Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 3, 2003
Newfoundland bishop elected to head CCCB
By ART BABYCH
WCR Staff Writer
Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of St. John's, Nfld., has been elected president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He was acclaimed on the opening day of the bishops' annual plenary Oct. 28 succeeding Bishop Jacques Berthelet, who has completed his two-year term as CCCB president. The top post of the episcopal conference alternates between French- and English sector bishops.
Archbishop Andre Gaumond of Sherbrooke, Que., was elected vice-president. If tradition holds true, he will become the CCCB president in 2005.
In his final annual report as president, Berthelet said that these are magnificent and dramatic times for the Church.
"This is a magnificent moment for the Church," he said. "Once again we make the urgency of evangelizing our fundamental mission. We work on reconstituting the fabric of the faith through catechesis. We marvel at the new generations of young people who found rebirth in World Youth Day and now come to give new hope to our particular churches."
"But this is also a dramatic moment, marked by conflicts which never seem to end; a time when the outward expressions of the Church are often discredited, and when the most basic of human and religious values are seriously questioned."
"It is for us to speak out - to reaffirm those values that are so essential."
The more than 70 bishops at the assembly also chose a new general secretary to succeed Msgr. Peter Schonenbach, whose term expires in February, 2004.
Msgr. Mario Paquette, 65, an episcopal vicar for the Montreal Archdiocese, was elected to a three-year term as general secretary beginning in March.