The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is expected to issue a pastoral statement on the coming national elections in May as the country’s Church leaders gather for their plenary assembly.
The drafting of the pastoral statement will be among the top agenda of the bi-annual meeting, which is being held online this week due to health restrictions brought about by the pandemic.
Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, secretary general of the conference, said the meeting will bring speakers from a range of sectors to discuss election issues.
“The discussion aims to gather points and ideas that can be included in the statement,” said Msgr. Pantin in a CBCP News report. He said the plan is to release the document by early February.
This week’s meeting will be presided by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, who assumed the presidency of the organization in December.
He will be assisted by Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, CBCP’s new vice president.
This will be the third time that the bishops’ plenary assembly will be held online because of health restrictions.
Another item on the agenda of the meeting is the need to strengthen environment and climate actions, said Msgr Pantin.
He said discussions on the topic will be led by the conference’s Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace.
The plenary assembly, which is the highest decision-making body of the country’s Catholic Church leaders, meets in regular session twice a year in January and July.
The bishops’ permanent council acts on decisions on behalf of the CBCP when the plenary is not in session.
Currently, the CBCP is composed of 86 active bishops, two priest administrators, and 41 honorary members who are retired bishops.