years before this was recommended by the Second Vatican Council (Higgins, 2003). The Canadian bishops have gained national public respect for their statements on issues of social justice - articulating them in a manner that speaks to the common good of society as a whole.

From his earliest days in Quebec, G. Emmett Carter worked successfully with the premier and other government officials of that province. Throughout his life as a bishop he befriended leaders at all levels of government - as did his brother Alexander. The attendees at both his consecration as bishop and installation as archbishop included "prelates, clerics, civil dignitaries, exalted members of the judiciary and a handsome complement of ecumenical and interfaith representatives" (Higgins & Letson, 1990, p. 151). These were significant public events for the people of Canada. When Carter became Archbishop of Toronto, The Honourable William Davis, who had been Minister of Education during the sixties when Carter prepared the briefs for the fuller funding of Catholic schools, was Premier of Ontario. Toronto is the seat of the provincial government and the Toronto Archdiocese embraced the most populated region of Canada with a growing Catholic population due to the patterns of immigration. At least 50 per cent of the population was now Roman Catholic.

Whether it was the commitment and perseverance of Ontario's Catholic educational community, the growth in the Catholic population and the impending provincial elections, friendship between the Carter brothers and the Premier - or all of these - it is hard to tell. But in 1984, Davis approved the completion of funding through grade 13 of Catholic schools in Ontario - trustees and bishops had thought the government might possibly give full funding to grades 9 and 10. Davis (1984) announced that the Ministry of Education intended "to permit the Roman Catholic separate schools boards to established a full range of elementary and secondary education, as part of a public system, to be funded accordingly" (cited in Walker, 1986, p. 375). The new program would be introduced at the rate of one year of secondary education for each school year beginning September 1, 1985.

Davis' announcement received a standing ovation from all the members present in the Legislative Assembly, including the opposition who rose to support it (Carter, 1985b). What this meant at a practical level was that Ontario would have two publicly-funded systems of education - one nondenominational/secular and one Roman Catholic.

In 2001, Davis "confirmed that he arrived at his landmark decision [in 1984] slowly, more by persuasion than political threats. He had an interesting anecdote to illustrate his frame of mind" (Sanderson, 2004, p. F3).

It was June, I was actually cutting my own lawn on Main street south in Brampton, and a group of students from Cardinal Leger (separate school), which was two blocks from our place, were coming home. They saw me. They were polite and said, "Mr. Davis. We are leaving Grade 10. We are told if we want to stay at Cardinal Leger it is going to cost us a fee. If we go on to the other side of town, some five or six blocks to Brampton Centennial, it won't cost us a fee. Can you explain that?"

Then and there, Davis said he couldn't go back over history to describe the Act of Union, the British North America Act and the other constitutional guarantees that gave Catholic schools truncated public funding to Grade 8, but no further. He couldn't explain the logic behind it, "because there wasn't one." (Sanderson, 2004, p. F3)

Cardinal Carter spoke after Davis' announcement in 1984 of his personal "campaign of quiet diplomacy" (Sanderson, 2004, p. F3).

With the implementation of the funding of Catholic schools to begin the following September, Carter addressed an assembly of Catholic high school officials and teachers in February 1985 on the "History of School Funding." He reflected:

We in Ontario should recall that the great movement for separate school systems came not from Ontario but from Quebec. The Protestant minority in Quebec, much more powerful than it is now, did not like the concept of common schools then in vogue. In Quebec it would have meant sending their children to predominantly French and Catholic schools. This was unacceptable to a powerful minority. Hence they pressured for the establishment of Separate Protestant Schools in Quebec. This they achieved and it turned out to be the greatest favour that has ever been bestowed upon Catholic Education in Ontario. (Carter, 1985b, p. 1200-1201)

How those Ontarians in the assembly, who had worked so long for this moment, felt is difficult to tell. But Carter did put the achievement in perspective. For him, it was also a personal accomplishment, one to which he had given much of his life's work. He understood fully the historical, social and political dynamics behind the achievement.

