Chiniquy, Charles Pascal
CHINIQUY, CHARLES PASCAL
Author, anti-Catholic polemicist; b. Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada, July 30, 1809; d. Montreal, Canada, Jan. 16, 1899. He was the son of Charles, a sailor, and Marie (Reine) Chiniquy and was orphaned in 1821. After study at the seminary of Nicolet, Quebec, he was ordained Sept. 21, 1833, and then served as curate at Saint-Charles de Bellechasse (1833), officiating minister at Charles bourg (1834), curate at Saint-Roch of Quebec (1834–38), and chaplain of the naval hospital. He offered his services to Bp. Norbert Provencher for the Northwest missions and was refused. In 1838 he became pastor of the important parish of Beauport. Two years later he began preaching on temperance, founding a temperance society (1840) and becoming known as "Father Mathew of Lower Canada" (see mathew, theobald). He was transferred to the parish at Kamouraska (1842), where he scandalized the population by his conduct and was obliged to leave the Diocese of Quebec (1846). He joined the Oblates of Mary Immaculate but was dismissed and took up temperance preaching in the Diocese of Montreal. Bishop Ignace Bourget of Montreal revoked Chiniquy's powers (1851), giving him his exeat to the Diocese of Chicago, Ill. As a schismatic after 1852, he attracted a number of French-speaking faithful and even attempted to attract a group of initiates from Canada to Illinois. Denounced by Bps. J. O. Vandervelde, A. O'Regan, and J. Duggan of Chicago, he was placed under interdict in August 1856 and excommunicated in September of the same year. He then founded the Christian Catholic Church and joined the Presbyterian Church in Chicago, from which he was later expelled. Accepted by the Presbyterian synod of Canada, he became an official preacher in Canada and moved to Montreal with his family in 1875.
Chiniquy made many trips abroad. He published several anti-Catholic works that enjoyed great success and were translated into many languages. Among these were his autobiography Cinquante ans dans l'Eglise de Rome (1885) and Quarante ans dans l'Eglise du Christ, for the period from 1859 to 1899, which was published posthumously; and La Femme, le prêtre, et le Confessional (1878). Mes Combats, Autobiographie de Charles Chiniquy, Apôtre de la Tempérance was published in Montreal (1946). In 1844, while still a Catholic, Chiniquy published a short work, Manuel ou Règlement de la Société de Tempérance. Six days before his death he published in the Montreal Gazette his religious testament, replete with blasphemy against the Catholic Church.