L'Abbatiale de la
Liturgie Apocryphe

Montréal, p.Q.

L' empire du sacre québécois (1984) par CLÉMENT LEGARÉ et ANDRÉ BOUGAIEFL’Empire du sacre québécois
Étude sémiolinguistique d’un intensif populaire

Clément Legaré,
André Bougaief

Presses de l’Université
du Québec
1984, 286 pages

L’usage du sacre est aujourd’hui observable dans toutes les catégories sociales. Les Québécois sacrent de plus en plus librement. Pourquoi ? Pour suppléer aux déficiences des intensifs linguistiques officiels, expliquent les auteurs. Le sacre tente d’exprimer la passion inexprimable, la violence des sentiments et des émotions indicibles. Profanation du sacré à l’époque de la prédominance religieuse et cléricale, le sacre est devenu une habitude qui brise les normes du langage, transgresse les limites permises, afin d’accorder la langue à la vie quotidienne.

À l’aide des plus récents développements de la sémiotique et de la linguistique, les auteurs exposent la problématique du sacre qu’ils définissent comme un juron, distinct du blasphème, de la malédiction, de l’imprécation, du serment et de l’invocation.


The Delightful Perversity of Québec’s Catholic Swears

DAN NOSOWITZ, Atlas Obscura, May 26, 2016

The Canadian province has expletives like no other.

Québec is bilingual, but reluctantly. As a French province with small pockets of English, and a few larger pockets that will willingly use both languages, the signs, by law, are in French. The language on the street is French. Ordering food or browsing a store will likely involve some amount of standard conversational French, and should you get in trouble with the law, it’s going to be time to find a Francophile lawyer.

The profanity, though, is pure Québec.

Québec’s swearing vocabulary is one of the weirdest and most entertaining in the entire world. It is almost entirely made up of everyday Catholic terminology—not alternate versions, but straight-up normal words that would be used in Mass to refer to objects or concepts—that have taken on a profane meaning. Many languages have some kind of religious terminology wrapped into profanity (think of English’s “damn” or “goddammit”), but Quebec’s is taken to a totally different level.

The fact that the region has unique swears is not itself unusual. Expletives are a curiously organic construction; despite the taboos and restrictions around using them, they persist, indicating a weird discrepancy. They are bad, yet we must have them. They change over time; during the age of Shakespeare, the word “bastard” was so foul that it was sometimes censored as “b-d”. Yet now, in the U.S., it’s a low-level swear at worst. Different languages and cultures develop their own library of swear words, and just how that happens can tell you quite a bit about that culture.

“I have heard that people swear with the things they are afraid of,” says Olivier Bauer, a Swiss professor of religion who taught at the Université de Montréal and lived in the city for a decade. “So for English speaking people it’s sex, in Québec it is the church, and in France or Switzerland it is maybe more sexual or scatalogical.” Fear and power kind of tie together; swear words tend to be words that invoke something mysterious or scary or uncomfortable, and by using them we can tap into a bit of that power. (Yiddish, the swear words of which I grew up hearing, has about a dozen curses referring to the penis. I’m not sure which category that falls into.)

Québec French is mutually comprehensible with European French, but due to its isolation from Europe and geographical proximity to Anglophone Canada and the U.S. has developed into something a bit different. Without constant interaction with France (or Switzerland or Belgium, for that matter), Québec French has retained French words that have long since gone out of style in France, but has incorporated and mutated many English words that a Frenchman would likely not recognize. In France, a car would be referred to as a voiture, maybe an auto. In Québec, it’s a char, an ancient word coming from the same root as the word “chariot.”

Similarly, Québec has adopted whole bunches of North American English, but those aren’t just English words pronounced with a Québec accent; they are sometimes mutated and their meanings even change. Some are just spelled differently; moppe in Québec French means “mop,” and toune can mean a song, or a tune. “The noun blonde can be used on both sides of the Atlantic in the sense of a blonde-haired woman, but in Québec, it has the additional meaning of ‘girlfriend,'” says Felix Polesello, the proprietor of Quebec language blog OffQc. “For example, ma blonde means ‘my girlfriend.'”

