The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is a Canonical National Episcopal Body that enables the Latin Catholic Bishops of the country to exchange ideas and information, deliberate on the Church’s broad concerns and take care of the pastoral needs of the faithful. It is one of the four biggest Bishops’ Conferences of the world. It has 132 dioceses and 182 active and retired Bishop members. The Conference is to assist the Bishops both for pastoral care and for evangelization: the twin duties of a Bishop.
One of the main purposes of CCBI according to its statutes is “to promote that greater good which the Church offers humankind especially through fora and programmes of the apostolate which are adequately adapted to the circumstances of time and space” (Statutes, art. 3:1).
It was established on 22 April 1988 following the directive of the letter of His Holiness Pope St. John Paul II to the Bishops of India on 28 May 1987. At first an ad hoc Office Bearers body consisting of a President and Vice-President was elected and it was assisted by a small team of four Bishops forming the executive Committee. At its Third Plenary Assembly in Goa (1991) a full team of Office Bearers was elected and an Executive Committee consisting of the Office Bearers, all the Metropolitans of the Latin Ecclesiastical Provinces and the Chairmen of CCBI Commission was constituted. Its Statues were first approved by the Holy See on 13 January 1994. At the lapse of five years in 1999 and in the light of the Apostolos Suos, the Statuses were revised and they were permanently approved by the Holy See on 3 December 2000 (Prot. 5242/00).
The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India was registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. Regd. No. S/19920 on 1 May 1989.
CCBI members are: 1) The diocesan bishops, their coadjutors, and auxiliaries, and 2) those honorary bishops appointed by the Holy See or the Bishops Conference for particular tasks. In the Bishops’ Conference there is a President, who is in overall charge and represents the Conference, a Vice President and a Secretary General to assist him for a term of two years. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, in addition to Plenary Assemblies, has an Executive Committee to handle ordinary matters, Episcopal Commissions and a General Secretariat.
The CCBI celebrated its Silver Jubilee in February 2013 at Vailankanni in Thanjavur Diocese of Tamil Nadu. In 2013 CCBI published its Pastoral Plan for Church in India.