Carter also knew what this would require on the part of the Catholic community in Ontario. In his address he calls for cooperation as new schools are established in the "Catholic Public School System" that will adversely affect the student population and teaching positions in the established public system (Carter, 1985b, p. 1203). He also addresses the "Catholicity" of the new school system declaring "we must not begin to strip away our religious teaching, our liturgy, our adherence to our Bishops and Pastors, our churches or to the principles of the Gospel as elucidated and transmitted by the Catholic Church" (Carter, 1985b, pp. 1203-1204). His call for recognition of the role of the Church in the new public system arose since under civil law the Catholic schools would now be the sole responsibility of the parents and the trustees. The Church would have limited authority.

For the people of Canada, and Ontario in particular, the completion of government funding for the Catholic schools is Carter's greatest legacy. As archbishop he assigned the education portfolio to Auxiliary Bishop Aloysius Ambrozic, a biblical scholar who did not have the same vision for the field of religious education. Carter's predecessor, Archbishop Pocock, had given significant leadership to a strong program of religious education throughout the diocese.7 During his tenure as archbishop, however, Carter continued to speak out on matters related to religious education. In an article, first published in The Catholic Register, he assessed The Canadian Catechism. The Canadian catechetical series, titled Come to the Father, was published initially in French and never officially approved by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. It needed revision. In this article Carter makes reference to the fourth International Synod of Bishops that led to the apostolic exhortation Catecheses tradendae which Carter translates as "On the Teaching of Catechetics" [italics added](Carter, 1985a, p. 1192). He argues for a national catechetical series, approved by the CCCB, that is not only sound educationally but also faithful to the ordinary Magesterium of the Church. Once again he refers to The Modern Challenge to Religious Education and echoes the aims of teaching first identified in his Lumen Vitae article "The Training of the Teachers of Religion." He concludes:

To sum up, there are few things of more importance in the modern Church than the work of the teaching of religion in all aspects. The effort to endow the Church in Canada with an instrument that meets the needs of modern psychology and pedagogy while not neglecting [italics added] the essential theology and ecclesiology of the Church is one which we should be willing to support and encourage in theory there is no reason why these two aspects cannot be merged and married but in practice it is an extremely difficult operation. (Carter, 1985, p. 1198)8

Carter's passion for religious education never diminished. As Cardinal, he took every opportunity to "educate" in his public role - whether a homily or an address to the Liberal Forum.9

Carter's Legacy in Public Catholic Education

Today, the province of Quebec no longer has a Catholic public school system. In 1982, the British North America Act was repatriated to Canada and the Constitution Act of 1982 passed by the federal government. Quebec refused to participate in or accept the 1982 Act. Included within the "Charter of Rights and Freedoms" of the 1982 Act is the guarantee that the denominational rights and privileges established at the time the provinces entered Canada (the last province to join Canada was Newfoundland in 1949) would take precedence over the provisions of the Charter. Throughout the sixties Quebec gradually had become more secularized and increasingly committed to its French cultural heritage. One of the most significant developments was the passage of Quebec's Bill 101, The Charter of the French Language, in 1976. The 1976 charter restricted admission to English schools in Quebec to those who had at least one parent who had attended English-language elementary schools in the province. Additionally, all immigrants to Quebec, regardless of their country of origin, were required to educate their children in French.

After a number of attempts to establish linguistic rather than denominational boards, the natural result of Bill 101, Quebec did so in 1997 by seeking an amendment to the British North America Act of 1867. Bill 109 (1997) requested that section 93 be amended "so that Quebec may recover its full capacity to act in matters of education" (Bill 109, 1997, ¶ 2 as cited in Young, 2000, ch. 2). In effect, the amendment ended the denominational rights and privileges achieved with the Education Act of 1846 and replaced them with other guarantees. As of July 1, 1998 Quebec's 137 Roman Catholic and 18 Protestant school boards were replaced by 60 French and 9 English language school boards. The boards were required to guarantee free choice "between moral education and Catholic or Protestant religious education" by parents for their children (Young, 2000, ch. 2). Without the work of G. Emmett Carter in Catholic education in his early years the present provision for voluntary Catholic and Protestant religious education in Quebec province might not exist.