Then there’s a phrase like this, which I saw on a friend’s neighbor’s front door once: “La doorbell est fuckée.” The word “fuck,” for the record, is fairly common in Québec, but isn’t really a swear; it’s a mutated form of an English, but it’s only barely rude, meaning “broken” or “messed up.”

Québec has few swears that you’d also find in France. Merde, maybe. I’ve heard enculer before, which means something like the verb “to fuck” and is usually paired with something else to enhance it. But the best swears are the sacres.

The sacres is the group of Catholic swears unique to Québec. There are many of them; the most popular are probably tabarnak (tabernacle), osti or hostie or estie (host, the bread used during communion), câlisse (chalice), ciboire (the container that holds the host), and sacrament (sacrament). These usually have some milder forms as well, slightly modified versions that lessen their blow. “For example, tabarnouche and tabarouette are non-vulgar versions of tabarnak, similar to ‘shoot’ and ‘darn’ in English,” says Polesello.

The sacres typically are interchangeable, rarely having any particular meaning by themselves. Most often you’ll hear them used as all-purpose exclamations. If a Québecois stubs his or her toe, the resulting swears might be “tabarnak, tabarnak!” instead of “fuck fuck fuck.” They can be inserted into regular sentences the way English swears can to vulgarly emphasize your statement. “For example, un cave means ‘an idiot,’ but un estie de cave means ‘a fucking idiot,'” says Polesello.

Because the words are largely just meaningless statements of rage, there is an interesting ability in Québec French to create fantastic new strings of profanity that are, basically, untranslatable. Essentially you can just list sacres, connecting them with de, forever. Crisse de câlisse de sacrament de tabarnak d’osti de ciboire!, you might say after the Canadiens fail to make the NHL playoffs. The closest English translation would be something like “Fucking fuck shit motherfucker cockface asshole!” Or thereabouts. But strings of profanity like that in American English, though not unheard of, are certainly not common. In Québec, letting loose with a string of angrily shouted Catholic terminology is something you’re fairly likely to hear at some point.

So how did Québec end up with such a specific brand of swearing? “Without a doubt, the social institution that exercised the greatest influence, and had the most impact on Québec, was the Roman Catholic Church,” writes Claude Bélanger, a historian at Montréal’s Marianapolis College. When Québec was founded, in the early 1600s, the French Catholic Church played a huge role in its creation, building cities, forcibly converting the First Nations peoples who lived there, and controlling all community services until France officially made Québec a French province in 1663. Québec was ceded to Great Britain after the Seven Years’ War in the mid-1700s, but the people of Québec continued to speak French and to take great pride in their French heritage.

Having a mostly secular government began to erode the popularity of the Catholic Church in Québec, until the Rebellions of 1837-1838. These were not dissimilar to the U.S. War of Independence, with the added wrinkles that English and French Canada were not especially friendly, and that the revolts failed. After the rebellions fell apart, martial law was declared in Montréal, and with turmoil all around them, the Québecois began to look to the organization that had always been there: the Church.

“I think the second half of the 19th century, that’s when it became omnipresent,” says Bauer. The number of Catholic congregations in Québec skyrocketed. The Church all but took over social services yet again, from education to marriage. The dominance of the Catholic Church in Québec went on far longer than anywhere else in North America, and indeed most places in Europe. Over 90 percent of the Quebec population regularly attended Catholic church services right up until 1960. Catholic newspapers flourished. Catholic schools became the vast majority of the sources of primary education in the province.

In 1960 that all changed; the election of Jean Lesage as the premier of Québec found the province beginning what would come to be known as the Quiet Revolution. Secularization began in earnest as education was wrenched out of the hands of the Church through various means (standardizing curriculums, replacing Catholic secondary education with a pre-college school system known as CEGEP), and industries ranging from energy to mining to forestry were created as public institutions, undermining the Church’s power.

