CCCB President Archbishop Richard Smith congratulates Cardinal-designate Collins on the announcement that the Holy Father has elevated him to the dignity of Cardinal of the Church of Rome. Below find his official statement
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 congratulations to the Most Reverend Thomas Collins for his having been designated by our Holy Father as a Cardinal of the Church of Rome. This appointment by Pope Benedict XVI is a great honour for all the Church in our country, as well as indicating the importance of the See of Toronto in the life of the Universal Church.
Cardinal-designate Collins has already provided excellent leadership for the Church in Toronto and throughout Canada by his dedication to and involvement in lectio divina, the quality of his preaching, and for his insistence on safe and secure environments in our communities for the vulnerable and the young.
As an ex officio member of the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Collins has always contributed to its meetings with wisdom, balance and good humour. These will be the same qualities that he will bring in advising the Holy Father, which is one of the key responsibilities of every Cardinal.
During October 2010, Cardinal-designate Collins had participated in the Special Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, to which the Holy Father had appointed him as one of three Latin Rite Bishops from North America. This was not only recognition of the metropolitan nature of Toronto, in which so many cultures and nationalities have come together, but also of the welcome that he has extended to refugees and immigrants from all cultures. He has also been active in finding ways to assist Christians who are being persecuted in other countries, and in insisting that they should not be penalized because of their faith from being able to seek refuge in Canada.
As a former seminary professor, a biblical scholar who has specialized in the Book of the Apocalypse, and as a former Bishop of Saint-Paul and a former Archbishop of Edmonton, Cardinal-designate Collins knows well the challenges and opportunities facing our Church across Canada. The frequent contacts and meetings that he will be making as a member of the College of Cardinals will not only allow him to share his Canadian experiences with the Church throughout the world, but also to enrich the Church in Canada by his insights and contacts that will certainly be his as Cardinal.
The Most Reverend Richard Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Photo credits: L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters