Canadian bishops meet with Pope

By  Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
  • November 9, 2007
{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said coming to the Vatican to visit Pope Benedict XVI and curial officials "is always something that energizes us."

Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg, conference president, led a small delegation to the Vatican Nov. 6-12 for regularly scheduled annual meetings with Vatican officials. The vice president of the bishops' conference, Archbishop Pierre Morissette of Baie-Comeau, Que., and secretary-general, Msgr. Mario Paquette, accompanied Weisgerber.

Weisgerber told Catholic News Service that the delegation's 20-minute private meeting Nov. 8 with Pope Benedict "went very well."

"He is a marvellous listener and very hospitable," he said.

Weisgerber said they spoke with the Pope about the problem of secularization and the situation of the aboriginal peoples in Canada.

The archbishop called the Pope's ability to make time for and dedicate his attention to the many people who come to see him "a great gift."

The Canadians' appointment followed the Pope's 35-minute meeting with the president of Mozambique "and it was amazing how he can be extremely present and make you feel you're the only one in the world," Weisgerber said.

The archbishop told the Pope they hoped he would take part in the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec in June. He said when they asked if the Pope was planning to attend "he just smiled very warmly, very nicely and said his schedule for 2008" was not yet finalized.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told CNS Nov. 7 he had not seen any plans for a Quebec trip.

Weisgerber said he did not mention the online petition aimed at convincing the Pope to journey to Quebec since he had only just recently learned about it.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.