In the evening of November 27, 2010 at the liturgical beginning of Advent – a time of joyful anticipation for the birth of Christ – His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate a prayer vigil in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican for the intention of all nascent human life. At the request of the Holy Father, a letter was sent to all the episcopal conferences of the Catholic Church this past June asking them to take part in this prayer and to organize prayer vigils at the beginning of Advent in all local churches. This letter was jointly sent by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Pontifical Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family. (Source)
Did you catch that everyone? The Holy Father asked ALL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES to participate in the upcoming November 27 vigil. The Faithful are only now (in recent weeks) starting to hear of this important initiative because of independent news organizations and blogs.
Who is missing in this picture?
The CCCB. That’s who.
Did you see anything on their website about this request from the Holy Father? Did you see any initiative on the part of the Bishops of this country to put the Holy Father’s request into action? Did you hear about this initiative at the Plenary Assembly?
I suspect that the Holy Father doesn’t send these kind of requests out too often. He knows that many of these Episcopal conferences are too busy tackling the problems of bottled water. But when he does send out a request, I suspect it’s pretty important. But I guess it doesn’t top the priority list that the Bishops keep harumphing about. But wait a minute…didn’t they say it did qualify as a priority?
“The Bishops need to exercise real leadership on questions of life and family,” said the Most Reverend Ronald Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee. “These questions require a spiritual revival, a change of hearts. It is the work of the new evangelization.” (Source)
They had a wonderful opportunity to AS A BODY to exercise real leadership this past summer to prepare for this Vigil. All they had to do was FOLLOW a REAL LEADER in the pro-life struggle like Pope Benedict.
Who at the CCCB didn’t get the memo? Who was responsible for not giving this initiative the due attention that it deserved?
Real leadership on pro-life issues? Correcting Development & Peace for their shortfalls? It’s time for the bishops to stop passing the buck and pick it up, instead.
The Holy Father, together with a smattering of bishops, priests and laypersons around the world, will be participating in this pro-life prayer vigil on November 27.
And just where, pray tell, will our bishops and the CCCB be?
Update: From Quebec Life Coalition….
I have called the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ communications office and they said that they were a bit behind but that information was forthcoming on the CCCB website. Also, I called the nuncio in Ottawa and he said (through the secretary) that all the info has been sent to the dioceses directly.
Also, because we at Quebec Life Coalition are the unwitting leaders of the pro-life cause in Quebec, we have taken it upon ourselves to send a registered letter to 17 dioceses in Quebec asking them if and how they will participate in this Vigil for nascent human life. So far, 3 dioceses have answered that they will participate in some way. For more info on the answers I have received and an update on the answers I receive as they arrive, see here (in French).
I have gotten the impression by talking to some priests and others that this vigil is not well known. Which is why we at Quebec Life Coalition are promoting this in the hopes that our information will give all concerned enough time to prepare for the vigil on the 27th of November. Also, I am asking everyone to please spread the word about this wonderful initiative. (Source)
Well, where is the notice? George phoned the CCCB last month and I can’t find it on their website.
WHERE IS THE NOTICE ON THE CCCB WEBSITE? THEY WERE ASKED BY ROME TO PARTICIPATE BACK IN JUNE.
They weren’t a “bit behind” when they had to thank the pro-abort, pro-homosexualist United Church for being a “strong witness to Jesus“. For that item, they were awfully punctual.
Found a short note buried on the CCCB’s website under their “Coming Up” page (last update Nov.1):
Vigil for nascent life
The Holy Father will celebrate a “Vigil for all nascent human life” on Saturday, November 27 coinciding with the first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent. The Holy Father has expressed the desire “that all Diocesan Bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements.” (Source)
So, let me get this straight. It takes a Canadian pro-lifer to prod the CCCB into finally sticking up a two line notice on their website (which is subsequently buried in an nonprominent place on their website, by the way), three weeks before the event when they had received notice of this personal request of the Holy Father back in June?
Do I have that right?
Pro-life issues have a long way to go for being any kind of priority for the CCCB. That much is painfully obvious.