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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Canadian bishops withdraw from ecumenical social justice coalition

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops announced it will no longer be a member of KAIROS, a Canadian-based ecumenical social justice coalition.

In a short statement, the conference expressed concerns about the way KAIROS is structured. ‘While this is a valid way of operating, it is nevertheless incongruent with the type of oversight and consultation required by Catholic bishops engaged in a given ecumenical venture’.

The bishops’ statement was released on 12th October, after private discussion at their recent plenary assembly. The statement said KAIROS was informed of the decision on 7th October.

Since its inception in 2001, KAIROS has invited its members to work and speak together on issues related to social justice, ecology, human rights, and peace activism. The CCCB was one of the founding members of Kairos.

Two Catholic groups – Development and Peace and the Canadian Religious Conference, representing male and female Catholic religious orders – remain a part of KAIROS. Among other members are the Anglican Church, the Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Canada.

Picture: Bishop Lionel Gendron, vice president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaks during the CCCB’s general meeting in Cornwall, Ontario, on 26th September. The CCCB announced that it will no longer be a member of KAIROS, a Canadian-based ecumenical social justice coalition on 12th October. (CNS photo/Francois Gloutnay, Presence).