Today, Ontario has a strong Catholic school system through to the end of high school - no longer spoken of as the "separate school system" but rather as the "Catholic system." But this governmental provision has not gone without challenge. Following the introduction of Bill 30 to provide full funding to Catholic schools, the decision was referred to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1985 in view of the Charter of Rights. On further referral to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1987, it upheld the constitutionality of the legislation which extended full funding to Roman Catholic schools. The majority opinion reasoned that section 93 of the Constitution Act 1867 and all the rights and privileges it afforded were immune from Charter scrutiny. Madam Justice Wilson, writing the majority opinion, stated: "It was never intended that the Charter could be used to invalidate other provisions of the constitution, particularly a provision such as s.93 which represented a fundamental part of the Confederation promise." (United Nations, 1999, S. 2.8)

In 1997, a group of parents representative of small independent religious schools in Ontario appealed to the Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations. They claimed discrimination since Catholics were no longer a minority in the Ontario. In their brief they acknowledged that it would not be possible to fund all religious schools. Instead, they requested that the funding of Roman Catholic schools be withdrawn because "publicly funded separate schools for Roman Catholic citizens in Ontario represent in real terms a privilege to the largest religious organization in Ontario" (United Nations, 1999, S. 5.5). The Committee denied their claim because the totally secular system which they requested was already available to them and, thus, they could not claim that their children had been discriminated against. Their claim was ruled to be inadmissible under the Optional Protocol Covenant. Throughout these challenges Carter had spoken untiringly for Catholic rights established with the British North America Act of 1867.

G. Emmett Cardinal Carter was very much aware of the uniqueness of the Canadian context and reflected on the unique relationship between church and state in Canada. In 1986, he espoused to the Liberal Forum of Canada

I rejoice in the fact that our churches are self-supporting. I consider that the loss in the last century by the Holy See of what were called the papal states was one of the best things that could have happened to the Church. I am delighted that in France and even in Italy the clergy are no longer paid by the state. I would not support any effort for direct subsidies to any church. As a result I quite understand those who consider the situation of the Catholic schools as being somewhat contradictory to the general trend and who therefore have opposed the idea [italics added]. I maintain that the school situation is exceptional and unique because of our history but as I would expect my opinion to be respected in this regard and at least considered as honest I am prepared to accept the honesty of the opposite position of total voluntaryism.

I feel that the weakness is that historically it was the state that decided to enter the field of education. There was a time when the church was the educator [italics added]. In assuming that role the state made the total voluntary system impossible. (Carter, 1986, pp. 1443-1444)

Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter in 1990. He retired on March 17, 1990, St. Patrick's Day. He served as Archbishop Emeritus of Toronto continued to act as Chancellor of the University of St. Michael's College until 1999. Following his death, on April 6, 2003, all the major newspapers around the world carried news articles and obituaries. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada (1983) and had received more than ten honorary doctorates in his 91 years.


B.A. University of Montreal 1933

B.Th. University of Montreal 1936

M.A./M.Ed. University of Montreal 1940 - see endnote #2

Ph.D. University of Montreal 1947


1. Bishop Carter of London, Ontario had been appointed by Pope Paul VI to Consilium, the body responsible for implementing the Constitution on the sacred liturgy, Sacrosantum Concilium, throughout the Catholic world. He was also Chair of the Canadian Liturgy Committee (English sector) and President of the Office of the Liturgy Committee (English sector) for the Canadian Catholic Council (of bishops).

2. The genre of educational biography was formulated by educational historian Lawrence A. Cremin during his tenure at Columbia University Teachers College. For the definition of the genre see L. A. Cremin. (1976). Public education (pp. 42-3). New York: Basic Books and L. A. Cremin. (1977). Traditions of American education (pp. 145-148). New York: Basic Books. This genre was used to study the contribution of Cornelia Connelly to Catholic education in L. M. A. Bowman. (1984). Cornelia Connelly educator: Her charisma and its instituionalization. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, New York.

