Patrick Jamieson

In the Avant Garde
The Prophetic Catholicism of Remi De Roo

previous next   Ekstasis Editions

Shortly after his retirement as the Catholic Bishop of Victoria and Vancouver Island a very public controversy erupted over the claim that Remi De Roo had bankrupted the parish through unsavoury investments. In his new book, the first biography of Canada’s most controversial Bishop, Catholic historian Patrick Jamieson, author of Victoria – Demers to De Roo, reveals the truth behind these scandalous allegations. Through in-depth research and personal interviews Jamieson explores the way in which other outspoken clerics have been similarly discredited. A proponent of the American ‘liberation theology’ movement, Bishop Remi De Roo has been the most progressive of the Catholic clergy, playing a central role in advocating for birth control and the role of women in the church. Going back to his childhood in the Prairies during the Depression, Jamieson charts the development of De Roo’s social conscience, leading to his influential "Ethical Reflections” on Catholicism in Canadian society. The book provides a fascinating perspective on both progressive and conservative movements within the Catholic church, with the assertion that Bishop De Roo was part of a unique Canadian ‘post-modernist’ Catholicism. In the Avant Garde is a most engaging account of the remarkable life of this revolutionary Canadian cleric within a conservative tradition which sheds light on diverse currents of thought in the religious organization.

Patrick Jamieson was the founding editor in 1986 of the Island Catholic News, the independent monthly for Vancouver Island. He published a history of Catholics on Vancouver Island, Victoria: Demers to De Roo (Ekstasis Editions 1997). He was the first lay editor of the progressive Prairie Messenger and was an associate editor of New Maritimes during the 1980’s.

6 x 9
514 pages
Now available