Palliative Care, Indigenous Peoples, and Synod on Youth discussed during second day of CCCB Plenary Assembly

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Cornwall, Ontario – After a day of presentations and thoughtful discussion on a number of key national issues, the Bishops of Canada concluded the second day of their week-long annual plenary assembly.

Invited guest Dr. Anthony Walker-Jones, Chairman of the Research Chair in Contemporary Theology of The United Church of Canada and Co-Chair of the Catholic-United Church of Canada Dialogue, offered ecumenical greetings. In his address, he offered a theological reflection on climate change, citing Pope Francis' Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Sì, for illustrating connections between climate change, poverty and other social injustices. He invited the Catholic faithful to draw on their "charism of communion" to bring people of different faiths together in an effort to address the current ecological crisis.

Palliative Care Working GroupThe CCCB's Palliative Care Working Group delivered a presentation on end-of-life issues and provided an update on its projects and future plans. The Working Group, which was established in 2017 to promote and advance palliative care within the Catholic community, comprises experts in a number of fields related to end-of-life issues. The Group is currently in the process of developing resource kits, based on the real questions of parishioners, to address more effectively the pastoral concerns of patients, caregivers, and families facing terminal illness and death. This pilot project is scheduled to roll out in English and French in 2020.

The Bishops received a progress report from the Coordinator of Causes of Saints in Canada in one session and shared their approaches to pastoral accompaniment of Amoris Laetitia in another. Bishops also discussed at length their pastoral relationship with Indigenous people, which continues to be a major priority of the Conference.

Finally, in anticipation of the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Discernment this October 3-28 in Rome, the Bishops heard presentations proposed by the CCCB's bishop-delegates as well as two Canadian youth participating as auditors. The Assembly also heard presentations from Cardinal Gérald LaCroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of Canada, named by Pope Francis as a delegate, and Bishop Brian Bayda, Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon, elected to serve as a delegate by the Synod of the Greek Ukrainian Catholic Church.

The Plenary Assembly continues through to Friday, September 28, 2018.

The Holy See
Canadian Centre for Ecumenism
Catholic Organization for Life and Family
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.