2012-11-17 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) Each year a delegation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) comes to Rome for a series of meetings with officials of the Holy See. The delegation is composed of the President and Vice-President of the conference, currently Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton and Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Gatineau.
Christopher Wells spoke with Archbishop Durocher about the visit. Listen:
Archbishop Durocher says the annual visit is a great source of encouragement for the Bishops: “Whenever we come here, we are very . . . touched by the spirit of collaboration that we find here, by the spirit of mutual listening, mutual enrichment, and we go back, actually, quite encouraged by what we experience here.”
The high point of the visit each year is a brief private audience with the Pope. This year, the Canadian delegation presented the Holy Father with a framed reproduction of the front page of the primary source document in the cause for the canonization of Saint Kateri. Archbishop Smith also gave Pope Benedict XVI a DVD of the new Salt + Light TV documentary, “In Her Footsteps: The Story of Kateri Tekakwitha.” The Archbishops spoke with Pope Benedict about the impact of St. Kateri’s canonisation – which took place just a few weeks earlier – on the First Nations people in Canada, especially with regard to ongoing efforts at reconciliation.
Archbishop Durocher says they also spoke in general of the New Evangelisation, the focus of the recent General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. “I think, as a whole, in Canada we’ve embraced the concept of the New Evangelisation.” He notes that Canada can be seen as one of those countries, once largely Christian, which is now undergoing a process of secularisation. In such countries, he says, there is a great need for re-evangelisation. “I would say that Canada is in the midst of what the New Evangelisation is all about, and the Bishops take that very seriously.”
In addition to a private audience with the Pope, the delegation meets with more than a dozen dicasteries of the Holy See, the offices of the Curia which assist the Holy Father in the governance of the universal Catholic Church. “It’s really important for us, and I think also for the members of the Curia, because they are at the service of the universal Church,” says Archbishop Durocher. “The universal Church has different faces, depending on where it is. And in Canada we have our own reality. It’s important for us to be able to express that reality, to explain it also, to the people who work here in Rome. At the same time it’s important for us to have a sense of the universal Church.”
The CCCB Delegation concluded its visit to Rome on Sunday.