To mark the end of Ramadan (Id al-Fitr), the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Muslims a message entitled Towards a Genuine Fraternity between Christians and Muslims. The message has been published on the Pontifical Council’s website.
During a homily on July 7, 2014, in the Chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where he stays, Pope Francis expressed his sorrow for the “sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse”. As reported by Vatican Radio, the Holy Father, speaking in his native Spanish, begged forgiveness, not just for those who he said behaved like "a sacrilegious cult", betraying their mission and profaning the very image of God, but also for the sins of omission of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of sexual abuse. The Pope praised the courage of those who spoke up and “shed light on a terrible darkness in the life of the Church”. He said he would not tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual and he said Bishops must “foster the protection of minors and they will be held accountable”.
The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops has released the working document ("Instrumentum Laboris") for the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Its theme is The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization. The document was released this past June 26 during a Vatican press conference.
As summer begins, this is a special moment for families who are beginning their holidays following the school year. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) continues to post possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the Sunday liturgy with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. In order to help families and parishes pray and give thanks during this summer season, the proposed texts for each Sunday of the month of July 2014 include suggestions from the 14th to the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 6 to July 27). As usual, these suggestions for homilies and prayers can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of July are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section "Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB".
The Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is preparing a series of resources to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Unitatis Redintegratio. The actual date that the Decree on Ecumenism was issued by the Second Vatican Council was November 21, 1964. However, the Commission is releasing the following anniversary resources now, to assist dioceses, parishes, institutes and communities of consecrated life, and other groups begin planning their own celebrations of the Decree:
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) is inviting donations in response to the severe crisis in South Sudan. The situation in that new nation has been rapidly deteriorating since last December and there is now a humanitarian crisis. Over one million people have been displaced, leaving hundreds of thousands as refugees, and over three million are facing severe food shortages. Development and Peace has been supporting peace and reconciliation projects in the region for several years, and will continue to follow the situation closely. The CCODP is working with Caritas South Soudan and the Society of Daughters of Mary Immaculate to develop a response that will aim to foster the conditions necessary for peace, good governance and reconciliation.
Link to the CCODP website with an updated online donations form
On June 21, 2014, Pope Francis appointed Father Réal Tremblay, C.Ss.R., as President of the Pontifical Academy of Theology for a five-year term. Father Tremblay is professor emeritus of Fundamental Moral Theology at the Alfonsianium Academy in Rome. From 2002 to 2009 he was an advisor to the Pontifical Academy of Theology, and has been a member since 2009. He was born in Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, and did his early studies at Laval University. The then Professor Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope emeritus Benedict XVI) directed his doctoral thesis at the University of Regensburg, Germany. In addition to having also served as a consultor with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Father Tremblay for a number of years was the ecclesiastical advisor to the Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See.
Link to the Academy
The Bouchard Foundation of the Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière held its annual fundraising banquet this past month, with the Most Reverend Yvon Joseph Moreau, O.C.S.O, Bishop of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, as its Honorary President. The banquet is always preceded by naming new members of the Ordre Painchaud, a distinction given in the name of the College's founder, Father Charles-François Painchaud. This honorary order recognizes the work and involvement of former students who have made a difference in their communities. Bishop Moreau was made a member of the Ordre Painchaud at the same time as the Honorable Johanne April, a judge of the Quebec Superior Court;, Mr. André Gagnon, a well-known international pianist; and Dr. Yvan Poitras, a dental surgeon who is also founder and director of the Canadian Implant Institute.
Link to the report in the Diocesan Bulletin (in French only)
Pope Francis will preside at a Mass of Thanksgiving for the recent canonizations of Saint François de Laval and Saint Marie of the Incarnation on Sunday, October 12, 2014, at 10:00 am (Rome time), in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome. His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, has also announced that a pilgrimage is being organized in France and Italy, October 5-14, "In the steps of Saint François de Laval and Saint Marie of the Incarnation".
On June 5, 2014, during the annual spring convocation of Campion College, the Jesuit university college federated with the University of Regina, the Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop Emeritus of Winnipeg, received the St. Edmund Campion Medal for being a "strong advocate for the promotion of social justice, particularly for the advancement of Aboriginal Peoples". According to the College's website, "The St. Edmund Campion Medal is awarded to individuals whose life and activities have exemplified in an outstanding way the service of faith and promotion of justice — ideals embedded in the Jesuit philosophy of education at the College."
Link to the media release
His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, will take possession of his titular church in Rome onJune 22, 2014. The church is San Giuseppe all'Aurelio. Traditionally, Cardinals are each assigned a particular church in Rome, although today they no longer participate in managing these churches. Cardinal Lacroix was elevated to the College of Cardinals during the Consistory that took place in Vatican City on February 22, 2014. Pope Francis had announced the nomination of the new Cardinals on January 12, 2014. Archbishop Lacroix is the eighth Cardinal in the history of the Archdiocese of Québec and the 17th Cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church in Canada.
The Most Reverend William Terrence McGrattan will be installed as Bishop of Peterborough at St. Peter-and-Chains Cathedral, Peterborough, June 23, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. When he was appointed Bishop of Peterborough by the Holy Father on April 8, 2014, Bishop McGrattan was then Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto. The Most Reverend Nicola De Angelis, C.F.I.C., had been responsible for the Diocese of Peterborough for the past 12 years. He offered his resignation to the Holy Father when reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law. Bishop McGrattan's installation will be live-streamed on Salt + Light TV Website, and then broadcast on its TV network Wednesday, June 25 – at 9:00 pm & 1:00 am, with a repeat on Thursday, June 26 at 1:30 pm. The local TV channel COGECO will also air the celebration by carrying the Salt + Light feed.
Link for the live broadcasting on Salt + Light TV