USCCB News Release
February 19, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
American Bishops' Conferences Meet in Argentina, Explore Mutual Solidarity
PILAR, Argentina—Leaders of bishops' conferences of the United States and Canada as well as leaders of the Council of Latin American Bishops (CELAM), and the presidents of the bishops Conferences of Ecuador, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Uruguay held their thirty-sixth meeting in the Assembly House of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina, February 10-11.
The meeting explored relations within the Church in the American continent in order to strengthen communion and mutual solidarity in service of their respective peoples.
Attendees focused on a personal encounter with Jesus as the goal of catechesis and evangelization. The theme reflected what the fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparcedia, Brazil found to be the most dynamic aspect of the Church serving its people. The discussion linked social, personal and community responsibility with life in Jesus and noted that the more the experience is Christian, the more it is truly human.
The bishops also addressed the world's financial crisis and said it is not just an economic but also an ethical crisis where profit is the only rule, without regard for the needs of people.
The Canadian bishops reported on their experiences regarding indigenous peoples and residential schools. They summarized recent work on questions of the environment and the promotion of the sacrament of marriage. They also presented the declaration that the Canadian Bishops issued to mark the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae andreported on the success of the International Eucharistic Congress held in Quebec City last June.
The U.S. Bishops' report centered on immigration reform and the defense of the institution of marriage. The bishops also outlined the restructuring of their conference of bishops.
Representatives of the CELAM, its presidency and the presidents of the invited bishops' conferences reported progress in disseminating the conclusions of the Aparecida conference, especially its theme of personal encounter with Jesus through catechesis and evangelization. They also shared the experiences of their countries concerning the Continental Mission. Some bishops also reported on the everyday experience of many in their countries.
The attendees reaffirmed the commitment of all the American episcopates to realize the desire of Pope John Paul II, who, in his Exhortation Ecclesia in America, described the continent as one of hope drawn together by a common faith.
The list of participants follows:
Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM)
Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil; President
Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Mérida, Venezuela; First Vice President
Archbishop Andrés Stanovnik, O.F.M., Cap. of Corrientes, Argentina; Second Vice President
Archbishop-elect Víctor Sánchez Espinosa of Puebla, Mexico; General Secretary
Bishop Emilio Aranguren Echeverria of Holguín, Cuba; President of the Finance Committee
Father Sidney Fones Infante, Adjunct General Secretary
Presidents of Episcopal conferences of Latin America
Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador
Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha of Mariana, Brazil
Bishop Rubén González Medina of Caguas, Puerto Rico
Bishop Carlos Collazzi, S.D.B. of Mercedes, Uruguay
Catholic Conference of Canadian Bishops (CCCB)
Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg, President
Bishop Pierre Morissette of Saint-Jérôme, Vice President
Bishop James Wingle of St. Catharines, Co-Treasurer
Bishop Paul-André Durocher of Alexandria-Cornwall, Co-Treasurer
Monsignor Mario Paquette, P.H., General Secretary
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson, Arizona, Vice President
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Treasurer
Bishop Ricardo Ramírez, C.S.B. of Las Cruces; Committee on International Justice and Peace
Monsignor David Malloy, General Secretary