Statements and letters
Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization
Pope Benedict XVI presided at the opening of the Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. The ceremony took place in Rome on October 7, 2012, in Saint Peter’s Square. Four Bishops from Canada participated in the opening as members of the Synod. They had been elected as delegates of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). The four were the Most Reverend Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec City; the Most Reverend Brian Dunn, Bishop of Antigonish; the Most Reverend François Lapierre, P.M.É., Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe; and the Most Reverend John Corriveau, O.F.M. Cap, Bishop of Nelson. The two CCCB substitute delegates were the Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, and the Most Reverend Anthony Mancini, Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth.
Among the Synod experts was one Canadian woman religious: Sister Gill Goulding, C.J., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality at Regis College of the University of Toronto. In addition, the Holy See appointed Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., CEO of Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation, as the press secretary for English-speaking media during the Synod.
Major Canadian delegation in Rome for the Canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
The Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI during a solemn Mass in Saint Peter's Square in Rome, October 21, 2012. Saint Kateri is the first Indigenous woman from North America to be canonized. Approximately 1500 Canadian pilgrims participated in the celebrations in Rome, the majority from the First Nations and other Indigenous communities, as well as 17 Canadian Bishops. These included His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and Bishop Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., of Saint-Jean-Longueuil. As the Bishop of the territory which is now the Canadian diocese where Blessed Kateri lived and died, Bishop Gendron had a key role in organizing the celebrations marking her canonization.
National celebration commemorates the Canonization of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the most recent Canadian Saint
The national celebration of the Canonization of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Indigenous woman from North America to be canonized, took place on November 4, 2012, at Saint Joseph Oratory in Montreal. The Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and Co-Treasurer of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), presided. A number of other Canadian Bishops concelebrated. These included the Most Reverend Richard Smith of Edmonton, President of the CCCB; the Most Reverend Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal; the Most Reverend Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V., Bishop Emeritus of Saint-Jean-Longueuil; and the Most Reverend Louis Dicaire, Auxiliary Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil. Special guests and representatives from the First Nations were also present including representatives from the community of Kahnawake where Saint Kateri lived and died. The members of the CCCB Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council also participated.
Annual Visit of the Presidency to Rome
A delegation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) was in Rome, November 7 to 18, 2012, for the annual meetings with officials from the Holy See. The members of the delegation were the CCCB President, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton, and the CCCB Vice President, the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau. The two Archbishops were received by the Holy Father in a private audience.
Bishops across Canada celebrate the papal ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
As His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI prepared to resign from the Petrine Ministry on February 28, 2013, Bishops across Canada organized special events to celebrate his pontificate.
On Thursday, February 28, the Archdiocese of Edmonton hosted an historic celebration of a Mass of Thanksgiving for the gift and ministry of Pope Benedict XVI. The Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), was joined by about 20 other Bishops from across Western Canada and the North, who were in Edmonton for the annual meeting of the Western Assembly of Catholic Bishops.
A number of other Canadian dioceses also organized special events to celebrate the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, including the Archdiocese of Vancouver, the Archdiocese of Toronto, the Archdiocese of Ottawa, the Archdiocese of Gatineau, and the Archdiocese of Quebec City.
CCCB President reflects on Petrine ministry in welcoming delegates to Continental Meeting of National Directors of Pontifical Mission Societies
The Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies from all of Latin and North America at the opening of their Continental Meeting on March 11, 2013, in Montreal. This was the first time such a meeting was held in Canada. “We are all well aware that we gather as the Conclave to elect the next Successor of the Apostle Peter is about to open. Therefore, as your Congress begins, we are given an opportune moment to reflect upon the Petrine ministry and its significance for the mission of the Church to which you, as National Directors, are particularly dedicated,” Archbishop Smith told the delegates.
Habemus Papam! Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., elected the 265th Successor of Saint Peter, taking the name Pope Francis
The Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), sent an immediate letter of congratulations to Pope Francis on the day of his election as pastor of the universal Church. At the same time, Archbishop Smith released a public “message of welcome”, greeting the news of the papal election “with joy and gratitude”.
“I joyfully offer our sincerest congratulations, highest esteem, and loving obedience to you as Bishop of Rome, Successor of the Apostle Peter, Supreme Pontiff, and head of the College of Bishops,” the CCCB President said in his letter to the new Pope. The letter was on behalf of all the Roman and Eastern Catholic Bishops of Canada and in union with Catholic clergy and faithful, including the members of institutes for consecrated life and societies of apostolic life.
