Bishop Caermare is new head of Church’s laity body

Bishop Caermare is new head of Church’s laity body

Bishop Severo Caermare of Dipolog, the new chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity. NIKKO BALBEDINA

By CBCP News

December 15, 2023

Manila, Philippines

Bishop Severo Caermare of Dipolog has assumed the leadership role in a Church body that takes charge of the apostolate of the laity.

The 54-year old took over the chairmanship of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on the Laity (ECLA) from the late Bishop Enrique Macaraeg of Tarlac.

Macaraeg was serving his first term as ECLA head when he succumbed to cardiac arrest in October.

The head of CBCP commissions is elected for a two-year term and can be reelected for up to three terms.

Prior to his new post, Caermare was already the vice chairman of ECLA.

The CBCP set up the ECLA in 1950, made up of a bishop chairman and four other member-bishops.

In order to facilitate the work of the commission, the various national lay groups and diocesan councils of the laity were organized in 1957 into the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas or Council of the Laity in the Philippines.

The organization is governed by a 15-member board, elected by the members during a national convention held every two years.

Currently, there are 54 national Catholic lay organizations and 62 diocesan councils who are members of Laiko.

As lay arm of the CBCP, Laiko also seeks to implement the Church’s programs among the lay groups while it also engages in its own advocacies and programs for lay Catholics.


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