CCCB Annual Plenary Assembly Begins in Cornwall

CORNWALL, Canada, OCT. 21, 2004 ( President of the Canadian bishop’s conference told more than 80 bishops gathered for their annual plenary meeting that the past year was filled with many challenges for the Church in Canada.

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“The past few months have also been major moments in other controversies involving ethical and human concerns,” Archbishop Brendan M. O’Brien said. “These debates are about the basic values and principles that shape the lives of individual persons, the welfare of our communities, and the future of society,” he added.

As reported by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) website, he was referring to the CCCB’s involvement in the debates on new reproductive technologies, the redefinition of marriage, which recently was before the Supreme Court of Canada, and the CCCB reflections on responsibility and discernment which preceded the 2004 federal election.

“These debates are vital for our Church and our society,” he said in his annual report. “They show how secularization continues to open as well as to close doors to discussions on values and principles. They signal that the Christian community is deeply committed to, and concerned about, its mission to be a witness to the world.”

“Despite the current trend that sees human rights simply as various entitlements for individuals, the debates indicate how the dignity of the individual person is inseparable from the welfare of the community and the common good,” he said.

The plenary assembly continues until Saturday with discussions planned on a number of pastoral issues and financial matters.

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