Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 9, 2006
CCCB will discuss Catholic politician's role
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will tackle the controversial issue of Catholic involvement in public life during its annual plenary assembly in Cornwall, Ont., Oct. 16-20.
This issue jumped to the fore across North America in recent years as Catholic politicians on both sides of the border have voted or advocated positions in favour of abortion and same-sex marriage, contrary to Church teachings.
The conference has invited Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., to speak on the issue as well as on the Church's social teaching on Oct. 17.
According to the CCCB's General Secretary Msgr. Mario Paquette, McCarrick will include a discussion of "the involvement of Catholic politicians, their faith, and the laws of the country."
The bishops will also plan a strategy to defend traditional marriage in light of the possible reopening of the marriage debate promised by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper has pledged to introduce a motion on whether to reopen the same-sex "marriage" debate this fall.
The CCCB will also continue the restructuring begun in 2004, examining the role of the conference, its governing structure and the issues the bishops will focus on as the Church in Canadian society.
The restructuring started when the conference had to address a budget deficit, resulting in budget cutbacks, layoffs, and a reorganization of the offices at the CCCB secretariat serving the episcopal commissions.
"That phase one is over, we're done," Paquette said in a telephone interview Oct. 3. "We're no longer in a deficit."