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Pope’s Message for 2015 World Day of Peace – Perspectives Daily

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ weekly general audience, his message for the 2015 World Day of Peace and the CCCB’s Christmas message.

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – Perspectives Daily

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.

The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today

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(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.

Link to the full document. 

Original text found here

– Photo Credit: (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican Connections: December 5, 2014

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!).

Step one:

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.

Step two:

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.

Step three:

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.

Step Four:

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.

Step Five:

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.

 

 

Pope Francis Calls on the World to end Ebola – Perspectives Daily

Pope Francis leaves at the end of his Oct. 29 general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The pope pleaded for the international community to take stronger coordinated steps to "annihilate" the Ebola virus. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters) See POPE-EBOLA and POPE-AUDIENCE Oct. 29, 2014.

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.

Perspectives Daily – April 23, 2014

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.

‘LET US BE EASTER PEOPLE’ – Easter Message from CCCB President

Image to accompany Chapter 3 of encyclical 'Lumen Fidei'

Below, please find the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Easter Message:

Life is stronger than death! This is the fundamental conviction of my Christian faith. It is based on a fact: Jesus’ disciples were radically transformed only a few days after his death.

Let’s put ourselves in their place. The one in whom they had hoped has died, and his death was shameful. Accused of encouraging revolt against the government, Jesus was tortured, publicly humiliated, and crucified like a most vile criminal. A phrase from the Jewish Scriptures must have haunted them: “Anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse” (Deuteronomy 21.23).

The one they had believed to be God’s Prophet now seems cursed by God. They were convinced he would restore the kingdom of Israel – but once again the Roman Empire proves all powerful. They believed that the future ages would be transformed by him, but now they are mocked by never-ending sadness and futility.

Is it surprising they fled to avoid being taken with him? That Judas took his own life? That Peter, their leader, even denied knowing him? That they hid themselves in sorrow and despair?

What happened just a few days later to bring about such a radical change in them? Jesus’ death had made them fearful; now they are full of courage. They had gone into hiding; now they preach in public. They had been dispersed, each to his separate way; they now come together for prayer and the breaking of the bread, united in unbreakable solidarity.

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Photo description: Worshipers hold candles during the Easter Vigil at St. Jude Church in Mastic Beach, N.Y. (CNS file photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Welcoming Canada’s Two New Saints

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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.

 +Paul-André Durocher
Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

April 3, 2014

CCCB President’s statement on the newest Canadian Cardinal

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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

New Years message from Canadian Bishops

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On this New Year’s Day of 2014, Pope Francis has published his first message for the

celebration of the World Day of Peace, focusing on the theme of brotherhood. As President of

the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada, I want to relay Pope Francis’s intervention to my

fellow citizens by taking a look from our own Canadian perspective at some of the questions he

has chosen to raise.

Families: The Pope identifies the family as the first school of brotherhood. Unfortunately, too

many Canadian families live in poverty, suffering from unemployment, experiencing violence,

breakdowns and indifference. Should we not commit ourselves to the full flowering of our

families as a genuine social priority?

Aid to poor countries: Francis reminds us that rich countries have a special responsibility in

building a common future for humanity. He suggests that human brotherhood presents itself in

this regard under three aspects: the duty of solidarity, the duty of social justice and the duty of

universal charity. When we consider our foreign policy, the role of our ambassadors, our

international commitments and our economic agreements, should we not consider these three

duties as foundational?

Poverty in Canada: The Pope recognizes that our world is experiencing a reduction in absolute

poverty. However, relative poverty is increasing, that is to say “inequality between people and

groups who live together in particular regions”. This certainly describes Canada, one of the most

prosperous countries of the world, where we unfortunately find too many soup kitchens, drop-in

centres and neglected, unhealthy neighbourhoods. And what about our Indian reserves where

overwhelming and devastating poverty is unfortunately rampant? Could we not foster true

brotherhood among us, a brotherhood made concrete by our care of others and our sharing with

them as well as the development of government policies and programs that make a greater

difference in people’s lives?

Voluntary Simplicity: The Pope salutes those families and individuals who intentionally choose

voluntary simplicity in their life style. This is a testimony that speaks to all, a gesture that makes

a difference. As we begin this New Year, could we not all reflect on our lifestyle, our

consumption and our priorities?

Ethics in business and finance: Francis invites business leaders to uphold the traditional virtues

of prudence, temperance, justice and perseverance as they engage in commercial and financial

activities. Otherwise, we may find ourselves beset with the continuing financial and economic

crises that have shaken our country and our world. Should not all Canadian business leaders

strive to be international models of these ethical principles?

The arms trade: The Pope’s words are incisive: “As long as so great a quantity of arms are in

circulation as at present, new pretexts can always be found for initiating hostilities.” Should

Canadian companies be complicit in the many fratricidal wars that hurt our world and kill

children? Do not our governments have an obligation to consider this question more seriously?

Organized crime: Our Pope deplores the presence of criminal organizations that profit from the

sale of drugs, corruption, human trafficking and prostitution. Persons involved in such

organizations or doing business with them should seriously listen to the call of Pope Francis: “In

the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing

for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies

or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.” How shall we help our

brothers and sisters free themselves from the scourge of organized crime?

The ecological challenge: Francis warns us of greed and the arrogance of domination,

possession, manipulation and exploitation. It would be more helpful to consider nature as “a

gracious gift which we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including

future generations”. Since Canada is recognized for its natural beauty and its rich natural

resources, we have an even more serious obligation in this area. Harmonizing economic

development and respect for nature is not easy, yet social and political will must rise to the task.

Will we leave our grandchildren and great -grandchildren a healthy and ecologically rich

environment?

In conclusion: When I look at the state of the world today, I cannot help but count myself lucky

to live in a prosperous and peaceful country like Canada. This prosperity and peace allow us to

strive even more radically towards the ideal of brotherhood. Yes, let us rejoice in the path

already travelled, but let us also remain clear-thinking as we face the path ahead. Citizens,

governments and community organizations, I call on you with Pope Francis: let us once again

take up the pilgrim’s staff. Together, let us journey ever further along the path of brotherhood,

the true road to peace.

+ Paul- André Durocher

Archbishop of Gatineau and

President of the Canadian Conference

of Catholic Bishops

(CNS Photo)