CCCB Plenary Focuses on Liturgy

Thursday, October 17 2002

(Cornwall – CCCB) Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Brussels led the Bishops of Canada in a reflection on the role of liturgy in the life of the Church, telling them that the liturgy is “God’s work for us. It existed long before we could participate in it.”

He told the CCCB Plenary meeting that more education about the real nature of the liturgy is needed for celebrants and the laity so both will better appreciate the ritual and be able to enter into the mystery of the liturgy.

Cardinal Danneels added the liturgy should not be perceived as being only intellectual, but a celebration that involves the entire human person.

The bishops dedicated day two of the annual CCCB Plenary meeting to examine and review the mandates of the Episcopal Commissions for Liturgy (English and French sectors). Recommendations from workshops which followed the Cardinal’s presentation will be used in revising the Commissions’ mandates.

Annual Reports

The annual Plenary meeting also provides a forum for the Bishops to listen to reports of the past year’s many activities from various CCCB Commissions, committees and related organizations. Three reports were presented at today’s session.

The Chair and the Vice Chair of the Episcopal Committee for World Youth Day (WYD), Archbishop Anthony Meagher of Kingston, and Bishop François Lapierre, P.M.É., of Saint-Hyacinthe, reported on the main results of WYD that brought hundreds of thousands of young people to Toronto. The noted included the revival of interest in ministry with and to youth, significant and positive media coverage, new structures for ministry already being implemented in several dioceses, and the $38 million deficit which is being assumed by all the dioceses of Canada.

Bishop Martin Currie of Grand Falls, Nfld., reported on the main activities of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). He noted the effort to recruit more young people through World Youth Day activities, and also to have a more multicultural look. Development and Peace, founded by the CCCB 35 years ago, promotes international solidarity through collaboration with people in developing countries.

Finally, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., of Halifax, who is Chair of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), and COLF Board member Bishop Pierre Morissette, of Baie-Comeau, reviewed the activities of COLF. Bishop Morissette outlined current developments on redefining marriage and recent court decisions. COLF, which published a leaflet on marriage in 2001, is closely following the discussions of the parliamentary committee charged with studying the issue and receiving input from the Canadian population.

Others News

Each year the CCCB invites a member of another Church or faith group to bring greetings to the assembly. This year, the address was made by Rev. Karen Hamilton of the United Church of Canada, who is the new Secretary General of the Canadian Council of Churches.