WEEKLY BULLETIN – November 10, 2020 (St. Leo the Great, Pope, Doctor)

We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!

(Luke 17.7-10)


Dear faithful and clergy,

During the last week of October 2020, two statements by Pope Francis concerning homosexuals made headlines around the world: “Homosexuals have the right to be in a family (…) and: ‘What is needed is a civil union law, they have the right to be covered legally. I defended that.”  Reactions and comments immediately erupted from all sides. Some were shocked by his comments in director Evgeny Afineevsky’s documentary “Francesco”; others claimed victory by proclaiming out loud that his statement finally supported the demands of LGBTQ groups who have been lobbying for years to gain access to religious marriage. In this context, which has given rise to all sorts of interpretations, it is appropriate to shed some light on what the Pope said and in what context he made such statements which, at first glance, seems to come out of the blue and which, according to some, contradict the long Tradition of the Catholic Church while making no reference to the doctrines promulgated by the Popes since the Second Vatican Council. That is why I am presenting to you the following document that the Holy Father has asked the Secretariat of State to send to all concerned in order to explain the nature of his statements. After reading it, I hope that you will be able to better discern and weigh things.

+ Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R., Bishop of Pembroke

Unofficial translation of the CCCB

 Some statements, contained in the documentary “Francesco” by director Evgeny Afineevsky, have given risen to different reactions and interpretations in recent days. Therefore, here are some useful points in order to bring about, at his request, a correct understanding of the words of the Holy Father.

Over a year ago, in an interview, Pope Francis answered two distinct questions at two different times which, in the aforementioned documentary, were drafted and published as a single answer without due contextualization, which led to confusion. The Holy Father had first made a pastoral reference on the need that, within the family, the son or daughter with a homosexual orientation should never be discriminated against. These are the words in reference to it: «Las personas homosexuales tienen derecho a estar en familia; son hijos de Dios, tienen derecho a una familia. No se puede echar de la familia a nadie ni hacerle la vida imposibile por eso.» (“Homosexual persons have the right to be in a family; they are children of God, they have the right to a family. No one should be cast out of the family or make life impossible for them for this reason.”)

The following paragraph of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the FamilyAmoris Laetitia (2016) can illuminate these expressions: “During the Synod, we discussed the situation of families whose members include persons who experience same-sex attraction, a situation not easy either for parents or for children. We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, (276) particularly any form of aggression and violence. Such families should be given respectful pastoral guidance, so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.” (n. 250).

A subsequent question in the interview was instead inherent to a local law of ten years ago in Argentina on “matrimonios igualitarios de parejas del mismo sexo” (“egalitarian marriages of same-sex couples”) and to the opposition to it by the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires. In this regard, Pope Francis affirmed that “es una incongruencia hablar de matrimonio homosexual” (“it is incongruous to talk about homosexual marriage”), adding that, in this precise context, he had spoken of the right of these persons to have legal protection: “lo que tenemos que hacer es una ley de convivencia civil; tienen derecho a estar cubiertos legalmente. Yo defendí eso” (“what we have to bring about is a civil partnership law; they have the right to be legally covered. I defended that”)

The Holy Father expressed himself in the following way during an interview in 2014:

«Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular States want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of living together, driven by the need to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. These are living together agreements of various kinds, of which I cannot list the different forms. It is necessary to see the different cases and evaluate them case by case».

It is therefore evident that Pope Francis was referring to particular State measures, certainly not to the doctrine of the Church, which has been reiterated numerous times over the years.



The October 2020 issue of the Diocesan newsletter, Ecclesia, is now available in parishes. It is also available here on the Diocesan website.


Decree Extends Indulgence for the Faithful Departed throughout November

The Apostolic Penitentiary announces modifications to the Plenary Indulgence for the deceased during the month of November…. (Please read article here)


Journée de formation

Une journée de formation pour les catéchètes des paroisses francophones ou bilingues du diocèse, samedi le 21 novembre de 9h à 13h à la salle Ste-Croix, 500 rue Isabella, Pembroke. Dîner et rafraîchissements sont inclus. Le conférencier de la journée sera Mgr Guy Desrochers. Cette journée s’adresse aux catéchètes, aux personnes qui désirent le devenir, aux curés, aux diacres, et autres personnes intéressées. Veuillez contacter diacre Adrien Chaput au 613 732-7933 poste 206 avant le 19 novembre 2020.


Best Advent Ever 2020!

We’re excited to announce that sign-ups for Best Advent Ever 2020 are now open! This year, Matthew Kelly will be giving powerful daily video reflections on the Gospel readings all through Advent. And we’re calling it Let Your Soul Shine—because that’s what the world needs from you now more than ever! Do you want to have an incredible 2021? It starts right now—with you signing up for BEST ADVENT EVER.

Diocesan Young Adult Ministry

Next gathering is Thursday, November 19th at St. Columbkille Cathedral for session #2 of NO GREATER LOVE – A biblical walk through Christ’s Passion. Holy Hour from 6-7 p.m. (optional). Session from 7-8:30 p.m.in the parish hall.  Come join us and bring a friend.

Carlo Acutis

A 15 year old Italian boy who died of leukemia in 2006 is on the road to Sainthood. On October 10th this amazing teenager was beatified at a ceremony in the town of Assisi and moved one step closer to sainthood. Check out this amazing project he created of all the reported Eucharistic Miracles around the world. He has already been dubbed “the patron saint of the internet.” This work is amazing for a 15 year old. http://www.miracolieucaristici.org/en/Liste/list.html.


Holy Mass – Extraordinary Form

Holy Mass in the extraordinary form is offered at St Columbkille Cathedral on the first Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. These Latin Masses are in the form of the Liturgy as it was celebrated at the time of the Second Vatican Council—the same form which nourished the faith of many of our ancestors. English translations of the entire Mass are provided. Next Mass – December 5th.


Gigantic Worldwide Catholic Mom’s Virtual Summit November 13-15!

Sign up for a huge November 13-15, 2020 CATHOLIC MOM’S VIRTUAL SUMMIT (a percentage of your entrance fee goes to Daughters of St. Paul). Choose “all access pass” where you can access all the talks even after November 15 before the price goes up at https://www.cardinalstudios.org/moms-summit-home?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cardinalstudios.org%2Fa%2F34145%2FGoeb5nXt. Please share with the amazing women in your life!

Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation – Leadership Program

Are you called to join other Canadian Catholic women learning how your leadership has the power to transform where you work, volunteer, and live? Applications are now available for the 2021-2022 Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation Program. The in-person and online program, facilitated by the Providence School of Transformational Leadership and Spirituality at Saint Paul University (Ottawa) runs from April/21 to May/22. Visit www.cwlfcanada.ca. Application deadline November 20, 2020. If you have any questions about the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation or our program, please contact Neysa Finnie at info@cwlfcanada.ca or 604 813-1612.

52nd International Eucharistic Congress

The 52nd International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Budapest from 5 to 12 September 2021 (originally scheduled for September 2020). Check out the website at iec2020.hu.


Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall – Administrative Assistant – Moderator of the Curia

Please find below the link to the Administrative Assistant – Moderator of the Curia position, now available. Info: https://www.catholicottawa.ca/employment-opportunities.

Bilingual Secretary Position at the CCCB

Interested candidates are requested to submit a cover letter and a resume to Lucie Labrèche-Matte, Administration and Human Resources Assistant at careers@cccb.ca before November 20th, 2020. Please check out https://www.cccb.ca/career/secretary-general-secretariat/ for more information.

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