His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the sui juris Ukrainian Catholic Church, has issued a public letter on the dangerous situation in Ukraine. The letter is addressed to Conferences of Bishops throughout the world, as well as to the world's religious and political leaders, in addition to all people of good will. Calling on "the effective support of the global Christian community and support of all people of good will,"His Beatitude states: "The tragedy that Ukraine is experiencing today, due to military aggression, is a tragedy for all peoples, believers of all faiths, and all social groups."
Link to the letter of His Beatitude, in English only (PDF)
The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has conveyed to Pope Francis the condolences and prayers of all the Bishops of Canada following the tragic death of three members of his family in a traffic accident in Argentina. Mrs. Valeria Carmona, wife of the Pope's nephew Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, and their two young sons, José and Antonio, were both killed. The Holy Father's 38-year-old nephew (the son of the Pope's late brother Alberto) is currently in critical condition in hospital.
Link to the letter of Archbishop Durocher (PDF)
Dr. Patrick Fletcher, Senior Advisor for Theology and Social Doctrine with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has sent a description of a visit on August 19, 2014, by the Development and Peace delegation to Tacloban City and Palo in Leyte province. The delegation is in the Philippines, August 16 - 26, visiting projects supported by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) in communities that had been severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda.
Link to the report (PDF)
A delegation of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) August 16 - 26, 2014, is visiting projects supported by CCODP in Philippine communities that had been severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. The delegation includes: the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Archbishop of Vancouver; the Most Reverend Jean-Louis Plouffe, Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie; Mr. Pat Kennedy, President of the National Council of Development and Peace; Mr. Arthur Peters, Executive Director of Share Life of the Archdiocese of Toronto; Mrs. Fran Lucas, National Chairperson of Community Life of the Catholic Women's League of Canada; Sister Nida Fe Chavez, General Treasurer of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Toronto; and Dr. Patrick Fletcher, Senior Advisor for Theology and Social Doctrine with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). The group is accompanied by three staff from Development and Peace: Executive Director Mr. Michael Casey; Programs Officer Mr. Jess Agustin; and Communications Officer Ms. Kelly Di Domenico.
Link to the CCODP Media release
Report from Dr. Patrick Fletcher about a visit to a CCODP partner helping to organize a Philippine community of residents who have been living in shanties (PDF)
(CCCB – Ottawa)... To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (1964-2014), the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through its Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews and Interfaith Dialogue, has published a new popular resource, "A Church in Dialogue, Catholic Ecumenical Commitment". This new CCCB resource is intended for parishes, colleges and high schools as well as discussion groups. It provides introductory information about the Catholic Church's commitment to and involvement in ecumenism since the Second Vatican Council. The resource defines key terms and definitions which will assist those exploring ecumenism for the first time.
Pope Francis is making an Apostolic Journey to the Republic of Korea, August 13 to 18, 2014. The Canadian Catholic television channel Salt + Light TV is providing live broadcasts of his journey. The live coverage includes the celebrations for the 6th Asian Youth Day, the Beatification of Paul Yun Ji-Chung and companions, and a celebration of a Mass for peace and reconciliation. In order to know the full schedule of the special programming, please visit the Salt + Light Website.
The Most Reverend Pierre-André Fournier, Archbishop of Rimouski and President of the Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops (AECQ), released a statement on August 13, 2014, calling for prayers to end the conflicts in the Middle East. The Most Reverend Fred Henry, Bishop of Calgary, has written a recent article titled "Martyrdom in the Middle East". The Archdiocese of Québec is holding today, August 14 at 1:30 p.m., a news conference on what is being done by the Church in Canada to show solidarity with those living in the zones of conflict. The news conference will be broadcast live on the Web television channel of the Archdiocese of Québec, ECDQ.TV.
Link to the statement by Archbishop Fournier (in French only)
Link to the article by Bishop Henry
Link to ECDQ
In response to needs for emergency assistance and reconstruction in the Middle East, three Canadian Catholic agencies are collecting funds for the suffering people of Iraq, Gaza and Syria: the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), CNEWA Canada, and Aid to the Church in Need. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and Canadian dioceses are encouraging Catholics to support the three agencies in their work. The CCCB has prepared a summary of related projects and activities in which the agencies are engaged. In addition, the CCCB is encouraging Canadian Catholics to use and share information on the Middle East that is regularly provided by Caritas Internationalis. This international network of over 160 national Catholic charities, including the Canadian agency Development and Peace, serves the poor and needy of all faiths throughout the world. It also provides up-to-date reports on the Middle East on its website.
The Holy See's Press Office released today, August 13, 2014, a letter from the Holy Father to the General Secretary of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, with an urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway in Northern Iraq. In his letter, Pope Francis condemns the violence and encourages "all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter. "
The day before, on August 12, 2014, the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue issued a statement condemning the "dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq", and while also insisting "religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism is morally reprehensible."
Link to the Pope' letter
Link to the statement by the Pontifical Council (PDF)
Following the appeal by Pope Francis on August 7, 2014, and his Angelus message of July 20, the Holy See's Secretariat of State has transmitted an urgent message to the world's Catholic Bishops. In a letter received on August 8 by the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Bishops of Canada and their local Churches were invited "to unite with the Holy Father in steadfast prayer to invoke the gift of peace from the Holy Spirit."
The 2014 Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus was held in Orlando, Florida, August 5 to 7. His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, was one of the keynote speakers at the States Dinner. As in the previous years, the Canadian Catholic television channel Salt + Light TV was at the Supreme Convention to broadcast live its main events, including the States Dinner.
Link to the video archives of the address of Cardinal Lacroix
Vatican News has reported on August 7, 2014, that an appeal has been issued by the Holy Father in response to the violence raging in Iraq and the sufferings of its Christians. The same day, the French-language network of Vatican Radio summarized an interview with the Most Reverend Rabban al Qas, Chaldean Bishop of Amadiyah and Zaku, on Christians who are fleeing Iraq.
Link to news of the Pope's appeal
Link to the interview with Bishop Rabban al Qas (in French only)