This is all to say that the reason Québec developed the sacres is that in few other places was the grip of centralized religion quite so firm. But with the lessening prevalence of Catholicism in Québec, it’s not at all clear that the sacres will survive. “It’s still there but the young people like to use fuck, or son of a bitch, those are young kind of trendy, American slangs,” says Bauer. Even weirder: without the Church in their lives, some young people very literally do not know what the sacres mean. “Among the young generation nobody knows exactly what hostie or tabarnak is, but it’s still the heritage in Québec culture.” The younger generation may still use the words because their parents and grandparents use them, but some of their power is lost.

That’s totally unlike, say, “fuck,” which has been a powerful word for hundreds of years. The power of sex never lessens, but the Catholic Church? That can ebb and flow. At a certain point, there’s a possibility that the Québecois may decide that there’s nothing especially powerful about a tabernacle. And then tabarnak will be nothing more than a box.


Satanic Panic was initially issued by Spectacular Optical in a limited edition paperback during the summer of 2015. It swiftly sold out, and FAB Press has now taken on the world publishing rights. To celebrate this re-issue they have put together a very limited edition hardcover, for sale direct to FAB Press customers only, so take advantage of this rare opportunity to pick up this collector’s item while it is still available this second time round!


  • a limited edition hardback copy of Satanic Panic with an individually numbered Collector’s Edition title page plate,
  • an exclusive Satanic Panic T-shirt, courtesy of artist Mike McDonnell,
  • a paperback copy of the book.

A very limited number of Collector Packs are being issued, and due to the T-shirt being produced strictly to size and style requirements, this offer is valid strictly by Pre-Order FOR ONE WEEK ONLY!


Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s

“An electrifying descent into ‘80s-era cultural terror.”
– Mike McPadden, author of Heavy Metal Movies

In the 1980s, it seemed impossible to escape Satan’s supposed influence. Everywhere you turned, there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the “Satanic Panic,” not only sought to convince us of devils lurking behind the dials of our TVs and radios and the hellfire that awaited on book and video store shelves, it also created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, audio cassettes and literature. Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s offers an in-depth exploration of how a controversial culture war played out during the decade, from the publication of the memoir Michelle Remembers in 1980 to the end of the McMartin “Satanic Ritual Abuse” Trial in 1990.

Satanic Panic features new essays and interviews by 20 writers who address the ways the widespread fear of a Satanic conspiracy was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons & Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons, TV talk shows and even home computers. The book also features case studies on Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and Long Island “acid king” killer Ricky Kasso. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, the book captures the untold story of how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved.

“An often hilarious, sometimes terrifying view into the damage that can be caused when belief outweighs reason.”
– Daniel XIII, Famous Monsters of Filmland


‘PAUL CORUPE of Canuxploitation.com and Managing Editor of Spectacular Optical print editions made this great compilation of Satanic Panic-era Christian VHS tapes to coincide with our Satanic Panic book. We’ve shown parts of it at our book launch events over the last six months (Satanic Toast! Satanic Smurfs!), and now it’s free online for all to see and share!’ – Spectacular Optical


MMXV, Rapport annuel, bilan des opérations (December 31, 2015)
KIER-LA JANISSE and PAUL CORUPE launch Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (July 3, 2015)
Alban Hefin, Midsommar, Litha, Samradh, Vestalia, Solstitium, Solstice Été MMXV (June 21, 2015)
A new anthology book on how the fear of a Satanic conspiracy spread through 1980s pop culture
(June 15, 2015)
Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (March 31, 2015)

Les tabernacles du Québec des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (2016) de CLAUDE PAYER et DANIEL DROUINLes tabernacles du Québec
des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles

