Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 23, 2006
Canadian prelates received warm reception from pope
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
Contrary to accounts in the mainstream news media, the Canadian bishops did not receive a "scolding" from Pope Benedict XVI during their visits to Rome this year.
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Ventura recalled how some bishops commented on the emotion of meeting with the holy father and discovering "a more vivid knowledge of his gentle character and his profound intelligence."
They met "with a brother who listens attentively, knowing well the life of your dioceses in solidarity with your pastoral solicitude," the pope's ambassador to Canada said in an address to the annual plenary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) Oct. 16.
Through the nunciature, the bishops provided Benedict with "voluminous" reports on the state of their churches prior to making their once-every-five year visits to Rome.
When the pope addressed groups of bishops from various regions, he responded to these reports in an ongoing reflection on the state of the Church in Canada, Ventura said.
The pope observed Canadian society is "marked by pluralism, subjectivism and increasing secularism."
The pope also "underlined the unacceptable dichotomy between personal faith and the action of Catholics engaged in political life," Ventura said. "In the field of education, he mentioned the temptation of relativism and proposed an apostolate of 'intellectual charity.'"
The pope also "described the negative effects of the rupture between the Gospel and culture: in the name of 'tolerance; one changes and destroys basic pillars of human history, life and marriage," Ventura said.
Ventura also praised the committee organizing the 2008 Eucharistic Congress that will take place in Quebec City during its 400th anniversary celebrations.
The fourth centennial for Quebec City will perhaps allow the faithful to be inspired by the motto of the province: 'Je me souviens,'" recalling the truly heroic happenings of this country, as you have it so well recounted in your pastoral letter of Sept. 14, 1999 on the 250th anniversary of the holy Canadian Martyrs," Ventura said.