We defend life at all its stages

Ad Limina Visit of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec

“Life must always be defended, from conception to natural death, but also at every stage. That is why we are committed to taking care of fragile lives, such as those of people with disabilities or the elderly, but also to protecting the environment in which we live.” With these words Msgr. Simard, Bishop of Valleyfield, described the commitment to the life of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Québec during their Ad Limina Visit to the Dicastery of the Laity, Family and Life.

The Bishops are engaged in this battle in a variety of ways, from the protection of the Catholic doctors’ freedom of conscience to the promotion of a Christian vision of suffering and death.

For this reason, they have recently published the Pastoral Letter “Approaching Death in the Company of Christ,” proposing an evangelical reading of life-long themes and insisting on the theme of palliative care, which they have defined as “the true response to euthanasia.”

In the discussion during the meeting, the Canadian Bishops and Card. Farrell agreed on the central role of the laity as well as on the fact that the laypeople must “be involved in every aspect of the life of the Church,” except of course in the administration of the Sacraments. Their apostolate in the proclamation of the Gospel and in education must become a special priority.

In order to realize this, it is necessary—as has been said—that they receive adequate formation: “they do not need a doctorate in theology to be missionaries, but they do need at least basic formation.” In this regard, Card. Farrell stressed—as Pope Francis often reminds us—that special attention should be paid to “avoid clericalizing the laity.” They must be able to witness the beauty of Christian life and the ideal of the family. Because “when we limit ourselves to self-defense, the enemies of the Gospel have silenced us.”

During the meeting, the Canadian Bishops asked for information about participation in the two major events promoted by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life: the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin and the 2019 World Youth Day in Panama.


Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops
09 May 2017
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