Canadians still signing petition for pope to visit Quebec
Published: December 5, 2007
OTTAWA (CNS) -- When Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet met with Pope Benedict XVI in late November to discuss the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress, he presented a petition signed by thousands of people asking the pope to visit Quebec City in June. Among the signatories was Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who also sent along a letter to the pope. The congress, to be held June 15-22, coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. Quebec City lawyer Marc Bellemare, a former justice minister, started the petition in late October. By early November it had 4,000 signatures. As of Dec. 4, that number had risen to 12,000, which includes more than 6,000 electronic signatures -- names from those who logged onto the Web site www.pape2008.com. "It's going well," said Bellemare, who decided to keep the petition active since the pope has not decided whether he is attending the congress. In early November, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, told Catholic News Service, "I have not seen any plans for a visit to Quebec."
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