November 1, 2010

CORNWALL, ONT. — Canada’s Catholic bishops will examine how new bioethical questions and the sexual abuse crisis impact evangelization.

At the annual plenary Oct. 25-29 of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, (CCCB) 90 bishops from across the country will also look at a pastoral response to non-practising Catholics, the renewal of parishes and better ways to involve young adults, said CCCB president Saint-Jerome Bishop Pierre Morissette.

“Evangelization is one of those wonderful words in the Christian vocabulary that encapsulates the whole vision of the Church and its mission,” Morissette told the plenary Oct. 25.

He spoke of the joys of the previous year, including the canonization of St. Brother Andre.

“Brother Andre helps us all to focus on the fundamental importance of ordinary men and women in sustaining the faith of the whole Church,” he said.

Morissette also pointed to the joy of the Special Synod of Bishops for the Middle East that wrapped up Oct. 24 in Rome. He noted how the synod celebrated the “identity and witness of the Eastern Catholic churches. “The importance of the Eastern Catholic heritage has long been a priority for us as Canadian bishops.”

He made a link between past and future concerning both the Eastern churches and Canada’s new saint.

“Saint Brother Andre is not just a reminder of yesterday’s values — he is also part of our message for today,” he said. “The churches of the Middle East are not only part of our past, but also key to the challenges shaping our future.”

The CCCB president said evangelization is not only about safeguarding the faith heritage, but also “expounding it with greater efficacy and keeping up to date with changing conditions.”

CCODP reported that it raised $20 million from Canadian Catholics for earthquake relief in Haiti. CCODP executive director Michael Casey said that with news of a cholera outbreak and “chaotic problems on the ground,” most of the earthquake victims remain in camps.

Progress in Haiti has been slow and difficult, Casey said. While an immediate response to the crisis was crucial, it will take at least another five years to reconstruct the villages.