Hamilton (Agenzia Fides) - Six Ecclesiastical Districts in northern Canada, so far dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, have passed to "common law": we are talking about the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas with the two suffragan dioceses of Churchill-Hudson Bay and Moosonee, and the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan with the suffragan dioceses of Mackenzie-Fort Smith and Whitehorse. The Holy Father's decision was announced yesterday by the Vatican press office.
The Bishops' Conference of Canada (CCCB), in a statement signed by its President, His Exc. Mgr. David Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton, Ontario, sent to Fides, underlines the importance of the event. The text recalls that "In helping to guide and support the mission territories of our country, the Holy See has encouraged the missionaries from other countries to help our communities ... Over time, the dioceses throughout our country have become more self-sufficient and able to support their pastoral efforts, also sending many missionaries to other countries. With the transfer of the remaining dioceses in the North to the common law of the Church, their six Bishops, with the help of all the Bishops and Catholic faithful of Canada, are now fully responsible for the pastoral life of each of their local churches".
The President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed gratitude "for the generous help of Catholic Missions in Canada", and the deep appreciation for "the heroic and generous collaboration of many priests, religious and lay people, over the years, through pastoral ministry, educational and social work". "Full of gratitude for the work carried out in the past, and having learned both from actions as well as from mistakes - concludes the letter -, we now see come forward future forms of evangelization and co-operation, as workers of the Lord, to work together in his field". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 26/01/2016)