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Nuncio faces Canadian Religious Conference.

Ottawa -- Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Ventura addressed the plenary assembly of the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC) on June 9, clarifying the role of the prophet and of prophecy.

As previously reported, the CRC had sent a letter to the Canadian bishops headed to the Vatican for ad limina visits (C.I., April 2006, p. 17; May 2006, p. 3, p. 31). That letter claimed that the Church "stifles its prophets" and that Christians, "particularly religious, are called to question society and the Church." The CRC requested further dialogue on "controversial issues such as the ordination of women and married men, and same-sex marriage." Under the headline "Prophecy in the Church," the letter said the CRC regretted the [Canadian] Church's "little influence in the great social debates, because of its conservatism and that of Rome which it supports, and also because it does not accept any dissent, even responsible dissent."

Without directly referencing the letter, Archbishop Ventura rejected the document's claims; instead, he encouraged fidelity and authenticity. In a section of his address entitled "The Prophetic Dimension of Religious Life," he stated: "In our day we cannot marginalize Christian revelation and its ecclesial transmission by proposing a non-Christian vision."

He explained that "the very word 'prophetic' is often used today out of context of the great biblical tradition which gave birth to this phenomenon in ancient Israel. Fundamental to the mission of the prophet is obedience to God's Word. The prophet always goes forth reluctantly, bearing a message that is not his own."

In addition to his admonitions, the Nuncio expressed the Holy Father's "love and affection for your communities and for each one of their members." He thanked the religious for their prayers, charisms, and support for the Church; and he expressed sympathy for their diminishing memberships (CCN, June 13, 2006; Text of the Address of Archbishop Luigi Ventura).

The CRC General Assembly elected a new president, Sister of Charity Donna Geernaert of Halifax. Continuing with familiar themes, she stated: "In today's world of conflict and market competition, dialogue assumes a prophetic quality. It offers an alternative version of reality, an invitation to see the world differently, which is, in fact, an invitation to act differently" (Atlantic Catholic, July 2006).
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Title Annotation:Canada; Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Ventura
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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