Letter from CCCB President Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte to His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople

Sunday, May 31 1998

His All Holiness Bartholomew I
Patriarch of Constantinople

Your All Holiness:

On behalf of the Eastern and Latin Rite Catholic Bishops of Canada, I offer you fraternal greetings on the happy occasion of your visit to our country. We pray that this visit, indeed your whole ministry, will be blessed by God and be for all a renewal of the outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Together with His Holiness, John Paul II, Bishop of Rome, we eagerly look forward to that day when the Churches of the East and West will be fully united in the faith and love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We also profit from the occasion of your visit to Canada to recommit ourselves to the ongoing cooperation and dialogue that are already under way in our country, between Catholics and Orthodox locally, and by means of the North American Orthodox  / Roman Catholic Theological Consultation.

Because of previous commitments, I unfortunately cannot assist at the ecumenical meeting that is planned during your visit to Toronto on May 30. However, His Eminence Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto, and Right Reverend Msgr. Peter Schonenbach, PH, General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, plan on being present. The Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Most Reverend Carlo Curis, and the Archbishop of Ottawa, Most Reverend Marcel Gervais, who is a former President of our Episcopal Conference, together with Sister Donna Geernaert, SC, Director of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for this Conference, had the honour of assisting at the banquet that was held in your honour in Ottawa on May 25; Sister Donna was able to be present as well for the Doxology earlier the same day that also marked your visit.

Assuring you of the prayers of the Catholic faithful in our land that Mary the blessed Theotokos intercede for the unity of all Christians, and in conveying the best wishes of my brother bishops, Your All Holiness, I also extend my own personal and fraternal regards.

Sincerely in Our Lord,

+  Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte
Archbishop of Montreal
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops