Archive for 2008

Archive pour 2008

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A source of joy: Sacramental sharing in Saskatoon

 — February 2, 20082 février 2008

It is a source of joy that Catholic pastors may, in particular circumstances, administer the sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Anointing of the Sick to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church. On such occasions, we acknowledge the importance of the sacrament as a source of grace for all the baptized.

On December 16, 2007, Bishop Albert LeGatt of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon announced the release of Pastoral Directives for Sacramental Sharing between Catholics and Baptized Christians of Other Denominations. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has reviewed the Directives and found them worthy.

The Pastoral Directives were created to bring awareness to both clergy and laypeople of the occasions when sacramental sharing is possible. Bishop LeGatt desires a sound pastoral and consistent response across the diocese to requests for sacramental sharing.

Saskatoon Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism

For further reading and understanding of the Pastoral Directives, please review the following resources:

• Bishop Albert LeGatt’s letter (December 16, 2007)
• Pastoral Directives (revised February 13, 2007) [PDF 99 Kb]
• Directives Pastorales (13 février 2007) [PDF 94 Kb]
• Pastoral Notes (January 31, 2005) [PDF 67 Kb]
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Posted: February 2, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: DocumentsIn this article: Catholic, eucharist, Saskatoon
Transmis : 2 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : DocumentsDans cet article : Catholic, eucharist, Saskatoon

Anglican Covenant Group issues 2nd draft

 — February 6, 20086 février 2008

Communion distributes second draft of proposed ‘covenant’
Design group tries to uphold autonomy of provinces

[Marites N. Sison • Anglican Journal] Addressing concerns raised by several provinces, including Canada, about granting more authority to primates and other Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion, an international group has released a second draft of the proposed Anglican Covenant that maintains the body’s current structures.

The St. Andrew’s draft, so-called because the Covenant Design Group met Jan. 28 to Feb. 2 at St. Andrew’s House in London, also offers “a much more carefully-drawn emphasis on provincial autonomy,” said Eileen Scully, co-ordinator for ministry and worship of the Anglican Church of Canada’s faith, worship and ministry department. Ms. Scully represented the Canadian church in the meeting of the group, which the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams appointed in 2007 in response to a request of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates’ Meeting and of the Anglican Consultative Council.

But while underscoring the independence of provinces, a key section of the draft asks provinces to commit to a process by which they can settle disputes over matters that “threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission.”

It states that provinces must be “willing to receive from the Instruments of Communion a request to adopt a particular course of action in respect of the matter under dispute.”

(The Anglican Communion is served by four “instruments of communion”: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference of bishops, Primates Meetings and the Anglican Consultative Council.)

The draft notes that, “While the Instruments of Communion have no legislative, executive or judicial authority in our provinces … we recognize them as those bodies by which our common life in Christ is articulated and sustained, and which therefore carry a moral authority which commands our respect.” But it adds, “Any such request would not be binding on a church unless recognized as such by that church.”

The covenant stops short of saying what the consequences might be for a church that refuses to adopt any request, stating only that it constitutes “a relinquishment by that church of the force and meaning of the Covenant’s purpose.”

Ms. Scully acknowledged that this is “really difficult stuff because here is where we’re trying to uphold provincial autonomy and saying that we’re autonomous in Communion … What we set out to do is to offer processes with proper checks and balances that respect the realities of provinces and the Anglican Consultative Council and the limited powers of the primates as a collective, not corporate, body.”

During its meeting, the group reviewed submissions from 13 out of 38 provinces and six extra-provincial churches, plus “a large number of responses” from groups and individuals across the Communion.

The draft will be offered for reflection to the Lambeth Conference, the decennial meeting of bishops scheduled July 16 to Aug. 3 in Canterbury, England, and to the broader Communion, after which the design group will meet anew to prepare another draft. That version will then be sent to the Anglican Consultative Council and the primates’ meeting in March 2009 as well as the provinces. It could take more meetings and more drafts, a process that could take years, before a final document can be presented to provinces for approval, said Ms. Scully.

