Catholic Bishops of Canada Hold Plenary Assembly

Friday, September 19 2008

(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Bishops of Canada will gather for the annual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), to be held at the Nav Canada Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, 22-26 September 2008. About 90 Bishops will be present to discuss various questions concerning the Catholic Church nationally and internationally.

The Plenary Assembly usually meets in October, but this year the date is earlier because of the Synod of Bishops which will be held in Rome, 5-26 October 2008. Six Canadian Bishops will be participating in the Synod on The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. The draft Synod interventions by the CCCB delegates will be discussed during the September Plenary Assembly.

The Plenary agenda will also include reports from the various councils, commissions and organizations that are part of the life of the CCCB. The Bishops will reflect as well on the International Eucharistic Congress which was held in Quebec City, 15-22 June 2008.

As part of the Jubilee Year marking the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Saint Paul the Apostle, the Plenary this year will also involve two presentations on aspects of his writings. Two well-known biblical scholars have been invited, Father Michel Gourgues, O.P., from the Dominican University College in Ottawa, and Father Scott Lewis, S.J., from Regis College at the University of Toronto.

The CCCB has been in the process of restructuring over the past three years. The Plenary Assembly will be asked to authorize implementing recent structural changes. As well, a number of Bishops will be appointed to Commissions and to new Standing Committees.

In addition to a number of other guests and observers, the CCCB will welcome Mr. Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Mr. Fontaine will address the Bishops during the morning of 22 September and then join them for lunch. This is the first time that an AFN National Chief will be present at the CCCB Plenary Assembly.

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