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Canadian Participants at the October General Assembly | Synod on Synodality

Matthew Neugebauer

Friday, July 7, 2023

This morning, the Synod Secretariat announced the participants of the upcoming XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, who will be meeting this October and again next year.
There will be at least 12 Canadians with voting privileges at the Assembly, including seven episcopal voters and five “non-bishop” voters. It was announced in April that this will be the first time “non-bishops” will have full voting privileges at the Synod.
Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, will attend in his role as Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Another ex officio participant is Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, ISPX, Archbishop of Quebec, who serves on the Synod on Synodality’s Ordinary Council tasked with preparing the General Assembly. Pope Francis has also invited Cardinal Marc Ouellet, PSS, former Archbishop of Quebec and Prefect Emeritus of the Dicastery for Bishops.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops elected four bishops from among their membership:
  • Most Rev. J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of Vancouver
  • Most Rev. Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jerome-Mont-Laurier and President of the CCCB
  • Most Rev. William T. McGrattan, Bishop of Calgary and Vice President of the CCCB
  • Most Rev. Marc Pelchat, Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec
The April announcement specified that voting privileges will be expanded to "non-bishop" voters in two specific ways. First, five women religious and five men religious (whether ordained or lay brothers) are to be “elected by the respective organizations representing the Superiors General.” Among those ten representatives is Sr. Elizabeth Davis, RSM of the Newfoundland congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, who received her doctorate from Regis College in Toronto in 2019.
Second, the organizations used to form the Continental Stage Ecclesial Assemblies are to submit a list of potential non-bishop voters, for Pope Francis to appoint. Of the list submitted by the North American Assembly, four Canadians were chosen:
In addition, two Canadians are among the list of non-voting theological experts and conversation facilitators for the Synod:
For more on the Synod on Synodality, visit You can find our series of blog commentaries here.

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