The establishment of a covenant was one of the key recommendations of the 2004 Windsor Report, a document published by the Lambeth Commission on Communion which was created by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to contain a schism in the Anglican Communion over the issue of sexuality.

The latest draft of the covenant “really reflects a movement away from creating new structures,” said Ms. Scully.

In a commentary, the group noted that since “some comments indicated that the covenant was somehow ‘canonizing’ (the) four instruments of communion that have evolved in a somewhat haphazard way” it amended the text of the first draft “to allow both for the evolution of the Instruments, and to acknowledge the existence of other informal instruments and links.”

The group noted that while the covenant “does not preclude or even seek to limit the possible development of these and other Instruments, we nonetheless believe that the Instruments as now working represent a special means of faithfully maintaining our common life, and ones that need to remain at the center of our common commitments.”

The draft emphasizes that there is no intention to create a “centralized jurisdiction” and that the Instruments of Communion “cannot dictate with juridical force on the internal affairs of any province.”

Ms. Scully also said that several provinces of the Communion, including Canada, “were very key in saying, ‘we are committed to the covenant process if such a covenant enhances our mission; we need to know that this isn’t just going to be something about institutional cohesion.'”

In a commentary on the draft, the group noted the “lack of formal discursive responses from other provinces,” and expressed the hope that it “does not necessarily signal disapproval.” The group, headed by Archbishop Drexel Gomez, primate (national archbishop) of the West Indies, cited the lack of translations of text as a possible factor in the low turnout of responses from provinces.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Covenant Response Group is scheduled to meet in Winnipeg Feb. 7 to 8, to discuss how the Canadian church will respond to this latest draft.

The St. Andrew’s draft is available at
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Posted: February 6, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Anglican JournalIn this article: Anglican
Transmis : 6 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Anglican JournalDans cet article : Anglican

Remembering the Children

 — February 7, 20087 février 2008

Remembering the Children: Aboriginal and Church Leaders prepare for Truth and Reconciliation

Cross-Canada Promotion Tour
Saskatchewan stop is March 9, 2008

Senior aboriginal and church leaders are crossing Canada this March to promote the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which is being set up as part of the healing process set out in the Indian Residential Schools Agreement.

The tour seeks to bring awareness of the TRC to the general public and especially the people of the churches. At the invitation of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, Saskatoon will be one of the 4 stops on the tour. The PCE organizing committee is made up of representatives of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, and Presbyterian churches and the Mennonite Central Committee. Other stops are Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver. We asked for the tour to have a Saskatchewan stop because the residential schools issue is so important in our province.

The Saskatoon event is Sunday, March 9 at the Western Development Museum, starting at 3.00 pm, concluding with a feast & round dance.

Assembly of First Nations leaders and Regional Chiefs are part of the tour, along with senior staff from the Office of the Interim Director of the TRC. The other members include the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican National Indigenous Bishop, the Moderator of the United Church of Canada and the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Local church and political leaders will offer a word of welcome to the national tour team at the event. The AFN will be in touch with chiefs in the region about this, and the FSIN have been invited to be present

We are excited that this important event is coming to Saskatchewan. This is a public event. We hope you can be there and will tell others about it. There is no charge for the event. A donations basket is available. Pre-registration is strongly advised to help us plan seating, and is ESSENTIAL if you will be staying for the feast. Register by phone (306-653-1633) or email pce [at] ecumenism [dot] net or write to the PCE at 600-45th Street West, Saskatoon, S7L 5W9.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Jan Bigland-Pritchard
Executive Director,
Prairie Centre for Ecumenism (for the Restorative Justice Committee)

For background on the TRC go to
The tour website is
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Posted: February 7, 2008 • Permanent link: In this article: Canada, events, restorative justice, Saskatoon, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Transmis : 7 février 2008 • Lien permanente : Dans cet article : Canada, events, restorative justice, Saskatoon, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Catholic Church in Poland reports sharp drop in vocations

 — February 11, 200811 février 2008

Catholic Church in Poland reports sharp drop in vocations
by Jonathan Luxmoore

[Warsaw • ENI] The bishop in charge of recruitment for Poland’s Roman Catholic clergy says he does not believe recent scandals are to blame for a sharp fall in vocations, after the church noted a 24 percent reduction in admissions to the country’s 84 Catholic seminaries.

“Decisions about vocations aren’t taken under the influence of short-term events,” said Bishop Wojciech Polak, who heads the church’s National Council for Vocations Ministry. “Today’s culture discourages firm life-long commitments. But we’re not yet seeing any radical, drastic drain in priestly callings, or feeling any tangible shortage of clergy.”

The church statement announcing the fall in seminary admissions also reported that the total number of seminaries in Poland had fallen by one tenth.

In an interview with Ecumenical News International on 31 January, Bishop Polak said the church would be unable to draw “competent conclusions” until longer-term trends became clear. He said, however, there was no evidence to support some media claims that the fall in seminarians reflected negative publicity about the alleged infiltration of the church by the former communist secret police, or about the alleged nationalism of the Catholic broadcaster, Radio Maryja.

“Poland is affected by Europe-wide demographic changes, and the number of potential priesthood candidates is falling anyway,” said Polak, who also chairs the European vocations service of the Council of European (Catholic) Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE).

“We should get used to having less impressive numbers than in the past,” the bishop added. “But our bishops’ conference is working hard to improve its pastoral outreach to young people and find new ways of fostering interest in the priesthood and consecrated life.”

Catholic vocations doubled in Poland after the 1978 election of Polish-born Pope John Paul II, peaking in the mid-1980s. Polish vocations are said to currently account for about a fifth of the European total, and 7 percent at the world level.

In its statement, the church said total seminary numbers dropped from 4612 in 2006 to 4257 in 2007, while 786 students started studies in October, compared to 1029 the previous year. The church also said that admissions had dropped to both male and female religious orders.
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Posted: February 11, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: ENIIn this article: Catholic
Transmis : 11 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : ENIDans cet article : Catholic

PWRDF staff says yes to union

 — February 11, 200811 février 2008

[Anglican Journal] By a vote of 13 in favour and four against, staff at the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada, voted on Feb. 8 to unionize and become part of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

One staff member, who asked not to be named, said the union was formed “as a mechanism to facilitate staff-management relations.” All 17 staff who were eligible to vote did so.

This is the first attempt to form a union by employees at PWRDF, which in 2001 became separately incorporated from General Synod (the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada). An earlier attempt by all General Synod employees to unionize failed in 1997.

Staff said the formation of a union by a group associated with a church should not be seen as unusual since similar organizations like Kairos, an ecumenical peace and justice group of which the Anglican Church of Canada is a member, are themselves unionized.

They added that the PWRDF’s work involves working with unions and unionized workers. “In a way, we’re putting our money where our mouth is. We’ve always believed in the rights of workers to organize themselves,” said the staffer in an interview.

PWRDF management did not raise any objections when a notice came from the Ontario Labour Relations Board that employees had made an application to form a union.

Under labour law, an employer is allowed to raise any questions or objections about plans to form a union five days before employees cast their votes.

The quiet campaign to unionize began in mid-fall. “Having looked at various options, it was thought that unionizing was the best,” the staffer added.

CUPE, which has more than 500,000 members across Canada, represents workers in various sectors including healthcare, education, libraries, social services, transportation, and municipalities.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and president of PWRDF’s board of directors, said that he would consult with board members and the fund’s executive director, Cheryl Curtis, before making any comment.

Ms. Curtis was not available for comment.
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Posted: February 11, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Anglican JournalIn this article: Anglican
Transmis : 11 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Anglican JournalDans cet article : Anglican

Winter Refresher: This Sacred Earth

 — February 13, 200813 février 2008

St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon presents: Winter Refresher from February 10th to 13th, 2008. The theme this year is This Sacred Earth: the ecological challenge to religion with the theme speaker Dr. Heather Eaton.