Claude Payer et Daniel Drouin

Les Publications du Québec
2016, 271 pages

Deux spécialistes, l’un restaurateur et l’autre historien de l’art, ont croisé leur expertise afin de faire partager à tous leurs découvertes. Il en résulte une histoire de la sculpture des xviie et xviiie siècles au Québec, vue à travers le meuble le plus précieux des églises. Certaines certitudes du passé sont remises en question. Comme jamais auparavant, de nouvelles filiations sont établies entre les oeuvres des artistes des régions de Québec, de Trois-Rivières, ainsi que de Montréal. La créativité des grandes familles de sculpteurs, telles les Levasseur et les Baillairgé, les Cirier, Liébert et Quévillon, est enfin appréciée à sa juste valeur.

Cet ouvrage, attendu depuis longtemps, constitue un outil rare et précieux pour les chercheurs comme pour les amateurs de tourisme religieux. Abondamment illustré – plus de 200 photographies dont la majorité, en couleurs, sont inédites –, ce livre inclut également un répertoire des 84 tabernacles complets disséminés sur le territoire québécois, mais également en Ontario et aux États-Unis.

Marquant l’aboutissement de plus de vingt années de recherche, cet ouvrage est considéré par le grand historien de l’art John R. Porter, qui en signe la postface, « comme une contribution majeure à l’histoire de la sculpture et des arts décoratifs en Nouvelle-France et après la Conquête ».


Il est devenu le juron le plus emblématique du Québec. Le tabernacle, ce meuble liturgique contenant le ciboire et ses hosties, attire le regard lorsque nous entrons dans une église. Le restaurateur en sculpture Claude Payer et l’historien de l’art Daniel Drouin nous présentent les plus anciens modèles québécois dans un ouvrage richement illustré à l’image de ces oeuvres d’art méconnues. Les deux passionnés ont répertorié 84 tabernacles fabriqués avant 1800, dont plus de la moitié est toujours en service. Il n’est pas rare de les retrouver à plus d’une centaine de kilomètres de leur lieu d’origine. C’est le cas du tabernacle des Récollets de Montréal, un « joyau » de style Louis XIV, qui orne aujourd’hui l’église de Bécancour. « Trop de ces oeuvres, pour la plupart de dessin original et de facture de haut niveau, ont disparu par ignorance et négligence, déplorent les auteurs de ce beau livre pointu. Il ne faut plus que ce soit le cas. »

Dave Noël
Le Devoir


Le patrimoine religieux dans l’Œuvre de MARC SÉGUIN (January 26, 2016)
Ne touchez pas à mon église! (2012) de BRUNO BOULIANNE (February 28, 2012)
Tranquillement, pas vite (1972) de GUY L. CÔTÉ (July 9, 2010)
Vouloir sauver des églises sans se faire d’illusions (July 7, 2010)
‘The Last Sacrifice of Rite’ by AISLINN LEGGETT (January 12, 2010)
«Sacrement» à Mange ta ville (November 12, 2009)
Les Croix de chemin au temps du bon Dieu (February 27, 2009)

Mauvaise langue (2016) de MARC CASSIVIMauvaise langue
Marc Cassivi

Une langue n’est pas une prison. On peut la protéger sans s’enfermer dans l’obsession du français, la crainte irraisonnée du bilinguisme et le refus obstiné de l’anglais. Le franglais n’est pas – et ne sera jamais – la langue commune des Québécois.

Les Chevaliers de l’Apocalypse linguistique s’imaginent que le franglais a envahi les rues de Montréal, rendant la métropole incompréhensible, invivable et infréquentable pour le commun des unilingues francophones. À en croire leur discours alarmiste, ce dialecte rébarbatif s’est imposé comme langue commune d’une génération insouciante de Québécois. Ces monomaniaques du français sont unis dans leur adoration fantasmée de la France et leur détestation obsessive de l’anglais, langue du Conquérant britannique, de l’envahisseur culturel américain et de l’oppresseur politique canadien. Selon eux, le péril linguistique est à nos portes.

