(CCCB-Ottawa)... A delegation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is currently in Rome, November 30 to December 12, 2015, for the annual meetings with a number of dicasteries of the Holy See. The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and CCCB President, is leading the delegation, which includes the Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and CCCB Vice President, and Msgr. Frank Leo, Jr., C.S.S., CCCB General Secretary. This is the first time that Msgr. Leo participates in the Conference's annual visit since becoming General Secretary on November 1st. During their visit, the CCCB delegates will also be received by Pope Francis in a private audience on December 3. The delegation likewise plans to attend the official beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy as Pope Francis opens the Holy Door in Saint Peter's Basilica on December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. They will also participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by the Holy Father in the Basilica on December 12, when Pope Francis will entrust the American continent to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.
(CCCB – Ottawa)... His Holiness Pope Francis today named the Reverend Héctor Felipe Vila as Bishop of the Diocese of Whitehorse. At the time of his appointment, he was Rector of Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Toronto. Bishop-elect Vila succeeds the Most Reverend Gary Gordon who was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria on June 14, 2014. Bishop Gordon had served as Apostolic Administrator of Whitehorse until he was installed as Bishop of Victoria on August 28, 2014. Since then, the Reverend Kieran Kilcommons, M.H.A., has been Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Whitehorse.
Ottawa, ON – Today, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus (CRC) convened the first national, bilateral dialogue between Catholics and Jews in Canada.
The organizations launched this initiative as part of a joint celebration of the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Declaration issued by the Second Vatican Council which rejected antisemitism and underscored the importance of the Jewish roots of Christianity. The first dialogue session involved a combination of clergy and scholars, with six-person delegations from each faith community. Themes addressed included the substantial role of Nostra Aetate in transforming Catholic perceptions of the Jewish community, the deep significance of the State of Israel to the Jewish people, and the importance of acknowledging painful history while embracing mutual respect and working together to build a common future.
The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), was interviewed by Deacon Pedro Guevara Mann on November 13, 2015, as part of Salt + Light TV's series "Perspectives". Bishop Crosby speaks about belonging to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and on the significance of being a missionary Bishop, as well as on the importance of religious communities being present in the Diocese of Hamilton.
Link to Perspectives
I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Minister for the Environment and Climate Change. On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, I assure you of our prayers and our earnest hope to be able to collaborate with you and with all the Government of Canada.
Link to the letter (PDF)
The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, His Eminence Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, has released the Pontifical Council's annual message for the Sikh celebration of Guru Nanak Jayanti, which will be celebrated this year on November 25. The message is entitled "Christians and Sikhs: Nurturing together families as true centres of humanity".
Link to the Message (PDF)
The English Sector Office for Evangelization and Catechesis of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has published the first issue of On Good Soil, a new electronic newsletter. This new resource is intended to support those who work as diocesan directors of adult faith formation, parish leaders, and all those who journey in faith with adults seeking to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. On Good Soil is available on the webpage of the Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis, as well as on the new webpage for the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis.
Link to the newsletter On the Good Soil
The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has sent a letter conveying condolences and prayers to His Eminence André Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, following the tragic attacks that occurred in Paris, November 13, 2015. In his letter, Bishop Crosby writes that, in union with Pope Francis, Cardinal Vingt-Trois and the other Bishops of France, "we join our voices with those of other religious leaders who remind the world that peace, respect for the human person, and integral human development remain essential criteria for all religions and their faithful."
The 2015 Week of Restorative Justice is November 15 to 22. The Most Reverend Gary Gordon, Bishop of Victoria, has issued a message titled "Restorative Justice and Beyond: A Horizon of Mercy". Bishop Gordon is the Liaison Bishop of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops with Catholics involved in pastoral ministry in correctional institutions. In his letter, he writes: "Restorative justice builds a culture of hope because its fundamental starting point is the dignity of every person. It seeks to provide inclusion for those individuals, families and communities who have been harmed by crime. Restorative justice is an itinerary, a route to reinstatement." As well, The Church Council on Justice and Corrections has suggested possible Homiletic Notes for the Sundays of November 15 and 22.
Link to the letter of Bishop Gordon (PDF)
Link to the Homiletic Notes (PDF)
Preparing the way for the 21st United Nations Conference on Climate Change to take place in Paris, November 30 to December 11, 2015, several initiatives and statements have been made public by Church leaders and various groups working in partnership with the Bishops. The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), signed a joint appeal by representatives of the world's regional groupings of Episcopal Conferences which was addressed to the negotiators who will participate in the Paris conference. Bishop Crosby also stressed concerns about climate change in his letter of congratulations to the new Prime Minister of Canada on November 4. The President of the CCCB signed, this past September, a joint statement as well with other faith leaders in Canada, "On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada".
(CCCB – Ottawa)... His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Jean-Louis Plouffe as Bishop of Sault Ste-Marie, and has appointed today as his successor the Most Reverend Marcel Damphousse. At the time of his appointment, the Bishop-elect was Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall. Bishop Plouffe has been Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie for the past 25 years. He had submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law.
His Eminence Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has issued his annual message to mark the Hindu celebration of Deepavali. The text is entitled Christians and Hindus: Promoting Human Ecology Together. Deepavali (also called Diwali) celebrates the victory of truth over falsehood, light over darkness, life over death, good over evil. The celebrations last three days and mark the beginning of a new year, a time for family reconciliation, especially among brothers and sisters, and adoration of the Divine. The date for the feast can vary. Hindu communities in Canada begin their celebrations of Deepavali this year on November 11.
Link to the Message