QUEBEC—A crucifix is set to return to a Quebec City hospital after being removed following a complaint.
The Hopital du Saint-Sacrement said Wednesday it would restore the religious sign at the behest of the provincial Health Department.
The crucifix was expected to be put back up later in the day when the hospital was not as busy.
“At the request of the Health Department, the CHU will reinstall the crucifix at the entry of Saint-Sacrement,” the hospital’s communications department said in a statement.
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette denied his department had anything to do with the hospital’s about-face, while Premier Philippe Couillard said he didn’t believe the withdrawal of the crucifix was justified.
“Being open and tolerant does not mean erasing our heritage and history,” Couillard said.
More than 13,000 people signed a petition to get the crucifix back, while the hospital said it received nearly 600 calls from people unhappy with its removal.
The crucifix will be accompanied by a temporary note explaining its historic importance, while a permanent plaque will be put up in the next few months.
Meanwhile, a Quebec City man was arrested Tuesday night in connection for allegedly uttering threats against the hospital for removing the religious sign.
The hospital’s change of heart came a day after the Archbishop of Quebec expressed disappointment at the institution’s decision to withdraw the crucifix from its premises after it received a complaint.
Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix voiced his disapproval Tuesday and said the move constituted a lack of respect toward the history of the hospital, which was founded in 1927 by the Sisters of Charity of Quebec.
On Wednesday, Lacroix welcomed the about-turn.
“This is a wise decision that respects the heritage, the historic and the religious aspects of the crucifix,” he said.