2015 CCCB Plenary Assembly

Wednesday, August 26 2015

(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly, 14-18 September 2015, at the Nav Canada Centre, Cornwall, Ontario, in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall. The meeting will be chaired by the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and CCCB President, who will finish his term as the current President at the end of this Plenary. Part of the 2015 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. On the eve of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, together with the second Synod of Bishops on the family, the theme of the family will be a key part of the discussions of the Plenary Assembly. Moreover, the Bishops will gather at Saint Joseph Oratory, Montreal, for a special Mass open to the public to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. The Mass will be held on September 17 at 10:30 am.

Among other topics that will be discussed are the current debate in Canada on the issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia, as well as the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine and the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace will respectively lead workshops on these two issues. The Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue will moderate a panel to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relations of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate (issued in 1965). This September the Commission will publish a text to mark this anniversary as part of its ongoing series A Church in Dialogue.

The Bishops will also have the opportunity to listen to reflections marking the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. The Most Reverend Remi De Roo, Bishop Emeritus of Victoria, the Most Reverend James Hayes, Archbishop Emeritus of Halifax, the Most Reverend Jacques Landriault, Bishop Emeritus of Timmins, and the Most Reverend John O’Mara, Bishop Emeritus of St. Catharines will all share on video the experiences at the Council either as Fathers of the Council or as advisors. The President of the Conference Archbishop Durocher, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, as well as His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, will also share their reflections from the perspective of Bishops 50 years after the Council.

In addition to reviewing pastoral initiatives and receiving annual reports from the Conference’s national and sectoral Commissions as well as its Standing Committees, the 2015 Plenary Assembly will include reflections and discussions on the working document for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held this October in Rome on the theme “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World”.

Thanks to the collaboration of the Catholic television channel Salt + Light TV, once again this year 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. As in previous years, approximately 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, 14 -15 September.