For registration and information regarding Winter Refresher 2008. For additional information contact St. Andrew’s College: toll free: 877-644-8970; or

Join us for Great Music, Engaging Theology, Stimulating Conversation, and Celebration.
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Posted: February 13, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: environment, events, Saskatoon, St. Andrew's College, study
Transmis : 13 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : environment, events, Saskatoon, St. Andrew's College, study

Call for true peace process in Afghanistan

 — February 13, 200813 février 2008

[CCCB press release] In a message published today, Archbishop V. James Weisgerber, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for a serious debate on the Canadian presence and mission in Afghanistan. This debate, he said, should focus on the key issues facing the Afghan people.

As spokesperson for the Bishops of Canada, Archbishop Weisgerber said Canadian members of Parliament should remember that, most of all, the people of Afghanistan want peace. “Political and electoral considerations must take second place when it is a question of human lives and a people’s future,” he said. “We would invite the members of Parliament to put aside any predetermined stances, recognizing that the truth will involve concerted efforts. Diverse points of view need to be welcomed as contributions toward developing a detailed and constructive action plan, with peace as the ultimate goal.”

Referring to the Manley Report, Archbishop Weisgerber added that the Canadian government needs to show greater transparency on the Afghanistan conflict. “More complete and reliable information from the government will help Canadian citizens better understand the objective, the questions and the conditions involved in the Afghanistan conflict, and also how to evaluate the engagement there of Canadian armed forces and humanitarian agencies,” the CCCB President stated. “This information is essential if all Canadians are to be involved in making decisions that can lead to real and lasting peace in that country.”

Although admitting the situation is complex, Archbishop Weisgerber cites Pope Benedict XVI in observing “that war is the worst solution for all sides. It brings no good to anyone, not even to the apparent victors.”

The CCCB President indicated the Bishops want the social teaching of the Catholic Church to be heard, and went on to note three points based on this teaching: peace negotiations, carried out in good faith and involving all the parties concerned; a clear distinction between military operations and humanitarian aid; and safeguarding the human dignity of Canadian soldiers.

Archbishop Weisgerber concludes his message by inviting every person of faith to join him in prayer “that the Afghan people find peace and security; that the families of soldiers who gave their lives find consolation; and that our political leaders engage in a serious debate that will help Canadians decide on Canada’s role in Afghanistan.”

• Message of Archbishop V. James Weisgerber: “Call for true peace process in Afghanistan”
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Posted: February 13, 2008 • Permanent link: Transmis : 13 février 2008 • Lien permanente :

Appel pour un réel processus de paix en Afghanistan

 — February 13, 200813 février 2008

[CECC Communiqués] Dans un message rendu public aujourd’hui, Mgr V. James Weisgerber, président de la Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada, se fait le porte-parole de ses confères évêques en réclamant qu’un réel débat porte sur la présence et la mission canadiennes. Il souhaite que ce débat se concentre sur les enjeux fondamentaux qui affligent le peuple afghan.

Selon lui, les membres du parlement du Canada, au moment de leurs délibérations, devraient toujours garder en tête le souhait le plus cher des Afghans et de toute population : la paix. « Les considérations d’ordre politique ou électoral sont secondaires lorsqu’il s’agit de l’avenir d’un peuple et de vies humaines. Nous invitons les parlementaires à mettre de côté leurs positions préétablies et à reconnaître que la vérité est à rechercher ensemble. La diversité des points de vue doit être accueillie comme une richesse possible pour l’élaboration d’un plan d’action concret et positif, mais dont le but ultime est l’établissement de la paix », a-t-il déclaré.

