CCCB Prepares for a Virtual Plenary Assembly from 21 to 25 September 2020

Monday, September 14 2020

Ottawa – On 8 July 2020, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) announced that the 2020 annual Plenary Assembly, to be held from 21 to 25 September, would move from an in-person meeting of Bishops to a videoconference in light of the existing health and safety restrictions regarding COVID-19. In order to allow for fruitful dialogue and meaningful deliberation by the Bishops during the Plenary, this year’s timetable and agenda were streamlined to focus on the most essential ecclesial and administrative matters for the Conference. It was for this same reason that this year there will not be any ecumenical observers from other Churches nor any of the traditional observers representing a number of national Catholic organizations.

Within the virtual setting, the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and CCCB President, will preside over daily meetings welcoming more than 80 Bishops signing in from dioceses and eparchies across Canada. The topics to be discussed during the week include: national priorities for the upcoming year (2020-2021); responsible ministry; pastoral care of Indigenous peoples; an update on the organizational changes involving the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace as well as recommendations from a joint CCCB-CCODP review of the latter’s international partners; and various concerns regarding initiatives and proposals by the federal government. In keeping with the practice of previous Plenary Assemblies, one day will be set aside for the meetings of English Sector and French Sector Bishops allowing for discussion on liturgical, catechetical and other pastoral matters which are closely tied to language and culture.

Another topic of particular importance for Bishops centres on COVID-19, its impacts and the present-day realities of the Church in Canada. This session will be both a sharing of lived experiences and an opportunity to exchange hopes, concerns, wisdom and challenges as Bishops, together with clergy, consecrated persons, lay people and Catholic faithful continue to live through these most extraordinary times.

Following the Plenary throughout the week

For many years, and with the collaboration of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, the CCCB has offered coverage of the annual Plenary Assembly through television and, most recently, social media channels. Regrettably, the alteration to the format for this year’s meeting does not include the topics of general interest that are customarily broadcast for a wider audience.

To assist the public in keeping informed about the discussions taking place throughout the week, the CCCB offers a number of options to choose from:

Media interview requests

Members of the media are invited to contact the CCCB Communications Coordinator for interview requests with a Bishop and/or pertaining to topics discussed during the Plenary Assembly.

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Lisa Gall
Communications Coordinator
613-241-9461, ext. 225