The 2008-2009 Scarboro Foreign Missions Lecture
According to Bishop Claude Champagne, the missionary work of the Church has fallen prey to a destructive division. On the one side, there are those who want to focus on missions as social justice. On the other side, there are those who would rather commit to preaching the gospel. Regrettably, discussions between these groups often lead to frustration and further division. In search of constructive wisdom, Bishop Champagne examines the way in which Jesus fulfilled his mission: dialogue, human promotion, commitment to justice and peace, care for the sick, aid to the poor and to children, human freedom, pardon, and unconditional love. Bishop Champagne argues that, based on the example of Jesus, the Church must remember that social justice and the proclamation of the gospel are actually complementary activities in the mission of the Church.
Bishop Claude Champagne
Most Rev. Claude Champagne, OMI, became Auxiliary Bishop of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in March 2003. Prior to this appointment, Father Champagne taught in the Missiology Institute of St. Paul University and served as the Provincial Superior of the French-speaking Oblate Province covering Ontario and Western Quebec. Until quite recently he served two small parish communities, Saint Albert and Sainte Thérèse, in Marionville, Ontario. In 2007, Bishop Champagne gave the plenary address to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the topic of the "new evangelization" and the imperative of social justice within missions.