Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
September 14, 2009
CCCB offers a 'larger imagination' – Weisgerber
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA - Across Canada on the weekend of Sept. 26-27, most parishes will hold the annual collection for the needs of the Church in Canada.
The money each parish collects will go to its diocese towards its annual per capita assessment that funds the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).
While the CCCB is not the headquarters of the Canadian Church, it does provide a vehicle for work the bishops do together at a national level, said CCCB president Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber.
In an interview, he encouraged Canadian Catholics to find a "larger imagination" and "a larger heart" for the Church's work beyond the confines of the individual parish.
"Our major experience is usually at the parochial level," he said. But that involvement can sometimes limit the perspective on the needs of the diocese, the needs of the Canadian Church, and the needs of the international Church. "That's a challenge at every level."
The CCCB sent out parish bulletins to make Catholics aware of the responsibilities the Catholic Church has at the national level.
Weisgerber said the CCCB helps the Church speak out on moral issues such as euthanasia and abortion.
He also spoke of the role the bishops play on political issues such as immigration, the treatment of refugees, the environment and "working with our federal government to present the Church's social teaching in a way that will help people."
The Canadian Church has also played a major role in advocating for aboriginal peoples.
This year, Weisgerber accompanied a delegation of Church and aboriginal leaders to meet with Pope Benedict, where the pope expressed profound regret for the treatment native children received at Indian residential schools.
"Another huge issue is the ecumenical and interfaith challenge," the archbishop said, noting the growing multicultural and multi-faith environment in Canada.
"Canada is not an isolated Church," he said. The CCCB provides a way for the Canadian bishops to work with other bishops' conferences, especially those in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas.
"And more important than that is our relationship with the Holy See," Weisgerber said. The CCCB helps keep communications open and provide opportunities to meet and to speak with Vatican representatives, including the pope.