By John-Henry Westen and Steve Jalsevac

CORNWALL, October 29, 2010 ( – The annual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) ended today. Some 90 Bishops gathered for a week (25-29 October 2010) at the NavCanada Centre in Cornwall for the event.

There had been hope by many Catholics that the bishops would finally announce major new policies regarding the on-going Development and Peace (CCODP) scandal where numerous groups being funded by the official Catholic aid agency have been found to be pro-abortion and opposed to other Catholic moral principles.

During closed-door sessions this week, the only development announced on the D&P issue is that there has been agreement on the creation of a new Standing Committee to advise the CCCB and CCODP. The new committee is to “further strengthen the close bonds that already exist between the Bishops and CCODP.” According to a CCCB press release, “It will provide a forum to share information and collaborate more closely on achieving their common goal, which is to help the world’s most vulnerable persons.”

A more detailed report containing further information on the work of the Ad Hoc Committee and the duties of the new Standing Committee is to be released before the end of next week.

During the Plenary, the Bishops also received a report from the Ad Hoc Committee for Life and Family. This committee was formed last year to discuss the leadership role of Bishops in promoting a culture of life and family.

“The Bishops need to exercise real leadership on questions of life and family,” said the Most Reverend Ronald Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee. “These questions require a spiritual revival, a chance of hearts. It is the work of the new evangelization.”

The Bishops voted to extend the term of the Ad Hoc Committee by at least one year. During this time, says the release, “the Committee will reflect on a specific structure and concrete plan for future action, which would rely also on the resources, support and work of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF).”

See the LifeSiteNews Development and Peace Scandal Feature Page.