MANILA – The bi-annual gathering of officials and members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) set next month has been canceled.
“This is to inform you that the CBCP Permanent Council, in its meeting on May 12, 2020, decided that due to the present health situation caused by the (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, the Plenary Assembly scheduled on July 11-13, 2020, is cancelled,” CBCP secretary general, Fr. Marvin Mejia, said in a memorandum issued on Friday.
The gathering of members of the Permanent Council, considered as the highest decision-making body of the CBCP, is also held every January.
“The Council also decided that the Bishops’ Annual Retreat, which is supposed to be on July 6-9, 2020, is postponed to January next year,” Mejia said, referring to the annual retreat that is usually held before the July meeting.
He said the dinner with the bishops, organized by the General Secretariat and the Executive Secretaries as part of the CBCP’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, is likewise postponed to a date that has yet to be determined.
According to an article posted on the CBCP news website, the decision is technically the first time that the plenary assembly was cancelled since the conference was established in 1945, when it was still known as the Catholic Welfare Organization (CWO).
It became the CBCP in January 1968 in line with developments on the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II).
But while it was CWO, some assemblies were cancelled because the bishops were in Rome to attend Vatican II meetings in the early 1960s. (PNA)