Annual Assembly of the Bishops of Canada: Attention is given to the Eucharist on the second day

Tuesday, September 20 2005

(CCCB – Cornwall) With one thousand days to go before the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec in 2008, Cardinal Marc Ouellet outlined the preparations under way for the celebrations which the Pope is expected to attend.

The Archbishop of Quebec addressed his fellow bishops at the annual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) which will meet until Friday in Cornwall, Ontario.

The Eucharistic Congress will be held 15-22 June 2008 as part of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world are expected at the Eucharistic Congress.

Synod of Bishops

The 11th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist will begin 2 October 2005.  The Synod will mark the end of a special year devoted to this theme as decreed by the late Pope John Paul II in October 2004.

The Synod is a meeting or assembly of bishops who gather in Rome in the presence of the Holy Father to reach a common consensus on pastoral orientations.

In the first two weeks of the Synod, each participant will deliver a six-minute intervention.  Each intervenor may address a theme of his choice. The delegates are then divided into linguistic groups for the discussion phase when proposals are formulated.  Following a process of amendments and suggestions, the approved proposals are given to a post-synodal council constituted by the Pope.  Following the Synod, work will begin on a papal document called an apostolic exhortation which will later be published.

In October, five Canadian bishops will join 300 Synod participants for the three-week reflection which will also be attended by Pope Benedict XVI.  The Canadians include Most Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Edmonton; Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall; Most Reverend Clément Fecteau, Bishop of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière; and Most Reverend Gerald Wiesner, O.M.I., Bishop of Prince George. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, was also invited by the Holy See to participate in the Synod.

Each delegate presented Tuesday a summary of his intervention to the Canadian bishops assembled in Plenary.  The bishops then gathered in workshops to comment on the interventions and to offer comments.

The CCCB will meet until Friday at the Nav Canada Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, to discuss a number of pastoral and financial issues.

The CCCB is the assembly of the Bishops of Canada, assisting them in their many pastoral responsibilities.  The Conference is involved in issues of national and international scope, and provides the bishops a forum where they can share their experience and insight on the life of the Church and the major events that shape society.

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