Christians have always acknowledged that their faith calls them to participate in public life. But the question of what – if anything – should distinguish Christians engaged in public life easily lends itself to a variety of answers. Based upon his long experience in journalism and politics, Claude Ryan will discuss the challenges and difficulties of concrete involvement in public life viewed from a Christian perspective.
Claude Ryan served as Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1978 to 1982. During the 1980 referendum on Sovereignty-Association, he led the official "Committee for the NO", winning that referendum by a 60 to 40 per cent margin. Previously, he had been editor and publisher of Quebec's prestigious daily newspaper, Le Devoir. Mr. Ryan later served in a number of senior cabinet positions in the government of Robert Bourassa. His loyalty to the Catholic Church is well known in Quebec and from 1945 to 1962 he was National Secretary of the French section of L'Action catholique canadienne, a church organization for lay Catholics.