Ce court manifeste se veut une réponse à l’hystérie de ces curés aux oreilles écorchées par le chiac de Lisa LeBlanc et le joual des personnages de Xavier Dolan. Pour le chroniqueur MARC CASSIVI, qui a grandi dans un milieu anglophone et vécu la menace de l’assimilation, il est grand temps que l’on revoie notre rapport souvent malsain à la langue anglaise. Le Québécois est maître chez lui, ainsi que l’avait souhaité Jean Lesage. Ce n’est pas le refrain en franglais d’une chanson des Dead Obies qui y changera quoi que ce soit.


La langue à terre (2013) de JEAN-PIERRE ROY & MICHEL BRETON (January 8, 2016)
“Le français, non merci” (January 27, 2016)
Between the Solitudes (1992) by ABBEY JACK NEIDIK (January 13, 2016)
Montréal New Wave (2016) de ÉRIK CIMON (February 26, 2016)
Québec Soft (1985) de JACQUES GODBOUT (June 24, 2011)

Québec Bashing : analyse du discours entourant l'affaire Maclean's (2015) de GENEVIÈVE BERNARD BARBEAU

Québec Bashing
Analyse du discours entourant l’affaire Maclean’s

Geneviève Bernard Barbeau

En septembre 2010, le magazine torontois Maclean’s publie un dossier intitulé “Quebec : The most corrupt province in Canada”. Un journaliste et un éditorialiste attribuent cet état de corruption selon eux avancé à la forte implication de l’État dans l’économie et plus encore, à la place qu’occupe le débat constitutionnel dans la province ; le temps qu’il consomme n’en laisserait guère pour une saine gestion des affaires publiques.

La réaction est vive : alors que la plupart des élus québécois décrient ces propos, y voyant un cas très net de Québec bashing, les réactions sont mitigées au sein de la population et dans les médias. Après sept mois de débats et de conflits, le Conseil de presse blâme finalement le magazine pour avoir manqué de rigueur dans ce dossier.

Mais en quoi exactement consiste le bashing? Sur quoi le Québec bashing repose-t-il? Quelles conséquences entraîne-t-il? Pourquoi certains voient-ils dans l’affaire Maclean’s un cas de Québec bashing alors que d’autres, non?

Geneviève Bernard Barbeau envisage cette controverse non pas comme un simple fait divers, mais bien comme un véritable événement révélateur de conflit social, fortement enraciné dans l’histoire. Au-delà du cas étudié, c’est le bashing en tant que pratique sociale qui est ici radiographié.


“Les Québécois possèdent d’immenses richesses mais, génération après génération, ils n’ont pas su exploiter pleinement ces dons à cause de l’aspect rétrograde de leur personnalité culturelle collective”

– Propos tenus par Pierre Elliott Trudeau, ancien premier ministre canadien, en février 1998 devant les médias – tirés de la liste d’exemples de Québec bashing qui recense des cas de Québec bashing observés dans les médias.


QC Bashing

*Quelques réactions anglophones à la proposition de la charte des valeurs québécoises, novembre 2013

“Don’t forget, any criticism is ‘Quebec bashing’. *sigh* Can’t wait to be done school and get out of this place”


L’invention d’une minorité: les Anglo-Québécois (1992) de JOSÉE LEGAULT (May 31, 2015)

L'Abbatiale de la
Liturgie Apocryphe

"The production of nervous force is directly connected with the diet of an individual, and its refining depends on the very purity of this diet, allied to appropriate breathing exercises.

The diet most calculated to act effectively on the nervous force is that which contains the least quantity of animal matter; therefore the Pythagorean diet, in this connection, is the most suitable.


The main object was to avoid introducing into the organism what Descartes called 'animal spirits'. Thus, all animals that had to serve for the nourishment of the priests were slaughtered according to special rites, they were not murdered, as is the case nowadays".