Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
October 1, 2001
Berthelet to head Canadian bishops
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
CORNWALL, ONT. — The new president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says he is excited about taking over the reins of leadership of the CCCB as World Youth Day 2002 approaches.
Bishop Jacques Berthelet says WYD, along with the Vocations Congress in Montreal next April, the current cross-Canada tour of the World Youth Day Cross and the just started nationwide tour of the relics of Therese of Lisieux "are a kind of visitation of God to his people in Canada."
Through its focus on youth, WYD can help the Canadian bishops build up the Church and prepare "a new generation of Christians," he said.
Berthelet, the bishop of Saint Jean-Longueuil, Que., also said in a CCN interview that being president of the episcopal conference would give him a better understanding of the Church in Canada.
"It's real exciting to be president during this time," he said. "It enables me to do my little part in the building of the Church."
Berthelet said dioceses across Canada are trying to build a church that is less a "church of rites and more a church of believers."
Rituals are a symbolic way of expressing faith, he said, "but we need to deepen that faith so that we can live it in all situations."
He gave as an example the recent terrorist attacks in the United States, saying, "The people's reaction to that tragedy reflects their faith, he said. "If there is no place for forgiveness then your faith as a Christian is not very deep."
The deeper one's faith is, the better he or she can find "the words and ways to understand this tragic situation in an evangelical way," he said.
Berthelet was elected president of the CCCB at the opening of the conference's annual plenary meeting Sept. 20. He succeeded Bishop Gerald Wiesner, the bishop of Prince George, B.C.
Wiesner, in a CCN interview, reflected on his two years as conference president saying that his reaction is one of gratitude for being able to have served in a leadership capacity.
"There have been a lot of blessings, a lot of gifts," he said.
He also said he sees a lot of optimism in the Canadian Church even though the numbers of people have declined over the years.
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