2005 Plenary Assembly: Letter to Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, September 18 2005

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican City

Most Holy Father:

Gathered in Plenary Assembly at Cornwall, Ontario, 19-23 September 2005, the Bishops of Canada send you their greetings in the Lord, in whose Spirit we are fully united with you and the universal Church, in the hope of being an ever truer sign and a more effective instrument of the Kingdom of justice, peace and truth to which Our Heavenly Father calls all humanity.

In our Plenary Assembly, we will be reflecting on the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the theme of Eucharistia fons et culmen vitae et missionis Ecclesiae; working on a decree on the Sacrament of Penance in view of the implementation of the Apostolic Letter Misericordia Dei; discussing the structures of our Conference that they may better assist the Bishops of Canada; and receiving a report from a special taskforce that has been reviewing our response and responsibilities with regard to addressing those unfortunate cases of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

We use this occasion to thank you for your leadership in the See of Peter. We are especially grateful for the encouragement that you have given recently to the youth of the world and repeatedly toward ecumenical and interfaith relations.

As we prepare next month for the conclusion of the Year of the Eucharist, we rededicate ourselves with you to our common episcopal ministry by which we are called to be the servants of the Good Shepherd, who came in humble service to bring life and hope to the world.

Respectfully and fraternally in Our Lord,

+ Brendan M. O’Brien
Archbishop of St. John’s
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

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