Printed copies of Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia: On Love in the Family" are now available for purchase from CCCB Publications. The Apostolic Exhortation is further to the deliberations of the two Synods of Bishops on the marriage and the family which were held at the Vatican in October 2014 and October 2015. The document was released by the Holy See on April 8, 2016.
Link to the Apostolic Exhortation
To order the Exhortation from CCCB Publications
In order to highlight the numerous resources available from CCCB Publications, a commercial is currently airing on Salt + Light TV. CCCB Publications offers resources for liturgy, faith education and formation, catechesis, life and family, as well as documents from the CCCB and the Holy Father. The resources can be ordered online, www.cccbpublications.ca, by e-mail,
, or phoning toll-free, 1-800-769-1147.
Link to the TV add
As clearly stated in its previous statements on this issue, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops absolutely and categorically disagrees with any attempt at justifying or supporting a "right" to assisted suicide or euthanasia. This is based on the unchanging teaching of our Church, derived from the teaching of Christ himself, that these practices are always inherently wrong (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church 2276-79; St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae n. 66). For this reason, Bill C-14, which legalizes the killing of certain categories of persons, is a fundamentally unjust law. From the Catholic perspective, no amendments could legitimate the inherent evil in the premises behind the proposed legislation.
On the occasion of the National Week for Life and the Family, May 8 to 15, 2016, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) has released its message "Is My family: A school of mercy ?". In its Message, COLF recalls "the privileged role of the family as the first and most important school of mercy – the place where parents sustained by God's grace, are meant to become icons of Divine Mercy." The Week for Life and the Family is a CCCB initiative that dioceses and eparchies promote or adapt according to their own resources and pastoral priorities. Beginning this year, the CCCB has invited COLF to undertake the responsibility for producing the annual resources, working in collaboration and consultation with the Conference.
Following the massive earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale which struck Ecuador on Saturday, April 16 -- the worst experienced by the country since 1979 --, a state of emergency has been declared by its government. The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada (CCODP) has allocated an initial $50,000 to support emergency relief efforts. Caritas Ecuador, a DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE partner organization, is in constant contact with its field teams and has begun an evaluation in order to identify the needs of survivors and prepare to assist them in the best way possible. Donations for emergency work in Ecuador can be sent to CCODP; any cheques which are sent should be marked "Ecuador earthquake".
Link to the new release of Development and Peace
Link to make a donation
As Catholic dioceses together with family life groups across Canada prepare to celebrate the 2016 National Week for Life and the Family, May 8-15, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) again posts possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the liturgy each Sunday with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. The proposed texts for the month of May 2016 include suggestions from the 6TH Sunday of Easter, May 1, to the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), May 29, as well as Pentecost Sunday, May 15, and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, May 22. Proposals for homilies and prayers of the faithful during the National Week for Life and the Family are provided both in these suggestions for the month of May, as well as in the resources specifically prepared for the National Week. As usual, the suggestions for homilies and prayers can also be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of May are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section "Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB".
Link to the resources for the 2016 National Week for Life and the Family
The Catholic Women's League (CWL) of Canada is coordinating a day of prayer for palliative care, "12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care", on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The CWL has provided resources which explain the program being proposed to parishes and family households. An information kit includes the resources available for the promotion and animation of the event. This includes a prayer service, suggestions for the Prayers of the Faithful, and resources on palliative care. In addition, the information kit provides a petition to be submitted to the House of Commons, asking that palliative care be "a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act so that provincial and territorial governments will be entitled to funds under the Canada Health Transfer system to be used to provide accessible and available hospice palliative care for all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories."
Link to the CWL's news release
Link to the resources
The webpage of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on euthanasia and assisted suicide has been revamped to be more accessible and facilitate research. In addition, a link from the CCCB website's home page has been added to direct visitors to the new webpage. The new web page offers links to: CCCB statements, resources from the different Regional Episcopal Assemblies; five major campaigns against physician-assisted suicide; resources for parish communities; resources of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family; and a number of other articles and media reports.
Link to the Webpage
The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) has released on its website its annual message for the National March for Life, to be held this year in Ottawa on May 12, 2016. Entitled "Extending the hand of Mercy", the message invites people to "walk throughout the year with these women wounded by abortion and often unconsciously thirsting for hope." There is also a short promotional video that was produced by the National March for Life Committee.
Link to COLF's Message
Link to the promotional video
The Apostolic Journey by the Holy Father on April 16, 2016, to the Island of Lesbos in Greece was the occasion of several significant ecumenical appeals for justice and peace. These were made by Pope Francis in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, and the Orthodox Metropolitan Archbishop of Athens and All Greece His Beatitude Ieronymous. The visit to the island included meetings with civil and religious authorities, but focused particularly on meetings with refugees from the Middle East who have arrived on the island's shores. Herewith are the links to the significant addresses:
In view of the draft federal legislation on euthanasia and assisted suicide that was tabled in the House of Commons on April 14, 2016, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is working in close collaboration with the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience. Bishops across Canada are urging all Catholics and others who share similar principles and values to inform federal and provincial / territorial legislators of their concerns on the sanctity of life and the conscience rights of healthcare workers and institutions when they are faced with a patient's choice for assisted death. In order to consolidate efforts throughout the dioceses and eparchies across Canada, the Coalition has made its resources available in both English and French.
OTTAWA – At a news conference today on Parliament Hill, representatives of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, The Canadian Council of Imams, The Salvation Army and Jewish communities, as well as a hematologist - oncologist from the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur, Montreal, expressed their opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide, and their concerns regarding proposed legislation on "physician-assisted dying." "We stand together today, leaders within our respective faith communities – Jewish, Muslim and Christian – to express our grave concern over the decriminalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. We believe that any action intended to end human life is morally and ethically wrong." The principal concerns relate to the protection of vulnerable persons, conscience protection for healthcare workers and healthcare facilities, as well as the lack of availability of quality palliative care for all Canadians.