In his letter, the CCCB President also recalled that the Church is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. During it, he noted, “the Council Fathers solemnly affirmed the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his unique place in the communion of Bishops.” The CCCB President stated that the “Bishops of Canada now extend that same deference to Your Holiness, and pledge to you our loyalty and support.”
‘BE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA IN THEIR MANY SUFFERINGS’ - CCCB joint emergency campaign with Development and Peace
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) launched a joint campaign to raise emergency aid for Syrian refugees. The revenues collected will assist the extensive work in the Middle East by Catholic charities and development agencies, particularly Caritas Internationalis.
This special joint emergency campaign for Syria began Sunday, 30 June 2013, and continued throughout the summer. It culminated with a day of prayer and fasting for the people of Syria and all the Middle East on Saturday, 14 September 2013, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Over 1,000 Canadian youth go to Rio for World Youth Day 2013
Young pilgrims from all over the world were in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23-28, 2013, to participate in the 28th World Youth Day (WYD). This was the first WYD in the papacy of Pope Francis who travelled to Brazil, July 22-29, on his first apostolic voyage outside Italy since his election. Over a thousand Canadian young pilgrims attended this international gathering. Its theme was "Go and Make Disciples of All Nations". Following the example of the 2011 WYD in Madrid, the Canadian pilgrims again gathered for a national celebration.
In addition to the 1,153 young people, eight Bishops were part of the Canadian delegation, including the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton. Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B, CEO of Salt + Light Television and former National Director of Canada's World Youth Day in 2002, was the CCCB World Youth Day coordinator for the Canadian delegation to Brazil. Father Rosica had also been the CCCB coordinator for the Canadian delegation to the Madrid WYD.
Archbishop Durocher speaks on ‘the Church and the media’ at national conference on New Evangelization and Communications
The recent national bilingual conference on New Evangelization and Communications featured a panel with the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and Vice President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and Mr. Pierre Maisonneuve, former journalist with Radio-Canada (the French network of CBC). The panel was broadcasted by Salt+Light TV and is now available on YouTube. Three other Bishops were among the principal speakers for the two-day conference: the Most Reverend Brian Dunn, Bishop of Antigonish, the Most Reverend François Lapierre, P.M.É., Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe, and the Most Reverend Thomas Dowd, Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal. The conference, organized by the Association of Roman Catholic Communicators of Canada (ARCCC) and the Quebec Catholic organization Communications et Société, took place May 8-10, 2013, in Montreal.
2013 National Week for Life and the Family -- celebrations across the country
Dioceses throughout Canada celebrated the first National Week for Life and the Family, which the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) had proposed be held May 12-19, 2013. Each diocese decided whether and how to celebrate this CCCB initiative. Among the celebrations were Quebec Family Week and diocesan gatherings across the country. A number of dioceses prepared special resources for their parishes and movements. These regional and diocesan materials on life and the family included a pastoral letter by the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, a pastoral letter by the Bishops of Manitoba, and materials published by individual dioceses -- Edmonton, Halifax-Yarmouth, Hamilton, Quebec City, Saint Boniface, Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.
The Second Vatican Council: What was it and why is it important today?
October 11, 2012, was the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. To commemorate this, the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) published a pastoral letter titled The Second Vatican Council: What was it and why is it important today?
Its publication was part of the many celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary, including a celebration in Rome presided by Pope Benedict XVI.
In its pastoral letter, the CCCB Commission for Doctrine dealt with the “what” and the “why” of Vatican II and its continuing importance for the Church, as well as regarding the Council documents themselves. Among the principal documents of the Council, the Commission noted the four most important (known as “Constitutions”): Sacrosanctum Concilium (on the Liturgy), Lumen Gentium (on the Church), Dei Verbum (on the Word of God), and Gaudium et Spes (on the Church in the Modern World). The Commission pointed out how these and other Vatican II documents continue to impact the lives of Catholics today.
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CCCB issues list of pastoral and practical recommendations in Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini of Pope Benedict XVI
The Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) posted on the CCCB Website a text focusing on the pastoral and practical applications of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, including a complete listing of the various recommendations found throughout the Exhortation. The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI had published his Post-Synodal text in September 2010, following the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. This resource of the Commission for Doctrine is available only on-line on the CCCB Website.
Building a New Culture – Central Themes in Recent Church Teaching on the Environment
The Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has outlined eight central themes in recent Church teaching on the environment. “These reflect on how a Catholic approach to economic questions, social justice, and environmental questions are necessarily viewed in relation to each other,” the Episcopal Commission stated in its text.
