Message of condolences from the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the occasion of the death of Mr. Claude Ryan

Sunday, February 08 2004

The death of Mr. Claude Ryan is a great loss not only for our country but also for the Catholic Church.

A statesman, a person of faith, an active member of the Church, throughout his life and career Mr. Ryan illustrated the deep dignity and significance of what it means to be a lay person in the Church. His commitment to Catholic Action was manifest in the quality of leadership that he provided; his lifelong involvement shaped both Church and society in Canada. His public role, his work as a journalist, and his political involvement witnessed to the depth of his convictions, his values and his faith.

A man of intelligence and truth, he always provided a critical and authentic perspective on social options and the role of the Church in contemporary society. His thoughts, questions and musings not only enriched social discourse, but assisted other social, political and Church leaders to deepen their own reflections and to make decisions that could be all the more enlightened and just because of what Mr. Ryan had said.

Christians are called to have a living faith inscribed in their hearts, enabling them to see and act on the full truth of daily life, in which there is hope for each person, despite all the injustice, poverty and sinfulness that surround us. Mr. Ryan has been called home by our heavenly Father, but he leaves among us signs of hope which will continue to stir the hearts of his brothers and sisters.

In the name of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, I offer sincere condolences to his family and to all Canadians. May he rest in peace!

Most Reverend Brendan M. O’Brien
Archbishop of St. John’s
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops