OTTAWA – Legalizing marijuana shows a “disregard” for public health and safety, Canada’s Catholic bishops charge.

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Atlantic Canada bishops will lead off two months of visits to Rome which will see all of Canada’s active bishops participate in “ad limina” meetings with a Pope for the first time since 2006.

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No parish or individual Catholic should have to walk into Lent blind.

Published in Book News

OTTAWA – Citing concerns about potential unfair treatment, Canada’s Catholic bishops have written to Canada’s Revenue Minister to express disagreement with government policies that classify some religious charitable activities as political.

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OTTAWA – Canada’s Catholic Bishops have joined with an interfaith coalition to endorse a private member’s bill that lays the foundation for a national palliative care strategy.

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A recent decision to withdraw from Kairos doesn’t in any way diminish the commitment of Canada’s bishops to ecumenism or social justice action, according to the bishops.

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TORONTO – Canada’s Catholic bishops will no longer be part of Canada’s ecumenical social justice coalition known as Kairos.

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TORONTO – Canada’s Catholic bishops will no longer be part of Canada’s ecumenical social justice coalition, known as Kairos.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

CORNWALL, Ont. – Members of the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council called on Canada’s bishops to help find permanent funding for an institution to promote indigenous culture and spirituality.

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CORNWALL, Ont. – The Canadian bishops were exhorted to do pastoral ministry “on their knees” before God and before Christ in the people they serve.

Published in Faith

OTTAWA – The impact of Bill C-14 that legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada will be among the issues facing Canada’s bishops as they gather for their annual plenary Sept. 26-30 in Cornwall, Ont.

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OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) annual plenary Sept. 24-28 in Ste. Adele, Que., will mark many firsts this year, from distinguished guests to reflections on topics as diverse as the Second Vatican Council and the worldwide economic crisis.

The gathering, which is expected to draw 80 bishops from across Canada, comes on the eve of several historic events that will also be addressed: the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council Oct. 11, the Synod of Bishops on New Evangelization Oct. 7-28 in Rome and the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha on Oct. 21.

“(The plenary) is always such an important moment in the life of the Canadian Church,” said CCCB general secretary Msgr. Patrick Powers. The CCCB executive and secretariat staff “always look forward to the many, many things that will be decided upon in the course of that meeting.”

Among the highlights of this year’s agenda is the visit of Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk who will offer a reflection Sept. 25 after having presided at the worldwide Ukrainian Catholic Church Synod of Bishops in Winnipeg Sept. 9-16. He has made pastoral visits to various cities in Canada over recent months to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Nyktyta Budka to Canada.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, the new Ordinary for the United States’ Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, will also attend. The Ordinariate was erected in January to provide a home for people from the Anglican tradition who wish to become Catholic while maintaining aspects of Anglican liturgy and patrimony under the Holy Father’s 2008 Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins, the episcopal delegate for Anglicanorum coetibus in Canada will give a report on progress, Powers said.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will also hold an off-the-record discussion with the bishops. Powers said it will be a “give and take” session on a range of concerns, from recent legislation that impacts refugees, to the parish refugee sponsorship programs. Many dioceses have a significant number of foreign priests, Powers said, “so (Kenney) is well-placed to help the bishops understand the various things that are happening.”

The canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha gets prominent billing. Saint-Jean-Longueil Bishop Lionel Gendron, the CCCB co-treasurer who heads a temporary secretariat to co-ordinate events in Canada and in Rome surrounding the canonization, will make a presentation on this significant event to the Church and to native Catholics.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, Laval University theologian Gilles Routhier, who is an expert on the Canadian contribution to Vatican II, will deliver a talk.

The Canadian bishops elected last year as delegates at the Synod on New Evangelization will inform the plenary of the content of their Synod interventions, Powers said.

The bishops will also hold a discussion on the upcoming Year of Faith instituted by Pope Benedict XVI.

The bishops will also hold a dinner for Montreal Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte who retired this year as archbishop of Montreal, and Collins, who received his cardinal's red hat last February.

The bishops also have a packed agenda of presentations and reports that happen every year, such as reports from organizations like the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Canadian Aboriginal Council, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family and other groups. The episcopal commissions will report as will standing committees, such as communications and Development and Peace. The bishops will address fiscal matters and adopt a new budget.

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