The citations in the document are from various messages, speeches, homilies and Encyclicals of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Although Pope Francis is not specifically quoted in the document, the Holy Father had already spoken about the environment in his first speeches and homilies.
The eight central themes identified by the CCCB Commission for Justice and Peace are the following: our creation in God’s image; creation’s intrinsic order; the relationship of “human ecology” to environmental ecology; responsible stewardship; the morality of caring for the environment; solidarity; creation and spirituality; and necessary responses to environmental problems.
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The Light of Faith: first Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis
After only four months since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis issued his first Encyclical Letter, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith). The Encyclical on faith is addressed to Bishops, priests and deacons, consecrated persons, and the lay faithful. It is divided into four chapters: “We Have Believed in Love”; “Unless You Believe, You Will Not Understand”; “I Delivered to You What I Also Received”; and “God Prepares a City for Them”. In the introduction, the Holy Father explains: “In God’s gift of faith, a supernatural infused virtue, we realize that a great love has been offered us, a good word has been spoken to us, and that when we welcome that word, Jesus Christ the Word made flesh, the Holy Spirit transforms us, lights up our way to the future and enables us joyfully to advance along that way on wings of hope.” The preliminary draft of this Encyclical had almost been completed by Benedict XVI when he was still Pope, but Pope Francis added his own “further contributions” to the initial draft. Printed copies of the Encyclical Letter are available from CCCB Publications.
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Ordo - Liturgical Calendar 2013-2014
The ORDO, or liturgical calendar, is an essential tool for Bishops, priests, deacons, religious, parish workers, liturgy committees, and teachers. It is a great resource for anyone who wants to follow the liturgical year or pray the Liturgy of the Hours. The ORDO provides full liturgical information and explanatory notes for each day in the liturgical year, from the beginning of Advent to the end of Ordinary Time.
All those involved with liturgy, whether in parish or school settings, find this an invaluable reference tool. The pastoral notes at the beginning of the book contain a wealth of information and offer practical ideas and suggestions to enhance the liturgy for the believing community’s daily worship. Page numbers refer to the Roman Missal for Canada. The “day headers” make each day easy to find. The ORDO makes a perfect desk calendar for sacristy, prayer corner, or office. The ORDO is filled with pastoral notes which are organized with an alphabetical subject index.
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CCCB Directory 2013
The CCCB Directory is the only official source for the most current biographical, statistical, and contact information for the key representatives of the Catholic Church in Canada. Complete, accurate and bilingual listings presented in an accessible format.
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Statements and letters:
Crises in the Middle East: Canadian Church leaders write to the Prime Minister
The leaders of all the 24 member Churches of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), including the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), signed a joint letter to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper about the ongoing crises in the Middle East. In their letter, the Church leaders express their concerns about the humanitarian tragedy in Syria, the efforts toward a democratic transition in Egypt, the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and rising tensions within and among the countries in the region.
Also among the signatories was the Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak, O.S.B.M., Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of the country’s Ukrainian Catholics. The Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, as well as the CCCB, are two of the 24 members of the Canadian Council of Churches, which includes Churches and ecclesial communities from all the country’s major Christian traditions.
G8 Summit: CCCB President writes to the Prime Minister of Canada
On the occasion of the G8 Summit that took place in May 2013, in the United Kingdom, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), wrote to the Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. In his letter, Archbishop Smith invited Mr. Harper and all the leaders of the G8 nations to put the protection of the poor and assistance to developing countries at the center of their meeting. “Your focus on agriculture and nutrition ahead of the G8 Meeting is timely. In a world that has made great strides in improving food production and distribution, far too many of God’s children still go to bed hungry or suffer from a lack of nutrition, a tragedy that has lifelong consequences for health and educational achievement.”
The same text was also sent to each of the national leaders of all the G8 countries, signed by the President of their respective Episcopal Conferences. In addition to the CCCB, the following Episcopal Conferences were involved: England and Wales; France; Germany; Ireland; Italy; Japan; the Russian Federation; Scotland, and the United States of America, as well as the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community.
CCCB President writes to the Prime Minister of Canada and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
In preparation for their meeting on January 11, 2013, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), wrote to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper and National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo to assure them of the prayers and encouragement of the Bishops of Canada. “We trust your discussions will contribute to a process that will address the concerns of all Indigenous People in Canada – First Nations, Inuit, and Metis,” the letter stated.