Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ weekly general audience, his message for the 2015 World Day of Peace and the CCCB’s Christmas message.
Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in Rome, the Holy See speaks out against nuclear weapons, Pope sends a special message to Iraqis and the CCCB releases a new document.
(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a new document entitled “The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today.” Written from the current Canadian context, the text emphasizes that “spreading faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of humanity, is the Church’s fundamental and primary mission” (no. 1). The reflection is primarily for pastors and those who serve in parishes, but also for all Catholics who wish to understand better the role of the parish in the Church’s mission. The Commission notes that “it is through the parish that most Canadians experience the Catholic Church.”
The Bishops of the Commission are aware of the diversity of parish realities across the country, as well as the common challenges they face. The response required to these varied challenges, however, is the same: being missionary parishes which evangelize. The text explains how Canadian parishes can live out their call to evangelization by means of missionary, catechetical, and pastoral activity.
The Bishops declare that “as a concrete sign of the Church’s presence in society, parishes should be places for a new dialogue to occur between contemporary culture and the Gospel of Christ; and for a profound encounter between Christ, the Living Word, and those who have yet to meet him” (no. 9). All of this will require a profound conversion on the part of people and communities, part of what Pope Francis has called “the path of a pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are.”
This text complements the Commission’s recent work, “The Essential Elements of Evangelization Today,” which was published in 2013.
Original text found here.
– Photo Credit: (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
How Bishops are Appointed
Last week on Vatican Connections we talked about how a bishop gets appointed. It’s a rather long process, and some viewers wrote in asking if there was a text explaining the process. (I talk fast sometimes!).
The process begins at the local level. The bishops in a region submit to their metropolitan archbishop, names of priests who they believe would be good bishops. During regional bishops meetings those names are voted on. The final list of names is then sent on to the national bishops’ conference.
When an Episcopal appointment needs to be made, the bishops’ conference sends a list of relevant names to the papal nuncio, who begins his own investigation into the names presented to him. This involves getting to know the candidate’s character and is often done with a questionnaire, sent secretly to people who have had close contact with the would-be bishop. One of the goals of the investigation is to ensure there is nothing in the candidate’s past or present that would make him unsuitable to be bishop.
Once the nuncio has completed his investigation he picks the three candidates he thinks would be most suitable for the vacancy needing to be filled. The nuncio send those that list of three names (called a “terna”) to the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.
The “terna” is handed over to the Congregation for Bishops. This is where things slow down somewhat. If the appointment involves a priest being made a bishop, the entire congregation needs to weigh in on the matter. Since the congregation only meets twice a month, it take a while for a given appointment to be considered. A cardinal-relator must be appointed to present the file on each candidate to the congregation, and then the congregation votes. There are two options: the congregation might pick a candidate, or they may decide none of the three candidates is right. If the congregation decides that none of the candidates are right for the vacancy, they send word to the Nuncio in that country to start over again and submit three more names.
If the congregation decides on a candidate, the prefect of the congregation takes that decision and all relevant information about the appointment, to the Pope.
If the appointment involves raising a Bishop to Archbishop, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops can review the case and make recommendations himself, without needing the whole congregation to vote on it.
The Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops tells the pope what the congregation recommends for the appointment in question. He then leaves the matter with the pope. When the pope has considered the matter and made a decision, he informs the Congregation for Bishops of his decision, and the appointment is announced.
The process has encounter roadblocks at any point along the way: Early on it can be discovered that the candidate is unsuitable for a number reasons, the Congregation for Bishops might not approve of any of the names on the “terna”, the pope might not agree with the Congregation’s recommendations, or a candidate might discover he is being considered for an Episcopal position and ask to be removed from the list of candidates.
Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ weekly general audience where he asks the world to come together to irradiate Ebola and the CCCB releases a new document on ecumenism.
Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ General Audience, a letter from the CCCB to the Prime Minister and CNS talks about the death penalty in the United States.
François de Laval and Marie of the Incarnation
Statement by the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
It is with great joy and thanksgiving that the Bishops of Canada welcome today’s proclamation by Pope Francis that the Universal Church recognizes Bishop François de Laval and Mother Marie of the Incarnation as Saints. Late last year, the Holy Father had consulted the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops about his proposal to proceed with their canonization. We responded then, and we do again today, with a resounding Amen! We are grateful to God for raising up in our midst these two wonderful examples of holiness and service. We thank Pope Francis for this great gift to the Church in Canada, and to all the people of our nation.
Saint François de Laval (1623-1708) was the first Bishop of New France. His diocesan territory originally included most of what is now Canada, much of upper New England and all the Mississippi Valley, extending even to the Rocky Mountains. He is admired for his pastoral work among the Aboriginal Peoples and the settlers of New France, and for trying to defend Native People from being exploited by merchants and governors through the sale of alcohol. He was especially committed to education, founding both a major and a minor seminary. The Séminaire de Québec, which later established Laval University, has made major contributions in the intervening centuries to higher academic education not only in Quebec and the rest of Canada, but throughout North America. Saint François de Laval was known for his commitment to evangelization and his generosity to the poor. After his resignation as Bishop of Québec, he devoted his final years to prayer, penance and the care of the poor.
Saint Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672) was an Ursuline nun who founded a convent and school to educate girls in New France. Daughters of the French settlers and of the Aboriginal Peoples were educated together, sharing the same table and the same dwelling. After learning several Aboriginal languages, she compiled catechisms and prayers in Huron and Algonquin, as well as an Algonquin dictionary. She also maintained a voluminous correspondence. Her letters remain today an important witness to her deep and generous mystical spirituality, as well as to the day-to-day history of New France. Saint Marie of the Incarnation began a long tradition throughout our continent of Ursuline elementary and secondary schools, dedicated to the education of girls and young women of all faiths and languages. Her canonization happily coincides with the 375th anniversary of her arrival in what is today Quebec City.
Their proclamation as Saints arrives at two important junctures this year in Canadian history. The 350th anniversary of the canonical establishment of Notre-Dame-de-Québec, the first parish in North America outside Spanish-speaking territories, reminds us of the missionary nature of the Church as it was planted in Canadian soil. May Saint François de Laval and Saint Marie of the Incarnation renew in us a sense of mission and our commitment to evangelizing in the joy of the Gospel. This year also has witnessed what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission announced would be its final National Event. May our two new Saints assist all of us, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to build a better future that respects and reverences the contributions that each race and people brings to our country and to our world. Inspired by the examples of these two Saints, and strengthened in the Holy Spirit, let us all collaborate in renewing the face of the earth and founding a civilization of love and service.
Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
April 3, 2014
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop of Gatineau Paul-André Durocher has issued the following statement on the elevation of Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec, to the College of Cardinals:
As President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, it is a great joy for me, on behalf of all the Bishops of Canada, to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Most Reverend Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, for his having been designated by our Holy Father as a Cardinal of the Church of Rome. This appointment by Pope Francis is a great honour for all the Church in our country, as well as indicating the importance of the See of Québec and the important role it played in evangelizing the New World. What an honour this is for the people of Québec and those of the entire country, as we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the erection of the first parish in North America outside Spanish-speaking territories.
Cardinal-designate Lacroix has already provided extraordinary leadership in the Church in Quebec for his joyful proclamation of the Good News. As Primate, he is recognized throughout the country as an extraordinary leader who is an enthusiastic preacher, with an unmistakable missionary zeal that is accented by his complete dedication to the new evangelization. He is known as a man of sincerity and humility who possesses a welcoming spirit. Most of all, he brings the person of our Lord Jesus Christ to everyone, regardless of their age, sex, culture, faith or personal circumstances. We share this joy with all the members of the “Institut Seculier Pie X”, a Society of Apostolic Life to which he belonged prior to being appointed a Bishop. His joyful character knows no bounds, and is, at all times, completely contagious.
As an ex officio member of the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Lacroix has always contributed to its meetings much wisdom, deeply rooted in his love of the Gospel. These same qualities will help him greatly as he advises the Holy Father, which is one of the key responsibilities of every Cardinal.
+ Paul-André Durocher
Archbishop of Gatineau and
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops