Catholic bishops from across the country will gather in Manila next weekend for their 125th plenary assembly.
The January 28 to 30 gathering will bring together the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines for in-person meetings for the second time since the pandemic struck in early 2020.
The CBCP is currently composed of 88 active bishops, two diocesan priest-administrators, and 38 honorary members who are retired bishops.
Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, CBCP Secretary General, said the meeting at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center involves discussion on a broad range of topics affecting the faithful in the country.
Other topics on the agenda, he said, include:
- the updated Ratio Nationalis, a program for the formation of candidates for the priesthood
- the Praedicate Evangelium and its implications to the local conferences
- and the proposal for a Permanent Diaconate in the Philippines
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan and current CBCP President will preside over the meeting. He will be assisted by the vice president, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara.
The gathering typically includes an address by the CBCP President and by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.
Decisions taken over by the plenary assembly represent the highest instance of authority within the CBCP, which meets in regular session twice a year in January and in July.
Msgr. Pantin also said the plenary assembly will be preceded by a three-day bishops’ seminar on the episcopal conference and its commissions and offices.
“The seminar is being held so that there will be a leveling of the idea about the nature and functions of the episcopal conference, especially among the new and old bishops,” he said.