“THAT ALL MAY BE ONE”
IN THE NAME OF THE BLESSED TRINITY:
THE FATHER, AND THE SON,
AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
WE, THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH IN THE PHILIPPINES,
IMPLORING THE AID OF THE TRUINE GOD,
TO PROMOTE, DEFINE AND REGULATE
THE MUTUAL RELATIONS AMONG THE PARTICULAR
CHURCHES IN OUR NATION AS A SIGN
AND INSTRUMENT OF COMMUNION AND UNITY AMONG GOD’S PEOPLE,
AND TO SUSTAIN, STRENGTHEN AND FOSTER
COMMON INITIATIVES TO LIVE THE
CHRISTIAN LIFE EVER MORE FULLY,
THROUGH FORMS AND PROGRAMS OF THE
APOSTOLATE THAT RESPOND IN LOVING SERVICE
TO THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES,
STIMULATE THE FORMATION OF COMMUNITIES
OF FAITH ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL,
AND EVOKE AN ABIDING HOPE IN
THE COMING OF GOD’S KINGDOM,
DO HEREBY ORDAIN AND PROMULGATE
THIS CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS.
Nature and Objectives
Section 1: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is the permanent organizational assembly of the Bishops of the Philippines exercising together certain pastoral offices for the Christian faithful of their territory through apostolic plans, programs and projects suited to the circumstances of time and place in accordance with law for the promotion of the greater good offered by the Church to all people (cf. Can. 447; Vat II: CD 38, 1; M.P. Apostolos Suos, 14).
Section 2: Without prejudice to the power which each diocesan Bishop enjoys by divine institution in his own particular Church (cf. M.P. Apostolos Suos, 3; Canons 381 §1; 455, §4), the CBCP has the following objectives:
To serve as the forum for the Bishops in the Philippines wherein they regularly share their wisdom and experience, exchange views, pool together their strengths and resources and enable themselves “to fulfill their office suitably and fruitfully” through joint pastoral decisions and collaborative programs for the common good of the Church (cf. Vat. II: CD 37; M.P. Apostolos Suos, 15).
To formulate general decrees and joint pastoral policies in those cases in which the common law prescribes it, or a special mandate of the Apostolic See, given either motu proprio or at the request of the Conference, determines it (Can. 455, §1; cf. M.P. Apostolos Suos, 20).
To issue doctrinal declarations so that the “message of Christ enlightens and guides people’s consciences in resolving new problems arising from changes in society” through the conjoint exercise of the authentic teaching office, to which, although they do not have the characteristics of a universal magisterium, the faithful shall adhere with a sense of religious respect (M.P. Apostolos Suos, 22-23).
To establish appropriate organizational structures for the proper and effective implementation of the joint pastoral policies and programs (cf. M.P. Apostolos Suos, 18).
To help the individual Bishops in the Philippines to be actively involved in the pastoral thrusts of the Universal Church according to the orientations of the ordinary and extraordinary Synods of Bishops (cf. M.P. Apostolos Suos, 19).
To ensure that suitable and worthy provisions are made for the upkeep of a Bishop who has retired or resigned, with due regard for the primary obligation that rests upon the Diocese he served (cf. Can. 402, §2).
To foster ecclesial relations with other Episcopal Conferences, (cf. Can. 459, §1; Vat. II: CD 38, 1), especially those in the neighboring Churches in Asia.
To safeguard and promote close and fervent apostolic communion and pastoral solidarity with the Apostolic See. (cf. M.P. Apostolos Suos, 19; also, Can. 459, §2).
To constitute a National Appellate Tribunal which will provide judicial review to contentious and penal cases coming from tribunals of first instance specified in Canon 1439, §1 and alluded to in Canon 1439, §2.
To acquire, own, operate and make use of various means of social communications and other media which are readily available in the area such as AM-FM radio and Television stations, Information Technology, and print media (cf. M.P. Apostolos Suos, 15; cf. also, Vat. II: CD 13; Can. 761).
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