New CBCP president asks prayers for bishops’ assembly

By Fr. Louie Occiano


Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, who just assumed the CBCP presidency last December, has sent a text brigade asking for prayers: “My dear sisters and brothers, requesting your kind prayers, for our CBCP commission and permanent council meeting Tuesday January 25, our CBCP regional meetings on Wednesday January 26, and our CBCP plenary assembly on Thursday - Friday January 27-28, in which I will preside as new president of the conference.”


He continues: “These meetings will be very crucial for our spiritual and moral leadership roles in the context of the pandemic and the coming May 2022 elections.”


Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, CBCP secretary general, said the meeting will bring speakers from various sectors to discuss election issues.


Every January and July, the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) meets for the plenary assembly, which is the highest decision making body of the Philippine Church’s leaders.


Among the functions of the plenary assembly are: to determine, approve and issue Instructions; issue declarations and documents expressing the official stand of the bishops of the Philippines. They function as well to examine, evaluate and act on the reports of the permanent council and episcopal commissions, the permanent committees and offices and all other duly established agencies of the CBCP.

Young missionaries in the digital age. These digital natives form the Parish Commission on Communications (PCCOM) of Holy Cross Parish Tabuco. Through them, Christ’s message is communicated through social media in time of pandemic. They were installed by Fr. Eugene Lubigan, parish priest. (Photo credit: Tabuco PCCOM)


The meeting, which will be held virtually due to mass gathering restrictions, will be presided by Bishop Pablo David of the Diocese of Kalookan who officially assumed his new post as president of the CBCP. He replaced Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao who finished his term as head of the conference of Catholic bishops in the country.


This will be the third time that the CBCP meeting will be held online due to the pandemic.


Prior to becoming CBCP head, Bishop David served as vice president of the bishops’ collegial body. Also taking his new role as the new CBCP vice president is Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, who will assist Bishop David.


The council’s members for Luzon are: Archbishop Ricardo Baccay of Tuguegarao, Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos, Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa and Bishop Jose Bantolo of Masbate. For Visayas, the regional representatives are: Bishop Patrick Daniel Parcon of Talibon and Bishop Louie Galbines of Kabankalan. Representatives for Mindanao, meanwhile, include Archbishop Jose Cabantan of Cagayan de Oro and Bishop Abel Apigo of Mati.


The episcopal conference has 4 Cardinals, 26 archbishops, 104 bishops and 43 honorary members. The Philippines has a total of 16 archdioceses, 51 dioceses, 7 apostolic vicariates, 5 territorial prelatures and a military ordinariate.