2013 CCCB Plenary Assembly

Thursday, August 29 2013

(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly, 23-27 September 2013, for a second year at Hotel Mont-Gabriel, Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, in the Diocese of Saint-Jérôme. The meeting will be chaired by the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and CCCB President, who will finish his term as the current President at the end of this Plenary. Part of the 2013 Plenary agenda is dedicated to the election of a new President and other members of the Executive Committee and Permanent Council who will serve for the next two years. The Bishops participating in the Plenary will also have the honour to welcome as their guest His Eminence Oscar Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and President of Caritas Internationalis.

The Cardinal will address the Plenary Assembly on the theme “The role of the Bishops in justice, peace and caritas”. This reflection will be supplemented by a presentation on how Caritas Internationalis is organized throughout the world, to be given by its Secretary General Mr. Michel Roy. The 2013 Plenary Assembly will also mark the 50th anniversary of Pacem in Terris, the Encyclical Letter of Blessed John XXIII on establishing universal peace in truth, justice, charity and liberty. A session on Pacem in Terris will be animated by the CCCB Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, which will look at the Encylical’s implications for the contemporary ministry of Bishops.

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga is also a member and the coordinator of a group of Cardinals whom Pope Francis has asked to advise him on the revision of Pastor Bonus, the Apostolic Constitution on the organization and work of the Roman Curia. The Plenary Assembly will include a special session during which the Bishops of Canada can reflect with the Cardinal on the Holy Father’s vision for the governance of the universal Church.

In addition to reviewing pastoral initiatives and receiving annual reports by the Conference’s national and sectoral Commissions, as well as its Standing Committees, the Bishops will hear concerns about mining from several Bishops who will be visiting from the Global South. There will also be a session led by the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue on ecumenical and interfaith challenges in the current context of the Middle East. The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine will assist in a reflection on current Canadian challenges in light of its recent Pastoral Letter on Freedom of Conscience and Religion.

The 2013 Plenary Assembly will also celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Episcopal Conference. As in previous years, about 20 invited observers and guests from a number of national Catholic organizations and other Churches, together with accredited representatives from the media, will be present for the first day and a half of the Plenary, 23 and 24 September.

Thanks to the collaboration of the Catholic television channel Salt and Light TV, this year again the annual report by the CCCB President and the daily liturgical celebrations will be broadcast live online and on television. In addition, there will again be daily press briefings, in English and in French, also broadcast on Salt + Light TV. The broadcast schedule for the Plenary will be posted on the CCCB website during the coming weeks.