The Catholic faith has had a major shaping influence on the political imaginary of Conservatism. Québec, a province whose political and historical evolution bore until the 1960s a strong Catholic imprint, is a privileged vantage point to analyze the ambiguities and the complexities of their relationship. After the Duplessis era (1944-1959), the mainstream right tried to revitalize itself ideologically through the embrace of economic and fiscal liberalism. But the newfound visibility of cultural themes such as immigration, secularism or the “reasonable accommodations” soon replaced religion at the heart of public debates. We will focus on the writings of the sociologist and journalist Mathieu Bock-Côté, who enjoys high media visibility both in Québec and in France. The way Catholicism merges with the political imperative of Québecʼs nationalism and the defense of Franco-Canadian cultural heritage will stand at the forefront of our research. This constant back-and-forth between religion and culture suggests a paradoxical ideological position, which Bock-Côté describes as that of a “non-believing Catholic”.
Keywords: cultural Catholicism, patrimonialization, conservatism, nationalism, Canada / Québec.