Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto arrive for a Mass of thanksgiving celebrated by Pope Francis for the canonization of two Canadian saints in St. Peter's Basil ica at the Vatican Oct. 12. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Durocher to help prepare Synod’s final message

  • October 14, 2014

OTTAWA - The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has been appointed to the commission preparing the final pastoral message of the Synod on the family.

Archbishop Paul-André Durocher has been attending the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops along with other presidents of bishops’ conferences and heads of dicasteries Oct. 5-19 in Rome. Durocher will participate in a commission of eight headed by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi that will prepare the message that witnesses to the bishops’ experience at the Synod.

Durocher participated in the Synod’s daily news briefing Oct. 9, with Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. The archbishop spoke on the debate concerning communion for divorced and remarried Catholics that has dominated headlines concerning the Synod. The archbishop pointed out the Synod has been hearing from people for whom this issue is “most important.”

“But where the majority of the Synod fathers stand on this issue is anybody’s guess,” he said.

Durocher reminded journalists the extraordinary Synod is “meant to lay the foundation for a year-long discussion” that will continue until the full Synod of bishops on the family in October 2015.

The CCCB president also spoke to CNS’ Carol Glatz Oct. 8, telling her the Church is trying to “find what is the will of God, and that will is a will of justice and of mercy.” The challenge will be getting the message across, he said. 

“We have a lot of work to do to find out ways of expressing (God’s plan): Why is faithfulness a gift? Why is fruitfulness in marriage a gift? Why is fidelity to one’s partner a gift? Why is reconciliation a gift?” and then how can these teachings “become a way of life for people?” he said. 

People are “hungry and thirsty for meaning,” he said, so how can the Church better show the world and Catholics the way? 

Durocher said the Synod proceedings have been showing that “all the bishops agree that we have to find ways” to help those in need. 

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