3. Carter's Lumen Vitae article indicates that he held an M.Ed. (Carter, 1946, p. 393). Most likely this is the degree referred to as an M.A. in Canadian Who's Who and elsewhere where there is no mention of an M.Ed.

4. The dates for the Second Vatican Council were: First Session, 11 October to 8 December 1962; Second Session: 29 September to 4 December 1963; Third Session: 14 September to 21 November 1964; Fourth Session: 14 September to December 1965.

5. See Bowman (1990), pp. 368-373 for the development of the teaching of religious education in Ontario's elementary and secondary public schools.

6. The Diocese of London, Ontario archives pertaining to the Divine Word Centre contain documents of student files, administrative files, financial material and notes on the lecturers. Email from Debra Majer, MLIS, assistant Archivist, Roman Catholic Diocese of London Archives dated 26/10/06. Due to poor leadership in the early years, and a primarily part-time student body, the Centre closed in 1979, one year after Carter's appointment as archbishop of Toronto.

7. This is reflected in the "Pastoral letters, communications and prosynodal legislation" documents available from the archives of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

8. For a fuller discussion of Carter and the "Canadian Catechism" see Higgins and Letson, 1990, pp. 90-05.

9. Two examples of this are his homilies at the reception given on his installation as Archbishop of Toronto and an address to the Liberal Forum of Canada in 1986. In the first he explains the significance of his coat of arms, the diverse nature of the population of the diocese. Speaking in both official languages he then speaks of a renewed commitment to Vatican II, the richness of ecumenism in the region and finally, social justice and human rights. In his address to the Liberal Forum on February 15, 1985 after full funding was mandated for Catholic schools Carter provides a historical overview of Catholic education and the importance of Premier Davis's decision on June 12, 1984. See also Carter, 1991, A tradition of honour: Homilies to the members of the Canadian Association of the sovereign and military Order of Malta [1966-1990].

Contributions to Christian Education

Works Cited

  • Bowman, L. M. A. (1984). Cornelia Connelly educator: Her charisma and its instituionalization. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, New York.
  • (1990). "Catholic religious education in Ontario, opportunities and challenges for the 1990's: Implications for teacher education." Religious Education 86 (2): 362-376.
  • Brock, D, (2005, October 31). Catholic Central High School to merge with the London Board of Education. The London Free Press, p. C4.
  • Carter. G. E. (1946). The training of teachers of religion. Lumen Vitae: International centre for studies in religion 1 (2): 393-407.
  • (1957). The Catholic public schools of Quebec. Toronto & Montreal: W. J. Gage Ltd.
  • (1959). Psychology and the cross. Milwaukee: Bruce Pub. Co.
  • (1961). The modern challenge to religious education: God's message and our response. New York: W.H. Sadlier
  • (1966). Education. In W. M. Abbott, S. J. (Gen. Ed.). , J. Gallagher. (Trans.) The documents of Vatican 11 (pp. 634-636). New York: Herded and Herder New York Association Press.
  • (1975). The dynamics of pluralism in the Church. In G. H. Anderson & T. F. Stransky. (Eds.). Mission Trends No. 2: Evangelization (pp. 156-161). Toronto: Paulist Press
  • (1985a). The "Canadian catechism." Pastoral letters, communications, postsynodal legislation (pp. 1192-1198). Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • (1985b). History of school funding. Pastoral letters, communications, postsynodal legislation (pp. 1200–1204). Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • (1986). Church and State: Freedom and responsibility. Pastoral letters, communications, postsynodal legislation (pp. 1430-1444). Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • Cremin, L. A. (1976). Public education. New York: Basic Books.
  • (1977). Traditions of American education. New York: Basic Books.
  • Diocese of London Archives. (2007). Divine Word Centre Papers, Box 7, London, Ontario, Canada.
  • Higgins, M. W. (2003). The influence of Vatican II. In The new Catholic encyclopedia (2nd. ed.) (Vol. 3, pp. 8-9). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America.
  • (2001). Carter, Gerald Emmett. In The new Catholic encyclopedia (Jubilee vol.: The Wojtyla years). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America.
  • (1996). Second Vatican Council. In The new Catholic encyclopedia. (Vol. 28: Supp.1978-1988).
  • Higgins, M. W. & D. R. Letson. (1990). My Father's business: A biography of His Eminence G. Emmett Cardinal Carter. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada.
  • John Paul II, P. (1979). Catechesis tradendae: On catechesis in our time. Ottawa: Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • McAteer M. (2003, April 6). Former archbishop's influence reached beyond the Church. The Toronto Star. Retrieved April 25, 2005, from
  • Miranda, S. (2006). Gerald Emmett carter (1921-2003). The cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: Biographical dictionary (1903-2005). Retrieved October 12, 2006, from
  • Lumley, E. (Ed.). (2002). Canadian who's who. Vol. XXVII. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • McLuhan, H. M. (1962). The Gutenberg galaxy: The making of typographic man. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Paul VI, Pope. (1975). Evangelii nuntiandi: Evangelization in the modern world. Ottawa: Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • Percival, W. P. (1946). Across the years: A century of education in the province of Quebec. Montreal: Quebec. Montreal:Gage Printing Co. Ltd.
  • Power, M. (2006). Gerald Emmett Carter (1964-1978). Diocese of London. Gathering up the fragments: A history of the Diocese of London (chapter 8). Unpublished manuscript.
  • Sanderson, G. (2004, May 1). Davis changed the course of Catholic education (p. F3). The London Free Press.
  • Scrivener, L. (2003, April 7). Cardinal Carter, a man for all Canada – Educator, author, papal adviser concerned for the entire community. The Toronto Star.
  • Simpson, K. (Ed.). (1986). Canadian who's who 1986. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Retrieved April 25, 2005, from
  • United Nations. (1997). Decisions of the Human Rights Committee dealing communications inadmissible under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, sixty-seventh session. Retrieved November 28, 2006 from United Nations Human Rights Website – Treaty bodies Data Base
  • Walker, F. A. (1955). Catholic education & politics in Upper Canada. Vol. 1. Toronto: The Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario.
  • (1964). Catholic education and politics in Ontario. Vol. 2. Toronto: The Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario.
  • (1986). Catholic education and politics in Ontario. Vol. 3. Toronto: The Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario.
  • Young, D. C. (2000). The transition from denominational to linguistic schools in Quebec. Unpublished master of ed. thesis, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Retrieved from



  • Carter, G. E. (1983). "Do this in memory of me": a pastoral letter upon the sacrament of Holy Orders. Toronto: Mission Press.
  • (1982). A shepherd speaks: Occasional writings, sermons and papers. Toronto: The Catholic Register.
  • (1961). The modern challenge to religious education: God's message and our response. New York: W.H. Sadlier, 1961.
  • (1959). Psychology and the cross. Milwaukee: Bruce Pub. Co.
  • (1957). The Catholic public schools of Quebec. Toronto & Montreal: W. J. Gage Co. Ltd.
  • (1947). Some aspects of the psychological import of religious education. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Université de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


