The Bishops of Canada announce that due to the current health crisis, they will be holding their plenary assembly online for the second year in a row.
By Francesca Merlo
From September 20 to 24, the Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will take place online. The news arrived in a declaration posted Friday on the Episcopal Conference website.
The bishops write that the decision was made taking into account ongoing public health recommendations on gatherings regarding COVID-19, as well as concerns for the health and safety of all involved.
The virtual format
In the virtual format, the statement read, “The Bishops will address a number of important topics, including the pastoral priority of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, to which the Bishops of Canada remain fully committed.” .
Along with this, other key topics will be discussed, such as “how to re-engage or continue the mission of the Church after the coronavirus pandemic; family and life initiatives; and the journey in several phases leading to the Synod of Bishops of 2023. titled ‘For a Synodal Church: communication, participation and mission ‘”.
In addition, the statement said, the new Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Bishop Ivan Jurkovic, “will deliver his first address to the bishops of Canada by videoconference”. After that, the bishops of Canada will conclude the process of electing the new CCCB executive committee made up of a president, a vice-president and two co-treasurers, one from the English and French sectors.
Review of the agenda
Like the year 2020, where the Plenary Assembly was also held virtually, meetings by videoconference will require additional thought regarding schedules and agenda. “Due to a condensed agenda, topics of general interest – usually presented on the first day and a half of previous in-person meetings – will be carried over to next year and also exclude the participation of guest observers and ‘guests from a number of national Catholic organizations, as well as accredited media representatives as in the past,’ the statement read.
A summary of the discussions and key decisions of the Plenary will be published at the end of the meeting.