Statement of Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte archbishop of Montreal concerning the conflict at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery



    MONTREAL, Aug. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - For over two months, hundreds of families
have been living through the painful situation occasioned by the on-going
conflict at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery. It is extremely distressful for
them to be unable to proceed to the burial of those close to them. It is
deplorable for these families, that they cannot fully mourn the passing of a
dear person. In all cultures the sacred character of death demands respect for
those who have died by assuring them a proper burial.
    From the very beginning of this conflict, I have been regularly informed
of the prevailing developments at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery.
    In a statement published on July 10, past, I expressed my preoccupation
with this labour conflict and I invited the parties to request the appointment
of a conciliator in order to arrive at a negotiated settlement, as quickly as
possible. This conciliation process is presently under way. One can only
expect that the parties will find room for a settlement.
    I have been asked to intervene and I must remind everyone that I can not
do so, not withstanding, all that may have been said or written on the subject
these past days. The law governing parishes, An Act Respecting Fabriques,
recognizes that each 'fabrique' is a legal entity, at the head of which there
must be a board of administrators. It is true that the law confers a certain
number of powers to the bishop; however, the cemetery remains under the
administration and management of the fabrique whose property it is.
    In the law, An Act Respecting Fabriques, the legislator has deliberately
required that the management of a cemetery not be submitted to the approbation
of the bishop, in order to respect the autonomy of its administrators.
    With all my heart I desire the quick resolution of this conflict. I
remain informed and will closely follow the situation. The families of those
who mourn must find again the services they are entitled to receive, as
quickly as possible, from an institution as important as Notre-Dame-des-Neiges
Cemetery.




For further information:

For further information: Lucie Martineau, Archdiocese of Montreal, (514)
925-4304


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