2003 Plenary Assembly: Letter to Pope John Paul II

Monday, October 27 2003

His Holiness Pope Jean Paul II
Vatican City

Most Holy Father:

In this year 2003, which marks the 25th anniversary of your pontificate, the Bishops of Canada are gathered in Plenary Assembly, from 28 to 31 October 2003, at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Cape at Cap-de-la-Madeleine in the Diocese of Trois-Rivières.

We could not begin our Plenary without conveying to you our affection, our appreciation and our best wishes for your good health, at the same time as recalling the abundant fruits of your pontificate. The Church in our country continues to be challenged by your ministry in the loving image of Christ.

During this meeting of our Plenary Assembly, we hope to establish the basis, means and direction for following up on the graces received over the past year. There will also be a special look at social justice and the role of the bishop in this area. In addition, we will resume our reflections on the Toronto World Youth Day, as well as continue reflecting on the painful issue of sexual abuse by clergy in view of further developing the meausres already undertaken by our Conference in 1992.

We thank the Father of all mercies for your apostolic ministry as Successor of Peter which you have exercised so courageously and with perseverance and courage for 25 years. In full communion and fraternal collaboration with you, we are grateful for your understanding of and love for the Church in Canada.

We assure you, Most Holy Father, of our fraternal prayers, and we ask you for your Apostolic Blessing on our Plenary Assembly.

In Christ Jesus,

+Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V.
Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops