Bishops Elect New CCCB Executive, Welcome New Canadian Appointees to the Synod of Bishops, and Mark the 50th Anniversary of the Closing of Vatican II

Tuesday, September 15 2015

(CCCB – Ottawa)… On the second day of its meeting, the Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) elected the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton, as its next President, and the Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, as its next Vice President. The incoming Executive also includes two Co-Treasurers: from the French Sector, for a first term, the Most Reverend Luc Cyr, Archbishop of Sherbrooke, and from the English Sector, for his second term, the Most Reverend Anthony Mancini, Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth. The Bishops welcomed His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij, Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop of Winnipeg and Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, who brought ecumenical greetings and shared his reflections on Orthodox – Catholic relations as well as on the situation in Ukraine.

Bishop Crosby will succeed the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, who ends his term as President at the end of the 2015 Plenary Assembly. Born in Marathon, Ontario, Bishop Crosby was ordained to the priesthood in 1975 as a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. 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. Bishop Crosby has been CCCB Vice President since 2013.

The newly elected Vice President was born in Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick, on June 12, 1944. After studying theology at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1969. He joined the Priests of Saint-Sulpice (Sulpicians), and was later elected Superior of the Canadian Province of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice in 1994, a position he held until his nomination as Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal in 2006. He was named Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil on October 28, 2010. He has served two terms on the Executive as the French Sector Co-Treasurer, beginning in 2011.

Synod of Bishop on the Family

At the beginning of the day’s session, CCCB President Archbishop Durocher informed the Plenary Assembly that Vatican Information Service had earlier today reported that Pope Francis has appointed His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, as a member of 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”. Cardinal Lacroix will join the four other Canadian Bishops who will also be members of the Synod but elected by the CCCB. The Pope also named Dr. Moira McQueen, Executive Director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, Toronto, as a Synod auditor. In addition, the Holy See announced that Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., CEO of Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation, will be the press secretary for English-speaking media during the Synod. The four CCCB delegates to the Synod are Archbishop Durocher; His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto; the Most Reverend Noël Simard, Bishop of Valleyfield; and the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton.

50th Anniversary of the Closing of the Second Vatican Council

With the collaboration of Salt+Light TV, the Bishops watched a video of reflections by five retired Bishops on 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, the Most Reverend Laurent Noël, Bishop Emeritus of Trois-Rivières, and the Most Reverend John O’Mara, Bishop Emeritus of St. Catharines, sharedtheir experiences at Vatican II either as Fathers of the Council or as advisors. The video included reflections on the Council by the President of the Conference Archbishop Durocher Cardinal Collins and Cardinal Lacroix, from their perspectives as Bishops 50 years after the Council. The video will be posted on the Salt + Light website, as well as on the CCCB YouTube account.

Also during the morning, the Bishops watched slide presentations on the blessings and challenges of the Church in Northern Canada. The presentations were by the Most Reverend Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith, and the Most Reverend Anthony Krotki, O.M.I., Bishop of Churchill-Hudson Bay.

The second day of the Plenary as well included the French Sector meeting and the presentations of reports by the Conference’s National Commissions, and its Standing Committee for Development and Peace, as well as the Canadian Appeal Tribunal. The Most Reverend Richard Grecco, Bishop of Charlottetown, was re-appointed as Moderator of the Tribunal for another two-year term. In addition, there were the annual activities reports by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council, and the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF).