Synod of Bishops Canadian Bishops: Named to Key Synod Posts

Thursday, October 11 2001

(CCCB – Rome) The five Canadian bishops taking part in the Synod of Bishops now underway in Rome have been assigned key roles for the final two weeks of the month-long Synod that began on September 30.

Bishop Gilles Cazabon, OMI, of Saint Jerome, Bishop Pierre Morissette of Baie-Comeau, and Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg have been elected by the 250 Synodal participants as group relators or reporters.

Over the final 14 days of the Synodal assembly, the participants will meet in smaller language groups (English, French, Spanish, Italian and German) and will discuss propositions to be presented to the Synod and to the Holy Father. Each language group chooses a moderator who presides over the work of the group, and a relator who acts as secretary and spokesperson for the group. Each relator has the delicate role of formulating and presenting the propositions that will be the subject of group discussion and integrating the amendments before finally being approved. The final draft of these propositions is then sent to a post-Synodal committee established by the Holy Father. Its work in the months following the Synod usually leads to the publication of an Apostolic Exhortation, a papal document that issues from the Synod.

The other two Canadian Bishops have been named to key roles as well. Bishop Raymond Lahey of Saint George’s is a member of the information committee, responsible for relations with the media and the coordination of news conferences and briefings. Bishop Joseph Khoury, the Eparch for Maronites in Canada, is a member of the message committee that is responsible for drafting the final document of the Synod.

The Synod is a regular meeting or religious assembly where the bishops, gathered in the presence of the Holy Father, can interact with one another as they search for pastoral approaches.