Denni Gruending offers this guest piece by ex-Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop director Joe Gunn:
In a move that has no precedent in recent memory, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has invited a federal cabinet minister to address their Plenary Assembly this autumn. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has accepted the invitation.
There is intrinsically nothing wrong with a minister of the Crown being invited to speak to the bishops. Questions may be legitimately asked of the CCCB, however, in terms of balance (were the other political parties’ views sought?) and political policy (whether this invitation represents a shift toward stances of the current federal government).
Apparently, the bishops are preparing a list of questions for the Minister, though the meeting, and presumably his responses to these questions, will be "private and off the record".
They just want to get in on the ground floor of the new Office of Religion.
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