Bishops to elect officers in 3-day assembly

Bishops to elect officers in 3-day assembly

Catholic bishops arrive at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for the opening Mass of the 116th CBCP Plenary Assembly on January 27, 2018. FILE PHOTO

By Roy Lagarde

July 3, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will elect a new set of leaders when it gathers Saturday for the three-day biannual plenary assembly.

Fr. Marvin Mejia, CBCP Secretary General, said the bishops will elect a president, vice president, 9 regional representatives and 29 commission and committee chairs.

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, current president and vice president respectively, are both in their first terms in office.

By tradition, incumbent officials are reelected for their second and last term.

CBCP officials have a two-year tenure in office, or a total of four to include the second term.

“There is that possibility that they get re-elected because, based on the rules, they can have two terms. Therefore, they are still eligible,” Mejia said.

The new set of officers will set the pace and agenda of the CBCP for at least the next two years.

Valles and David were elected in July 2017, and assumed their posts in December 2017.

The CBCP is currently composed of 134 members— 83 of them are active, 3 are administrators, and 45 are retired from 86 ecclesiastical jurisdictions.

The closed-door meeting will be held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila, and will be preceded by the bishops’ annual retreat currently being held at the St. Paul Renewal Retreat House in Alfonso, Cavite.

Also expected during the assembly, Mejia related, are the first time attendees, or those who were newly appointed bishops.

Among the recently appointed bishops are Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Layog of Lingayen-Dagupan, Bishop Cosme Almedilla of Butuan, Bishop Leo Dalmao of Isabela de Basilan, Bishop-elect Jose Rapadas of Iligan, and Bishop-elect Roberto Gaa of Novaliches.

“They are invited to, at least, introduce themselves to their brother bishops,” said Mejia.