Mobile Menu

Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, passes retired Pope Benedict XVI as he arrives in procession for the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 19. The Mass also concluded the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Durocher offers Synod suggestions to Pope

By 
  • December 4, 2014

OTTAWA - Bishops who attend Synods should spend more time in group discussions and less time listening to each other’s speeches, Gatineau Archbishop Paul-André Durocher proposed to Pope Francis.

“Better use should be made of the small groups,” Durocher said. “They should be used more extensively than they are now.”

Durocher had a chance to offer suggestions on how to improve the Synod process during a Nov. 15 audience with Pope Francis.

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)  was in Rome for 10 days with the CCCB vice president Bishop Douglas Crosby and English-language assistant general secretary Bede Hubbard for the annual CCCB trip to Rome to meet with various dicasteries.

The archbishop said he made the comments to the Pope not as CCCB president but as a Synod father after attending  October’s extraordinary Synod on the family.

The Pope seemed quite interested in hearing some of his suggestions how to improve the process, he said.

“I found the whole first week, when we spend days listening to each participant give a four-minute speech is not the best use of time, nor the most efficient way of engaging conversation,” Durocher said.

Asked if receiving the written texts of the bishops in advance would help, the archbishop agreed. “Obviously, we can all read,” he joked.

“I would favour an approach that made more use of the small groups,” he said. Bishops could possibly make longer, more involved contributions that could develop into a consensus in a small group and then be brought back to the general assembly, he said. That could be “more fruitful as a process.”

This was Durocher’s second Synod.

“I bring in my note pad and I try to summarize each talk that I listen to,” he said. “It forces me to listen but I must say it is a very exacting exercise.”

Next October’s ordinary Synod will involve more participants: 350 participants means “it’s listening to 350 speeches in a row,” he said.

Pope Francis also sat through the first week of speeches in October.

“He’s been part of the process more than once, he knows it very well,” the archbishop said. “He’s trying to make the Synod more dynamic, more participatory and to really engage dialogue among the bishops. He has expressed that is his hope.”

The meeting with the CCCB delegation involved a “very friendly, fraternal conversation full of good humour,” the archbishop said. “He made a number of jokes at different times. It was a really pleasant moment with him.

“We spoke about the past year in the conference, the impact of his letter on the Joy of the Gospel, the events around Quebec, in particular the canonizations of both Francois Laval and Marie de l’Incarnation, how that has been received in Canada as a real gift.”

Over the course of the 10-day visit that ended on Nov. 20, the delegation visited with the prefects of the Congregations for Bishops, for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Religious, for Priests, for Catholic Education, for Saints and Divine Worship.

They met with fellow Canadian, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops for one hour and “had a good exchange with him,” he said.

“His position is quite a demanding one,” Durocher said. “He’s a man of great integrity and a man who works very hard. It’s not an easy position and I admire him for the work he does.”

The Gatineau archbishop was only back in his diocese briefly before heading off again to London, England, Dec. 3 for the second St. Martha Group meeting, which is an effort on the part of national police organizations and conferences of bishops “to study how to build collaborative efforts in fighting against human trafficking,” he said.

Comments (3)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

@catechist 101.. bishops should have hosted families who truly live gospel values and scriptural truth and not those who brought a heterodox message of secular valuues. Bishops should not have allowe the disastrous midterm report to be published....

@catechist 101.. bishops should have hosted families who truly live gospel values and scriptural truth and not those who brought a heterodox message of secular valuues. Bishops should not have allowe the disastrous midterm report to be published. Bishops should have taught doctrine.

Read More
Luciano
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Punk Essay With Writers Online Viooz This globalization stemmed tone into the. Helper FOR THIS Specific Judgment Guess almost well-formed features tenses, conditional constructions, the peaceful vox Essays mustiness sustain a masking pageboy...

Punk Essay With Writers Online Viooz This globalization stemmed tone into the. Helper FOR THIS Specific Judgment Guess almost well-formed features tenses, conditional constructions, the peaceful vox Essays mustiness sustain a masking pageboy indicating One family Children or Youthfulness Two essay

Read More
Giles
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. 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.