Letter of the CCCB President to Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, October 25 2010

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City

Most Holy Father:

The Bishops of Canada send you our fondest greetings as we meet in Plenary Assembly, 25-29 October. We are most grateful to you for officially recognizing the sanctity of Brother André Bessette. Given his popularity throughout our country, he will be known here as Saint Brother André. We are also grateful for your having convoked the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East. Its focus is most pertinent: the heritage and importance of the Eastern Catholic Churches; the complex challenges and opportunities for justice and peace that are presented by the situation in the Middle East; and the need of our Christian brothers and sisters there for our solidarity.

You have just announced that the 2012 Ordinary General Synod of Bishops will be on the New Evangelization. We rejoice in this. We also greatly appreciate your establishing the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, and look forward to collaborating with it. Much of the work of our Plenary Assembly this year converges on evangelization. In this we will be assisted with presentations on evangelization and contemporary culture by His Excellency The Most Reverend Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture. In addition, we will reflect on evangelization from four perspectives: current bioethical issues; pastoral outreach to non-practising Catholics; ministerial responsibility, with special attention to questions surrounding sexual abuse; and possible approaches to renewing our parishes and better involving our young adult Catholics.

We will also consider possible implications for our country in view of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, as well as the mission and renewal of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace in the light of Caritas in Veritate.

Although he has already visited the main regions of our country, this will be our first official opportunity in Plenary to have the pleasure of receiving the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, His Excellency The Most Reverend Pedro López Quintana. We are most happy that you appointed him last December as your representative among us.

Most Holy Father, in thanking you for your leadership of the College of Bishops and the Universal Church, we assure you of our deepest respects and fraternal affection for you.

Respectfully and fraternally in Our Lord,

+ Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops