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).
Abstract Statistics of Latin Catholic Church in India
|Latin Dioceses in India||132|
|Total Population in Latin Dioceses||1,11,08,11,063|
|Total Catholic Population in Latin Diocese||1,51,88,997|
|Total Number of Parishes||8,813|
|Mission Stations or Quasi Parishes||1903|
|Total Number of Latin Catholic Priests||20,093|
About the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India
As an organisation the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is an association of the Bishops of Latin Rite Church in India, functioning in accordance with canon 447. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is a 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 181 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 3 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 honorar 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 Executive Committee acts as the Administrative Board. It meets at least once a year mainly to see that the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Conference are duly implemented. It is composed of:
1. The Office Bearers of the Conference (President, Vice President and Secretary General).
2. The Metropolitans (Archbishops of Agra, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bombay, Calcutta, Cuttack- Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Goa and Daman, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Madras-Mylapore, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Pondicherry- Cuddalore, Raipur, Ranchi, Shillong, Trivandrum, Verapoly and Vizhakapattanam).
3. The Chairmen of the CCBI Commissions.
The Bishops of the Latin Catholic Church in India are the members of the Plenary Assembly of the Conference. Ordinary Plenary Assembly of the Conference is held every year. Extraordinary Plenary Assemblies are held according to the need decided by at least a two-third of the members of the Executive Committee.
At the Plenary Assembly the Conference reviews the situation and assesses the progress of the Church in India, and in the light of its own purposes it decides on plans that may be necessary and actions that may be called for.
At such meetings the Plenary Assembly reflects upon important issues affecting the Christian faithful and the society at large. Reports of the various proceedings of the Plenary Assembly and reports of the Secretary General are published every year. The reports of the Commissions normally find place in the agenda booklet of the Plenary Assembly or they are printed in a separate booklet.
Plenary Assembly: Date, Place and Topic
1st PA: 14 April 1988, Kottayam on Various Topics
2nd PA: 6,7,16,17 November 1989, Sacred Heart College, Shillong on Various Topics
3rd PA: 6 – 8 January 1991, Pilar, Goa on Evangelization in India
4th PA: 6 & 14 January 1992, Ishvani Kendra, Pune on Various Topics
5th PA: 4 – 6 January 1993, St. Pius College, Bombay: Catechism of the Catholic Church
6th PA: 3 – 4 March 1994, Holy Family Hospital, New Delhi on Various topics
7th PA: 5 – 7 January 1995, Morning Star College, Barrackpore (Calcutta) on Pro-Life
8th PA: 12 & 22 February 1996, St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary, Trivandrum on Various Topics
9th PA: 9 – 12: January 1997, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore on Inculturation
10th PA: 18 – 20 March 1998, Nava Sadhana, Varanasi, Various topics
11th PA: 6 – 10 January 1999, St. John’s Regional Seminary, Hyderabad on
The Bishop Servant of the Gospel of Christ for the Hope of the World
12th PA: 25 – 28 January 2000, St. Joseph’s Engineering College, Chennai on
The Priest and the third Christian Millennium
13th PA: 10 -13 January 2001, Morning Star College, Barrackpore (Calcutta) on Laity in a Participatory Church
14th PA: 26 – 28 February 2002, Trinity College, Jalandhar on CCBI at the Service of the Community
15th PA: 15 – 19 January 2003, St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli on Sharing the Good News
16th PA: 10 January 2004, Mary Matha Major Seminary, Trichur on
Recommendations from the Special Commission for Evangelization
17th PA: 4 – 8 March 2005, Social Development Centre, Ranchi on Family
18th PA: 11 February 2006, St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore on CCBI service of the Dioceses
19th PA: 4 – 9 January 2007, St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Carmelgiri, Alwaye on
The Vocation and Role of the Laity in the Life and Mission of the Church
20th PA: 16 February 2008, Xavier Institute of Labour Relations, Jamshedpur on Various topics
21st PA: 12 -18 February 2009, Pallotine Theology Centre (Prabhodhana Mysore) on
The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church
22nd PA: 27 February 2010, Don Bosco Centre, Guwahati on Various topics
23rd PA: 6 – 12 January 2011, Sacred Heart Seminary, Chennai on
Catechetical Renewal, Essential for a Vibrant Church in India
24th PA: 5 February 2012, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore on Various Topics
25th PA: 5 – 10 February 2003, Shrine Retreat House, Vailankanni, Pastoral Plan for the Church in India
26th PA: 9 February 2014, Alphonsian Pastoral Institute, Palai on Various topics
27th PA: 3 – 9 February 2015, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore on Liturgy and Life
28th PA: 6 March 2016, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore on Various Topics.
29th PA: 31 Jan to 8 Feb 2017, Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre, Bhopal, Promoting Joy and Love in Our Families
30th PA: 4 February, 2018, St. John’s Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore on Various Topics
31 PA: 7-14 January, 2019 at Joe Animation Centare, Mahabalipuram, Chingleput Diocese, Chennai on “Joy of the Gospel”