Charles-Paschal-Télesphore Chiniquy

Charles-Paschal-Télesphore Chiniquy, Roman Catholic priest turned Presbyterian minister (b at Kamouraska, LC 30 July 1809; d at Montréal 16 Jan 1899). He travelled throughout Lower Canada 1839-51 preaching temperance, and his fame was such that he was called "Father Matthew of Lower Canada.

Chiniquy, Charles-Paschal-Télesphore

Charles-Paschal-Télesphore Chiniquy, Roman Catholic priest turned Presbyterian minister (b at Kamouraska, LC 30 July 1809; d at Montréal 16 Jan 1899). He travelled throughout Lower Canada 1839-51 preaching temperance, and his fame was such that he was called "Father Matthew of Lower Canada." But he was so arrogant and undisciplined that in 1851 Monseigneur Ignace BOURGET asked him to leave the diocese. He settled in the parish Ste-Anne-de-Kankakee (Ill) where, in 1856, he was excommunicated by the bishop of Chicago for a grave infraction of ecclesiastical discipline. He then began a new career there, first as founder of the Catholic Christian Church and then as a Presbyterian minister.

When he ran into difficulties with the Presbytery of Chicago, he applied in 1863 for admission with his Ste-Anne's congregation to the Synod of the Canada Presbyterian Church and was accepted. The bishops of Québec waged unrelenting war on him, worried by his oratorical talents and endless, outrageous attacks on the Catholic Church. Protestants, for the same reasons, welcomed him enthusiastically. He died after a ministry that had taken him throughout the US, to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Almost a century later, his career is still highly controversial.