Bishop Douglas Crosby

Bishops not ready to invite Pope Francis to Canada

By 
  • September 26, 2017

CORNWALL, Ont. – Canada’s bishops will not be inviting Pope Francis to visit Canada any time soon.

The matter is not on the agenda at the annual plenary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, so a decision “won’t take place under my watch,” said Bishop Douglas Crosby, the outgoing CCCB President.

“Any discussion about inviting Pope Francis will probably be more focused on our ongoing response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC),” said Crosby of Hamilton in a Sept. 25 interview. “The issue of a papal visit, we really have to look at seriously because it can be really expensive.

“That’s why there is a lot of discussion with government and with other agencies,” said Crosby, whose two-year term as president concludes when the plenary closes on Sept. 29. “It will be the responsibility of the next executive.”

Unanimity is apparently lacking among the bishops on how to respond to various calls to invite Pope Francis to Canada so he can personally apologize to First Nations peoples for the role played by some Canadian religious figures in the residential schools scandal.

In a late May meeting at the Vatican, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Pope Francis to come to Canada to issue the apology that was requested in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation  Commission. The bishops of Saskatchewan issued a similar invitation last December, asking the Pope to make an apology on Canadian soil.

A papal visit, however, would require the support of Canada’s bishops.

“The Pope would never come to a country unless the conference (CCCB) was in favour or supported it, or wanted him to come,” Crosby said, adding that he doubted the Pope would come “just for an apology.”

Although a vote was not on the bishops’ agenda, Crosby expected the matter to be raised during other discussions about relations with Indigenous peoples.

On another matter, Crosby told the bishops he received an unusual phone call from the Prime Minister in which Justin Trudeau asked for the bishops’ help in providing “a better understanding of Islam” following the mosque shooting in Quebec City Jan. 29 that killed six and injured 19.

“I was able to say we had produced a pastoral letter on Islam, and in the Grade 11 program in the Catholic education system, we offer a whole section on Islam,”  Crosby said.

The CCCB plenary held a panel discussion on “Pastoral orientations for interreligious dialogue with Islam” as part of its public session Sept. 26.

Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Re: "Canada’s bishops will not be inviting Pope Francis to visit Canada any time soon."
Is this due to opposition to "Laudato Si" or "Amoris Laetitia"?
I have been puzzled by the lack of promotion of these documents.
Do we detect a backlash from...

Re: "Canada’s bishops will not be inviting Pope Francis to visit Canada any time soon."
Is this due to opposition to "Laudato Si" or "Amoris Laetitia"?
I have been puzzled by the lack of promotion of these documents.
Do we detect a backlash from the trads?

Read More
Joe McGuire
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Re: "Canada’s bishops will not be inviting Pope Francis to visit Canada any time soon."
Is this due to opposition to "Laudato Si" or "Amoris Laetitia"?
I have been puzzled by the lack of promotion of these documents.
Do we detect a backlash from...

Re: "Canada’s bishops will not be inviting Pope Francis to visit Canada any time soon."
Is this due to opposition to "Laudato Si" or "Amoris Laetitia"?
I have been puzzled by the lack of promotion of these documents.
Do we detect a backlash from the trads?

Read More
Joe McGuire
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