Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 11, 2007
CCODP a vehicle for love, justice, says Turcotte
Organization founded to live out papal teaching
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte celebrated a special Mass at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal June 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
Turcotte used his homily to illustrate how the love shared among the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit might have inspired the Canadian bishops when they established Development and Peace 40 years ago.
"The world in which we live - this world so marvellous and so diverse, but profoundly marred by egoism and injustice - is it not on a quest for the respect and the harmony and the mutual love that exists in God?" he said in French.
"We pray that the great work of this organization continues, and, if possible, grows, in the years to come," he said.
"For what we still need to accomplish for our world in terms of justice, solidarity, sharing and peace is enormous, and appears at times to be over and above our capabilities to achieve."
Development and Peace's existence helps prevent people from lowering their hands in defeat, he said.
"For all of us, this organization is a sign of hope," he said.
A thousand people attended the Mass at the international pilgrimage site, from 18 dioceses in Quebec and at least four in Ontario. Radio Canada carried the celebration live and online from June 3-9 at www.radio-canada.ca/television/seigneur.
The bishops founded Development and Peace after Pope Paul VI's 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio called the Church to address social injustice and economic inequalities in the developing world.
Archbishop Andre Gaumond of Sherbrooke, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a pastoral letter to mark the anniversary.
Gaumond's letter, Communicating Christ's Love through the Mission of Development and Peace, said the bishops created Development and Peace with a twofold purpose: to provide development assistance and to educate Canadian Catholics about the plight of the poor in the developing world.
He noted that since 1967 there has been more attention to human rights, justice and equality, but the past 40 years have not delivered a "radical change."
The poor are more numerous, he said, living in intolerable conditions. "The social challenges of justice and peace can never be kept at arm's length from one's life as a Christian."