On Holy Thursday, April 17, 2014, in preparation for Passover and Easter, the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), wrote Prime Minister Stephen Harper about a number of CCCB concerns on "issues and places where humanity is suffering and at risk". In his introduction, Archbishop Durocher notes that "our times are filled with serious challenges, including the economy, employment, the environment, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and personal and national security." "These issues," the President continues, "have profound impact on our human life and dignity, and are all the more complex by being so intertwined, not only with each other but also with their underlying moral and spiritual dimensions."
The 29th World Youth Day was celebrated on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, April 13, 2014, both in Rome and in dioceses around the world. The Message by the Holy Father was on the theme "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5.3). During the Mass in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope announced that Blessed John Paul II, who will be canonized this coming April 27, will be the patron saint for World Youth Days. Pope Francis also confirmed that he will meet with Asian youth on August 15, 2014, as part of his apostolic visit to South Korea.
Link to the Holy Father's Message
Life is stronger than death! This is the fundamental conviction of my Christian faith. It is based on a fact: Jesus' disciples were radically transformed only a few days after his death.
Let's put ourselves in their place. The one in whom they had hoped has died, and his death was shameful. Accused of encouraging revolt against the government, Jesus was tortured, publicly humiliated, and crucified like a most vile criminal. A phrase from the Jewish Scriptures must have haunted them: "Anyone hung on a tree is under God's curse" (Deuteronomy 21.23).
On Thursday, April 17, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), the Canadian Catholic television channel Salt + Light TV will feature the premiere of its new documentary on the Holy Father, titled The Francis Effect. The documentary includes interviews with a number of Bishops, including His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto.
Link to watch a preview of the documentary
Catholic News Service (CNS) has issued a news story on the recent International Conference on Combatting Human Trafficking: Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership, which was held in Vatican City, April 9-10, 2014. The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), participated in the meeting which brought together representatives of the Church and of police services from around the world. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were represented by Inspector Andre Gauthier from its International Liaison Coordination Center - Human Smuggling Project Investigations.
The American current affairs program "60 Minutes" on CBS News which aired Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014, provides a special report on the "Francis effect" on the papal ministry. This segment on Pope Francis after his first year in the Petrine office includes an extensive interview with His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada.
Part I of the special report
Part II of the special report
The joint appeal by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has now raised $11,991, 932 as of March 31, 2014. The joint appeal was launched November 12, 2013. In addition to the contributions by dioceses, the Government of Canada announced April 3 it will provide CCODP with $2 million in matching contributions to help up to 6,840 people in the Samar province of the Philippines. In a second news release the same day, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that individual Canadians contributed over $85 million in eligible donations which the Government of Canada will match through its Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.
Link to the Development and Peace Website
The Catholic Connection in Restorative Justice (CCinRJ) Network will hold its first conference September 19-21, 2014, at the Chateau Mont-Sainte-Anne, Beaupré (east of Quebec City). The theme will be: A passion for compassion - A dialogue of the Catholic family on restorative justice ministry in Canada.
More information on this conference
The Canadian Catholic television channel Salt + Light TV has arranged a special programming schedule for Holy Week and Easter, April 13 to 20, 2014, covering the celebrations by Pope Francis in Rome. A link to the special programming is accessible on the home page of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Link to the special broadcasting schedule
The second International Conference on Human Trafficking, which took place at the Vatican April 9-10, 2014, ended with the visit of Pope Francis and his address to the participants. A joint statement was also released during a news conference presided by His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, who chaired the human trafficking conference. The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), as well as Inspector André Gauthier of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), participated in the international conference. During his stay in Rome, Archbishop Durocher was interviewed by Vatican Radio on how the Church in Canada is engaged against human trafficking.
Link to the address of the Holy Father
Link to the final statement
Link to the interview of Archbishop Durocher on Vatican Radio (in French only)
Why do we need a Saviour? What is salvation? These are some of the questions that are explored in this reflection offered by the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). Not intended to be a dogmatic or systematic treatment of the issue, the text is provided as an opportunity for theological reflection on the meaning of the Paschal Mystery and on the role of Christ in our salvation, as we celebrate our Lord's Passion, Death, and Resurrection. In order to assist readers in studying and discussing the text, it is followed by a Study Outline that sums up the key points made in the reflection.
Pope Francis has convoked the second International Conference on Human Trafficking, which will take place April 9 and 10, 2014, at the Holy See. The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), will be representing the Bishops of Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have also delegated a representative, Inspector André Gauthier of the International Liaison Coordination Center - Human Smuggling Project Investigations. This International Conference, under the responsibility of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and organized by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, is being chaired by His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.