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Rebel Priest in the Time of Tyrants
Rebel Priest in the Time of Tyrants

Rebel Priest in the Time of Tyrants

Mission to Haiti, Ecuador and Chile


230 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, PDF, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $24.95)

Publication Date: June 2015

ISBN 9781771860390

Rights: WOR X CA

Baraka Books (Jun 2015)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $24.95


Claude Lacaille witnessed up close the oppression and poverty in Haiti, Ecuador, and Chile where dictators and predatory imperialists ruled. Like other advocates of Liberation Theology, he saw it as his duty to join the resistance, particularly against Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet. But the dictators were not alone, as they often enjoyed the support of the Vatican, sometimes tacit, but then brazenly open under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He began writing this book in Chile where thousands shed blood simply because they defended victims of dictatorship, opposed rapacious policies and economic doctrines, consoled the downtrodden, and breathed new hope and courage into a people who desperately needed it. These men and women remain an inspiration for those who still believe in a better world. This is the story of Claude Lacaille's experience from 1965 through 1986 in the slums and squats in the Caribbean and South America and also what it really means to have a preferential option for the poor. His book shows how liberation theology and spirituality enkindled the life and the work of an ordinary Quebec missionary.


"The secret lies in the metaphor, the lovely 'closing the windows that John XXIII had opened to let fresh air in.' Because the entire book is beautifully written, and admirably translated by Casey Roberts, making its thoughtful points throughout in wonderful, poetic language . . . . As Lacaille recounts these colourful missions, the book really does come to life. There is a potted political history of South America. There are masses in Creole, touching anecdotes, and crises of faith ('People are starving to death and I'm singing masses!'). There are visits to Quebec's Inuit and the potato fields of New Brunswick. And, most strikingly, there is wrenching poverty, political prisoners, terror, repression, activism, and resistance in Chile. A fascinating, inspiring read." —Peter McCambridge,

"The author's accounts of his ministry contain some humour (soldiers who mistake the Bible for a local revolutionary document), much sadness, and tragedy more real than any Hollywood narrative . . . . Lacaille's autobiography has all the ingredients of great fiction, which makes it more astonishing as truth." —Matthew R. Anderson, Montreal Review of Books

"Lacaille's story is at times harrowing. At other times, it is heroic, although he would most certainly deny any heroism . . . . Rebel Priest is a valuable document. It provides a personal story of a movement in the Catholic Church that stood up against monopoly capitalism and dictatorship." —Ron Jacobs,

Author Biography

Claude Lacaille is a priest of the Foreign Mission Society (Société des Missions-Étrangères) and a Biblicist. He lived and worked first in Haiti and Ecuador from 1965 to 1974 and then in Chile from 1975 to 1986. Prevented from returning to Chile by both Chilean and Ecclesiastical authorities, Claude Lacaille continued to fight for justice and freedom. He lives in Trois-Rivières, Québec. Miguel d'Escoto, M. M., is a Nicaraguan diplomat, politician, and priest of the Maryknoll Society of Missionaries. A supporter of Liberation Theology, he served as Nicaragua's Minister for Foreign Affairs with the Sandinista Government from 1979 until 1990. Publicly chastised by Pope John Paul II, he was suspended by the Vatican in 1985. Pope Francis lifted the suspension August 2014. He presided over the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (2008–2009). Casey Roberts is an award-winning translator and editor. He is the recipient of the John Glassco Prize awarded by the Canadian Literary Translators Association for his translation of the YA novel Break Away 1, Jessie on My Mind. He lives in Montreal.