Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Canadian Bishops hold 2016 Plenary Assembly

The Catholic Bishops of Canada have concluded their 2016 Plenary Assembly, which took place from September 26-30 in Cornwall, Ontario.

“We had many interesting presentations,” said Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). “It was a very full Plenary; the agenda was perhaps too packed.”

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Crosby spoke about some of the most important themes of the Plenary Assembly. Notably the Bishops discussed the recent legalization of euthanasia in the county. 

“The law is called ‘Medical Assistance in Dying,’” said Bishop Crosby, “which I think we would all want medical assistance in dying. So it really is misleading in terms of the title but this is really assisting suicide.” 

The Bishops heard from Cardinal Willem Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht, Holland, on the social and cultural impact of legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in The Netherlands and beyond. They also discussed pastoral responses to euthanasia.

Another item on the agenda was the environment. Bishop Crosby told Vatican Radio, “Father Michael Czerny, [S.J.], from the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, gave us a very good understanding and background for Laudato s­ì, which we received of course, last year but didn’t have the opportunity to have kind of an in-depth look at it. He gave us a very interesting presentation and helpful to understanding its formation and its importance.”

Among other topics, the Bishops also discussed the commemoration of the 5th centenary of the Protestant Reformation; as well as the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris laetitia, On Love in the Family; and the commitments made by Catholic parties in response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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