(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton, delivered his first report as President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on Monday, September 24, the opening day of its annual Plenary Assembly, Later in the day, the Most Reverend Pedro López Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, also addressed the Bishops. They are meeting until 28 September 2012.

In his report, Archbishop Smith outlined the major activities of the CCCB over the past year. He also referred to the recent apostolic journey of the Holy Father to Lebanon where he officially released his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente. “In communion with the Holy Father and Bishops everywhere,” the CCCB President said, “we share common responsibilities to advance God’s peace for the Church and humanity, and to deepen communion with God and with all our world.” In his report, Archbishop Smith noted a number of projects: the national pastoral initiative for life and family, the December solidarity visit to Haiti, support for the Church in the Holy Land, the recent Pastoral Letter on Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and the Health Ethics Guide which is published by the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC).

The CCCB President also outlined a number of issues to be discussed by the Plenary Assembly: the impact of the current economic downturn, immigration, care for individuals and communities harmed by sexual abuse, and ecumenical collaboration in the area of social justice.

About 80 Bishops from across the country are in Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, for the CCCB Plenary Assembly. For six of them this is their first Plenary since their ordinations as Bishop over the past year. During their annual meeting, the Bishops of Canada review the year’s pastoral activities and share experiences and insights on the life of the Church and society.  Sainte-Adèle is north of Montreal and in the Diocese of Saint-Jérôme.

Read more about the CCCB Plenary at www.cccb.ca or view the live coverage of Salt+Light Television at www.saltandlighttv.org..