Se référant au Rapport Manley, le Président de la CECC affirme que les autorités gouvernementales doivent faire preuve d’une plus grande transparence auprès de la population. « Une information plus complète et de meilleure qualité de la part de notre gouvernement permettrait aux citoyens et citoyennes de notre pays de mieux comprendre le but, les enjeux, les modalités du conflit en Afghanistan et de mieux évaluer l’engagement de nos forces armées et des organismes humanitaires canadiens. Cette information est essentielle si l’on veut ensemble prendre des décisions qui permettront de faire progresser une paix réelle et durable dans ce pays. »

S’il avoue que la situation est très complexe, Mgr Weisgerber reprend les propos du pape Benoît XVI afin d’étayer son argumentation : « La guerre est la pire des solutions pour tous. Elle n’apporte rien de bon, pour personne, pas même pour ses apparents vainqueurs. »

Pour le Président de la CECC, la voix que les évêques font entendre aujourd’hui s’appuie sur un riche enseignement de l’Église catholique en matière de doctrine sociale. Il en souligne particulièrement trois éléments : des négociations de paix, réalisées de bonne foi et qui impliquent toutes les parties en présence; une nette distinction entre les opérations militaires et l’aide humanitaire; et, une protection de la dignité humaine des soldats canadiens.

Enfin, c’est aussi par la prière que Mgr Weisgerber enjoint les croyants à se joindre à lui afin « que le peuple afghan retrouve la paix et la sécurité; que les familles des soldats qui ont donné leur vie trouvent la consolation; que nos soldats et leurs familles se retrouvent bientôt rassemblés; que nos dirigeants politiques tiennent un débat sérieux qui permettra aux Canadiens et aux Canadiennes de décider du rôle du Canada en Afghanistan. »

• Message de Mgr V. James Weisegerber « Appel pour un réel processus de paix en Afghanistan »,frc/
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Posted: February 13, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Communiqué
Transmis : 13 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Communiqué

Bossey totem pole returned to the earth

 — February 18, 200818 février 2008

Bossey totem pole returned to the earth
[WCC News] After 25 years standing vigil at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, a totem pole was returned to the soils of the earth Sunday at a ceremony attended by many of those taking part in this week’s Central Committee meetings.

The totem was presented as a gift of the churches of Canada at the WCC’s Sixth Assembly, held in Vancouver, as a way to raise the profile of indigenous people. Time and weather took its toll on the nearly 50 foot-tall totem since its placement at Bossey, and it had become unstable.

Following advice from the First Nations of Canada, the WCC decided to hold a respectful ceremony to remember the gift and the work of those who carved it. Rev. Carmen Lansdowne, a Central Committee member from the United Church of Canada and member of the indigenous people of western Canada, was asked to lead the ceremony. A small, permanent display will continue to tell the totem’s story.
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Posted: February 18, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Indigenous peoples, WCC
Transmis : 18 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Indigenous peoples, WCC

Le totem de Bossey retourne à la terre

 — February 18, 200818 février 2008

Le totem de Bossey retourne à la terre
[Nouvelles de COE] La 6ème Assemblée du COE s’était tenue en 1983 au Canada, à Vancouver. A cette occasion les Églises du Canada avaient offert un totem de 15 mètres de haut, non seulement comme souvenir de cette Assemblée en Amérique du Nord, mais aussi pour promouvoir la voix des peuples indigènes du Canada.

Ramené en Europe, ce totem de cèdre sculpté par les peuples indigènes du Canada avait trouvé sa place dans le parc verdoyant de l’institut œcuménique de Bossey. Avec les intempéries suisses, ce totem avait vieilli et menaçait ces derniers mois de tomber.

Le COE a donc décidé, en concertation avec les donateurs du totem, de le faire reposer désormais à l’horizontal. Cette pratique est en accord avec les traditions indiennes, pour qui un totem n’est évidemment pas considéré comme éternel et doit donc pouvoir retourner à la terre, pour compléter le cycle de la vie.

Dimanche 17 février, un temps de commémoration a été organisé à l’institut de Bossey, durant le comité central du COE, pour marquer ce moment de la “descente du totem” de Vancouver.
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Posted: February 18, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Indigenous peoples, WCC
Transmis : 18 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Indigenous peoples, WCC

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