2012 CCCB Plenary Assembly

Friday, August 31 2012

(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly 24-28 September 2012, at the Hotel Mont-Gabriel, Sainte-Adèle, Quebec. The meeting will be chaired by the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton, who was elected CCCB President for a two-year term in 2011. Among the 80 Bishops expected, for six of them this will be their first Plenary meeting since their ordinations as Bishop over the past year. Sainte-Adèle is north of Montreal and in the Diocese of Saint-Jérôme.

The Bishops will give a special welcome to His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kiev-Halych (Ukraine) and primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Archbishop Shevchuk is visiting Canada to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Ukrainian Catholic Bishop in Canada, the Blessed Nykyta Budka who later died a martyr in Siberia. Three other important events will also be highlighted during the 2012 CCCB Plenary: the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha on 21 October 2012, and the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization and its Transmission of the Faith that will meet in Rome during October.

As well as reviewing pastoral initiatives and receiving annual reports, the Bishops will have the opportunity to share their experiences and insights on the life of the Church and society. Annual reports will be presented by the Conference’s national and sectoral commissions and its standing committees, as well as by a number of organizations, including the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council. To help the Bishops in their reflections, the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace will lead a session on the pastoral understanding of the economic crisis. As well, the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue will animate a discussion on the challenges of ecumenical collaboration in social justice work. For its part, the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine will assist in a reflection on freedom of conscience and religion that will focus specifically on Canadian issues.

As in previous years, the Plenary Assembly will also receive about 20 invited observers and guests from a number of national Catholic organizations and other Churches, together with accredited representatives from the media. Invited observers and accredited media will be present on 24 September and until noon on 25 September. This year again, the annual report by the CCCB President and the daily liturgical celebrations will be broadcast live online and on television, thanks to the collaboration of the Catholic television channel Salt and Light TV. In addition this year there will be a daily press briefing, also broadcast on Salt + Light TV. The broadcast schedule for the Plenary will be posted on the CCCB website during the coming weeks.