VICTORIA — Archbishop Richard Gagnon of Winnipeg was elected president of the Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops at their annual meeting here Feb. 21-25. Joining him for a two-year term as vice-president is Bishop Paul Terrio of Saint Paul .
The annual meeting of 23 bishops from Western Canada and the North provided an opportunity for bishops to exchange information on what is happening in their various dioceses and the challenges they face. Liaison bishops representing eight western committees also reported on what is happening in the region.
A major presentation given at the assembly was on the recent motu proprio on marriage annulments issued by Pope Francis and effective Dec. 8. Canonist Rev. Francis Morrisey, OMI, outlined the scope of the document. He noted that it may not mean any major changes in Canada, but it will have an impact on poorer countries that are not as well organized as Canada and that don’t have marriage tribunals to investigate failed marriages.
The assembly also began discussing preparations for their ad limina visit to Rome next March when they meet Pope Francis and visit various congregations.
The meeting ended with a presentation on a new catechetical program for primary school children entitled Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ.