By Leslie Ann Aquino
Filipino Catholic prelates will go to Vatican this year for their “ad limina” visit to Pope Francis.
Father Marvin Mejia, Secretary General of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the bishops will report to the pontiff the different concerns of their respective dioceses.
“That meeting with the Pope is very important…if they have concerns in their diocese that’s the time also that they will meet with different dicasteries,” he said in an interview.
Asked if the bishops will also discuss President Duterte’s tirades against the Church and clergy with the Pontiff, Mejia said he doesn’t know.
“I don’t know what they will discuss,” he said.
“But I think the pontiff knows that already through other channels,” added Mejia.
To note, it was still in February 2011 when the bishops had their last “ad limina” visit. The pope then was still Pope Benedict XVI.
According to Mejia, the bishops will be divided in three groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“First to leave are the bishops from Luzon followed by Visayas and Mindanao. Since the Luzon group is big, Naga (Archdiocese of Caceres) will be joining the Visayas group while Lipa (Archdiocese of Lipa) will be joining the Mindanao group,” he said.
Mejia said the ad limina visit of the bishops is set on the last two weeks of May and the first week of June.
The “ad limina” visit is one of the things that will be discussed by Catholic prelates in their upcoming Plenary Assembly which will be held from January 26 to 28 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila.
Considered as the highest decision-making body of the CBCP, the Plenary Assembly meets in regular session twice a year in January and in July. The Permanent Council acts for and in behalf of the Conference when the Plenary Assembly is not in session,