Bishops Elect New CCCB Executive; Discuss Ecumenical and Interfaith Challenges Linked to the Middle East; and Celebrate 70th Anniversary of the Canadian Episcopal Conference

Wednesday, September 25 2013

(CCCB – Ottawa)… On the third day of its meeting, the Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) elected the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, as its next President, and the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton, as its next Vice President. The incoming Executive will also include two Co-Treasurers: from the French Sector, for a second term, the Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, , and from the English Sector, for his first term, the Most Reverend Anthony Mancini, Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth.

Archbishop Durocher will succeed the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton, who ends his term as President at the end of the 2013 Plenary Assembly. Born in Windsor, Ontario, the new President was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 for the Diocese of Timmins and named Auxiliary Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie in 1997. In 2002, he was appointed Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, and then Archbishop of Gatineau in 2011. He has been CCCB Vice President since 2011.

The newly elected Vice President was born in Marathon, Ontario. After becoming a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Bishop Crosby was ordained to the priesthood in 1975. He served as CCCB General Secretary from 1996 to 1997, before being appointed Bishop of the then Diocese of Labrador City-Schefferville in 1998. In 2007, he was named Bishop of the newly established Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador, and became Bishop of Hamilton in 2010. He has served two terms on the Executive  as the CCCB  Co-Treasurer from its English Sector, beginning in 2009

Ecumenical and Interfaith Challenges in the Current Context of the Middle East

The CCCB Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue led a pastoral reflection on ecumenical and interfaith challenges in the current context of the Middle East.  The presentations were by the Commission Chairman, the Most Reverend Daniel Bohan, Archbishop of Regina; the Most Reverend Ibrahim M. Ibrahim, O.B.S., Eparchial Bishop of Greek Melkite Catholics in Canada; and Father Damian MacPherson, S.A. Father MacPherson is the Director of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs for the Archdiocese of Toronto. Following their presentations, the members of the Plenary Assembly broke into buzz groups, following which was an opportunity for questions and comments.

The third day of the Plenary also included reports on the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). Bishop John Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, presented the CCODP annual activities report, as well as the report by the CCCB Standing Committee for CCODP.  Bishop Boissonneau also pointed out that the Plenary Assembly later this week will receive several Bishops from the Global South who wish to share their concerns about mining operations in their countries.

70th Anniversary of the Canadian Episcopal Conference

The Bishops took the opportunity of the 2013 Plenary Assembly to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Episcopal Conference. Two former CCCB Presidents were invited as guest speakers: His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop Emeritus of Montreal, who had been President 1997- 1999, and the Most Reverend Joseph N. MacNeil, Archbishop Emeritus of Edmonton, President 1979 – 1981. Other former Presidents also present for the celebration were: the Most Reverend Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V., Bishop emeritus of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, President 2001-2003; the Most Reverend Brendan M. O’Brien, Archbishop of Kingston, President 2003-2005; the Most Reverend André Gaumond, Archbishop emeritus of Sherbrooke, President 2005-2007; and the Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme, President 2009-2011.