Canadian Bishops Study World Youth Day Possibility for Canada

Monday, October 20 1997

Cap-de-la-Madeleine (CCCB) – Canada’s bishops have decided to form a special committee to examine the possibility of Canada hosting World Youth Day celebrations in either the year 2002 or 2004. Both Montreal and Toronto have been mentioned as potential sites.

The Bishops, at their annual Plenary Assembly in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, decided to form the committee after hearing of the meaningful experiences of the 2400 young Canadians who went to World Youth Day celebrations in Paris this summer. Without making any formal commitment, the Bishops decided that a committee should look at the financial and technical feasibility of holding such a celebration before proceeding. It would be either the first or second one following World Youth Day celebrations in Rome in the year 2000. While the French experience this summer was viewed very positively, the financial deficit incurred in Paris was considerable. The final decision on holding World Youth Day festivities is made by the Holy Father in consultation with the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

The Plenary Assembly of Bishops also voted to maintain its program of financial aid to Balkan, Eastern and Central European Churches for the next three years. The CCCB has given more than $300,000 over the past five years through a special pastoral fund to help the Churches in the post-communist countries of Europe. So far 47 projects have been funded by the Canadian Bishops.

The CCCB has also approved a name change for two of its Episcopal Commissions to better take into account the reality of the modern world. The Commission for Missions now becomes the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization of Peoples while the Commission for Relations with Associations of Priests, Religious and Laity becomes the Episcopal Commission for Relations with Associations of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Laity. The latter change was made to take into account permanent deacons, secular institutes and societies for apostolic life.

The Bishops also examined in detail the mandate of the Episcopal Commission for Ecumenism in their continuing practise of reviewing the work of a national commission each year. The Commission for Ecumenism played an important role in the CCCB becoming a full member in the Canadian Council of Churches this past June.