OTTAWA, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new pastoral initiative released last week by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops asks all priests in the country to preach more about abortion, euthanasia and natural family planning.  An accompanying document for implementation in the initiative’s “preparatory” year of 2012 stresses that Easter (April 8) is the “Feast of Life and Faith par excellence.”

In addition to preaching on life this Easter, the document encourages that this Easter “Prayers of the Faithful” be used that encourage “the faithful to respect human life and dignity from conception to natural death.”

The principal document, “Elements of a National Pastoral Initiative for Life and Family: A Fundamental Option for Life and Family,” was approved at the plenary session of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in October 2011 and released March 28 as part of the launch of a new section on the CCCB website dealing with life and family.

The document urges “in the context of the celebration of Sunday Eucharist, an increased emphasis on preaching which relates the readings to life and family issues (abortion, euthanasia, natural family planning as they relate to the Gospel call to self-donation, the family home as a place of forgiveness, etc.).”

Priests for Life Canada has provided resources to assist priests in Canada to fulfill the Bishop’s plan regarding pro-life and pro-family homilies and prayers of the faithful.

Fr. John Lemire, Vice President of Priests for Life Canada (PFLC) told LifeSiteNews that they are “certainly very encouraged by the recent release of the bishops’ national pastoral initiative.”  We are, he said, “particularly encouraged that the document notes the importance of priests and deacons preaching about life and family and to bring those issues to the people in the pews on a Sunday basis.”

“We have a monthly pro-life e-notes for clergy,” he said. “Each month PFLC provides to pastors and parishes as well as on our website a weekly reflection on the scriptures and how they tie in to the issues of life and family.  Each week there is a brief commentary on the Sunday Scriptures as well as a prayer of the faithful too.”

The CCCB document notes that the Catholic Organization for Life and Family also has pro-life and pro-family resources for clergy available.