CCCB Plenary Assembly: Bishops Reaffirm Their Faith in the Culture of Life

Thursday, September 22 2005

(CCCB – Ottawa) … The Bishops of Canada have unanimously agreed that the adoption of Bill C-407 or any similar proposal favouring euthanasia and assisted suicide would be a major social failure.

On the final day of their annual Plenary meeting, the Bishops unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the draft Bill.  The Canadian episcopate also called on the government and all members of Parliament to reject this new effort to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada.

In their public statement, the Bishops said: “In order to respond to the physical, emotional and moral sufferings of people of all ages, particularly those seriously ill or handicapped, including those in a terminal phase, we call on Canadians, including our elected representatives, instead to promote palliative care and end-of-life care. Our legal system should be inspired by a culture of life in which each person feels responsible for the wellbeing of others until their natural death.”


The 2005 Plenary Assembly included the elections of a number of bishops to various CCCB committees for the next two years.  The four members of the Executive Committee are Most Reverend André Gaumond, Archbishop of Sherbrooke, President, and Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg, Vice President.  The Co-Treasurers are Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, Bishop of Baie-Comeau, who begins his second term in this capacity, and Most Reverend James M. Wingle, Bishop of St. Catharines.

The Permanent Council is made up of 16 members for the 2005-2007 term.  In addition to the four members on the Executive, the Permanent Council includes Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec; Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal; Most Reverend Michael Bzdel, C.Ss.R., Ukrainian Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg; Most Reverend Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil; Most Reverend Roger Ébacher, Archbishop of Gatineau-Hull; Most Reverend Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London; Most Reverend Robert Harris, Auxiliary Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie; Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak, O.S.B.M., Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton; Most Reverend Raymond J. Lahey, Bishop of Antigonish; Most Reverend André Richard, C.S.C., Archbishop of Moncton; and Most Reverend Martin Veillette, Bishop of Trois-Rivières.

The CCCB Executive Committee and Permanent Council oversee the general work and orientation of the Conference and ensure the follow-up to decisions taken at the annual Plenary Assembly.

Activities Report

The Plenary Assembly this year, which coincided with the end of the term of CCCB President Archbishop Brendan M. O’Brien, was an opportunity to release an activities report which summarizes the major activities of the Conference, including its Executive, Permanent Council, Episcopal Commissions, offices, services and the Canadian Appeal Tribunal.

To view the pdf format of the 2003-2005 Activities Report, click here.  Printed versions of the report can be obtained from the CCCB Communications Service.

The annual Plenary Assembly of the Bishops of Canada was held 19-23 September at the Nav Canada Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, to review a number of pastoral and financial issues.

The CCCB is the assembly of the Bishops of Canada, assisting them in their many pastoral responsibilities.  The Conference is involved in issues of national and international scope, and provides the bishops a forum where they can share their experience and insight on the life of the Church and the major events that shape society.

For More Information Contact:
Sylvain Salvas
Director, Communications Service
Tel: (613) 241-9461
Fax: (613) 241-9048