Bishops to meet virtually next week

Bishops to meet virtually next week

Catholic bishops gather for their 120th plenary assembly in Manila in January 2020. PHOTO BY ROY LAGARDE

By CBCP News

January 21, 2021

Manila, Philippines

At a time when most meetings have switched to virtual format, the Philippine bishops’ plenary assembly is no exception.

For the first time, the biannual meeting will be held online on Jan. 26 to 27 due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

The bishops were able to hold their assembly in January 2020 but the lockdowns and travel restrictions forced them to cancel their scheduled July meeting.

The plenary assembly is considered the highest decision-making body of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, which is currently headed by Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao.

When they are not in session, the bishops’ permanent council acts for and on behalf of the conference.

Monsignor Bernardo Pantin, CBCP Secretary General, said one of the items in the meeting is the presentations of the nine regional representatives of the permanent council.

“The report could include a general assessment of the region under quarantine due to the pandemic or recent calamities, responses and lessons learned and of any plan of action,” he said.

Archbishop Charles John Brown, who arrived in the country in late November, is also expected to address the bishops for the first time as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.

Msgr. Pantin said other important agenda include this year’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.

To date, the CBCP is composed of 86 active bishops, three diocesan administrators, and 43 honorary members.

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