CCCB Annual Plenary: Bishops to Reflect on the Church in the New Millennium

Thursday, September 03 1998

Ottawa (CCCB) — In the spirit of the Synod for America’s positive discussions, Canada’s Catholic bishops will reflect on the challenges facing the Church as it enters the new millennium when they meet for their annual Plenary assembly in Niagara Falls, October 15-20.

Three of the fifteen CCCB delegates who attended the Synod almost a year ago in Rome will lead discussions at the Plenary on this extraordinary event that brought together bishops and other delegates from North America, Latin America and the Carribean to discuss how they can better collaborate in the Church’s mission of evangelization.

The theme of the CCCB Plenary discussions will be: As the Church in Canada Moves into the Year 2000, How Is It Challenged by the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for America? Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte of Montreal, Bishop Gerald Wiesner, OMI, of Prince George, and Bishop Jacques Berthelet, CSV, of Saint Jean-Longueuil, will lead the discussions that will be held on the second day of the Plenary, October 16.

Close to 100 bishops and 30 observers are expected to attended the six-day meeting that will also look at other issues including the possibility of offering to host a World Youth Day in Canada, the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the newly formed Council for Reconciliation, Communion and Solidarity with Aboriginal Peoples, and other pastoral concerns.

The Niagara Falls meeting will mark the first time the Plenary assembly of the Canadian bishops has met in Ontario in a place other than Ottawa. It is also the fourth year of holding this annual event in one of the four pastoral regions across Canada: Edmonton in 1995 (West), Halifax in 1996 (Atlantic), Cap-de-la- Madeleine (Quebec) in 1997. CCCB meetings are generally held in Ottawa.

The CCCB is the assembly of all the Catholic bishops in Canada. Through this national association, the cardinals, archbishops and Bishops of Canada exercise their collegial responsibility through collective action to assure the progress of the Church and the coordination of Catholic activities in Canada. As of September 1, 1998, 134 bishops, including 69 diocesan bishops, 20 auxiliary bishops and 45 bishops emeritus, were members of the CCCB.