  • Carter, G. E. (1986). Church and State: Freedom and responsibility. Pastoral letters, communications, postsynodal legislation (pp. 1430-1444). Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • (1986). The forthcoming synod and role of the laity in the Church. Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • (1985). Vatican II – 20 years after: A pastoral letter. Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • (1985). History of school funding. Pastoral letters, communications, postsynodal legislation (pp. 1200–1204). Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • (1985). The "Canadian catechism." Pastoral letters, communications, postsynodal legislation (pp. 1192-1198). Toronto: Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • (1983). "Do this in memory of me": A pastoral letter upon the sacrament of priestly orders. Toronto: Mission Press.
  • (1975). The dynamics of pluralism in the Church. In G. H. Anderson & T. F. Stransky. (Eds.). Mission Trends No. 2: Evangelization (pp. 156-161). Toronto: Paulist Press.
  • (1970). Introduction. Mariella, S., K. B. Osborne, A. Panzarella, J. Peterson, J. M. Petulla. (1970). Where do we go from here? (pp. vii-xiii). New York & Chicago: W. H. Sadlier, Inc.
  • (1966). Education. In W. M. Abbott, S. J. ( Gen. Ed.)., J. Gallagher. (Trans.) The documents of Vatican 11 (pp. 634-636). New York: Herded and Herder New York Association Press.
  • (1946). The training of teachers of religion. Lumen vitae: International centre for studies in religion 1 (2): 393-407.

Privately Printed

  • Carter, G. E. (1991). A tradition of honour: Homilies to the members of the Canadian Association of the sovereign and military Order of Malta. Privately printed; available McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • (1979). Report to the civic authorities of Metropolitan Toronto and its citizens. Toronto: Office of the Cardinal. Privately printed; available Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Excerpts from Publications

Introduction. Mariella, S., K. B. Osborne, A. Panzarella, J. Peterson, J. M. Petulla. (1970). Where do we go from here? (p. x).

Citations in the educational biography provide context for Gerald Emmett Carter's thinking and writing.

The following excerpt is from an introduction to a volume of a series reflecting on the needs of adults with the changes following Vatican II. Introduction. Mariella, S., K. B. Osborne, A. Panzarella, J. Peterson, J. M. Petulla. (1970). Where do we go from here? (p. x).

It is to meet this need that the present series has been devised. As I understand the purposes of the authors and editors, this is something relatively new. It is an attempt to express "in intelligible and discussable" form the basic problems of the theological day.
The psychology behind the attempt is that "No man [sic] can give of his own wisdom to another man." The only answers, even in the faith, are "my" answers. The assent of faith must be personal, loving, and convinced. It must also be enlightened. We are attempting here not exactly to give answers, but to suggest the direction in which the answers lie. We are not attempting to present pat solutions which anyone can read and find peace. This is not the peace of our day. The mood is reflective rather than dogmatic, suggestive rather than indicative. It will help no one who is not prepared to help himself. But having read the essays, I am convinced that they are, on the whole, a sound presentation of insights into the Church of today and the problems facing the Catholic of today.
I would not have this statement interpreted as saying that I agree with everything written in these texts. Indeed I would consider such a condition as something of a tragedy. One of the lessons which we have learned is that there are many areas in which honest Christians must disagree somewhat, in order to clarify the truth. As a bishop, however, I would not be writing this introduction if I thought there was anything herein which was contrary to the teaching of the Church. But one can be a faithful Catholic and still find a great deal of leeway in the investigation of our relationship with God and God's relationship with us. What a dull Church this would be if we all had to agree with one another about everything. But I am sure that anyone who reads these essays, and discusses them with an open and intelligent approach, will come from the process much wiser and even much surer of his faith than he was when he began. This in itself is very good.

Higgins, M. W. & Letson, D. R. (1990). My Father's business: A biography of His Eminence G. Emmett Cardinal Carter. . Toronto: Macmillan of Canada. 

Author Information

Lorna Bowman

Lorna M. A. Bowman, Ed. D. Columbia University (1984), is Professor of Religious Studies & Academic Dean, Brescia University College, London, Ontario, Canada. She is a past president of the Association & Professors in Religious Education and of the Religious Education Association. Her research interests include the history of women, religion and education and the history of Catholic religious education. Her doctoral dissertation was an educational biography of Cornelia Connelly, founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Related publications include: Catholic Mission Education of Women in West Africa and Grassroots Inculturation. Journal of Religious Education (Australia) 50/3 (2002 Jubilee Volume): 55-61; The History of Women, Religion and Education: A Methodological Approach. Toronto Journal of Theology 11/2 (Fall 1995): 201-216.