MANILA, July 7, 2009—Roman Catholic bishops will choose one among them on Saturday who will serve the top post of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).The 98 active bishop “electors” will gather on Saturday to Sunday for the CBCP’s 99th plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila.
Highlight of the meeting is the election of a new president who would fill the shoes of outgoing CBCP head, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.
Under Lagdameo, the CBCP was vocal on social issues such as mining, illegal gambling and, more recently, constitutional amendment and extrajudicial killings, among others. [Just on social issues?!]
Lagdameo became controversial when he issued his strongest statement against the Arroyo administration—denouncing the “moral bankruptcy” in government and of government leaders.
The CBCP is also expected to issue on Monday a pastoral statement on ecclesiastical, moral and socio-political issues affecting the country.
Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez earlier said the plenary might discuss the issue on constituent assembly as the mode for Charter change. [When will the bishops discuss Summorum Pontificum and Liturgical Abuse in the Philippines?]
The CBCP is composed of 130 prelates, 32 of them are retired. Only those who are active in service, however, are allowed to vote.
The new set of CBCP officials who will be elected this week will resume their posts on December 1, 2009