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Archbishop V. James Weisgerber elected President of Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

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weisgerber.jpgThe Catholic Bishops of Canada at their Plenary Assembly elected Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg, as their President.

Following the annual meeting, he will succeed Most Reverend André Gaumond, Archbishop of Sherbrooke, beginning a two-year term of office as President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).  Archbishop Weisgerber well knows the functioning of the CCCB Executive Committee since he has previously served as Co-Treasurer and Vice President.

Also elected were the three other members of the Executive Committee: Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, Bishop of Baie-Comeau, as Vice President; and also Most Reverend James M. Wingle, Bishop of St. Catharines, and Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, as Co-Treasurers.

A first in its history

For the first time in its history of Plenary Assemblies, the Bishops of Canada invited a representative of the Muslim community to address them at the opening of their second day.  It has become the custom that the Bishops invite a non-Catholic faith leader to share reflections.

In his address, Imam Dr. Zijad Delic, Executive Director of the Canadian Islamic Congress, focused on the numerous similarities between the two religions, in particular their common heritage of faith in the one God.

He invited religious leaders to be disciples of reconciliation and understanding in a time of globalization. "As members of the human family, and as people of faith, Muslims and Catholics are to work for the common good, justice and solidarity," he said.

Quoting from the message of Pope John Paul II for the 2002 World Day of Peace, Imam Dr. Delic said that Muslims and Catholics must promote forgiveness.  "It is an essential component of our relations, present and future, as suggested by Pope John Paul II.  There cannot be peace without justice. Nor justice without forgiveness," he said.

The Muslim speaker concluded by recalling for the Bishops the importance of "an open door, an open hand, an open heart, an open mind and even in a certain sense an open creed."

 

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Bishop Robert Harris, of Saint John, discuss with Imam Zijad Delic

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 20 2009  
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According to Statistics Canada the number of Catholics is close to 13 Million or 44 per cent of the country’s total population.