Conference of Catholic Bishops of India

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Conference of Catholic Bishops of India
Conference of Catholic Bishops of India Logo.jpg
CCBI logo
Formation22 April 1988
TypeEpiscopal conference
Legal statusCivil nonprofit
PurposeTo support the ministry of bishops
HeadquartersConference of Catholic Bishops of India, CCBI Centre, Post Box No: 8490, Hutchins Road 2nd Cross, Bangalore – 560 084, Karnataka, India
Region served
Active and retired Latin rite Catholic bishops of India
Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao
Vice President
Archbishop George Antonysamy
Secretary – General
Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto
Deputy Secretary-General
Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara
AffiliationsFederation of Asian Bishops' Conferences

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India or CCBI, is the national episcopal conference of the bishops of the Latin rite of the Catholic church in India, functioning in accordance with canon 447. There are 132 Latin Catholic dioceses in the country, and 190 active and retired bishops are the members of the CCBI. This the largest bishops' conference in Asia and the fourth largest in the world. The CCBI is a member of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India 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. The conference is to assist the bishops both in pastoral care and in evangelization, the twin duties of a bishop. One of the main purposes of the CCBI according to its statutes is “to promote that greater good which the Church offers humankind especially through forms and programmes of the apostolate which are adequately adapted to the circumstances of time and place.”[1]

Historical Background[edit]

In 1944 a conference of Indian bishops known as Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) was established. When the national episcopal conferences got the juridical and structural recognition during Vatican II, the CBCI began to reorganize itself with infrastructures such as national commissions, regional councils of bishops and national organizations working under its guidance and directives. The promulgation of the Latin Code of Canon Law in 1983 contributed to the debate about establishing a conference only for the Latin rite bishops. Pope John Paul II, after his visit to India in 1986, wrote an apostolic letter to the Indian bishops on 28 May 1987. An important text of which reads thus: “The bishops of each of the three rites have the right to establish their own episcopal bodies in accordance with their own ecclesiastical legislation. The CBCI which is an assembly of the bishops of India of the three rites is to continue for matters of common concern and of national and supra-ritual character. These areas are to be determined in the new statues of the CBCI”.

In compliance with the Pope's directive, the CBCI in its general meeting in April 1988 decided that all the three ritual churches could have their own episcopal bodies. Accordingly, the bishops of the Latin Church started their own episcopal conference in the same meeting and named it “Conference of Catholic Bishops of India – Latin Rite” (CCBI-LR). In January 1994, the Holy See approved its statutes. Hence, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India is an organization having its legal foundation in Canon law, which applies to the Catholic church of the Roman rite throughout the world. Therefore, according to canons 447-459, the CCBI is the central church body of the bishops in India and its purpose is to deliberate on matters of concern for the whole Latin church and encourage activities in accordance with the needs of the times. The members of the CCBI are: 1) The diocesan bishops, their coadjutors, and auxiliaries, 2) The administrators of the dioceses when the Episcopal See is vacant, 3) The retired bishops and, 4) those honorary bishops appointed by the Holy See or the bishops' conference for particular tasks.

The bishops' conference is headed by a president, who is overall in-charge and represents the conference, a vice president and a secretary general to assist him for a term of two years. The bishops' conference, in addition to plenary assemblies, has an executive committee to handle ordinary matters, the commissions and the secretariat.

Organizational Structure[edit]

At first, an ad hoc Office Bearers body consisting of a President and Vice President was elected and a small team of four Bishops forming the Executive Committee assisted it. 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 Chairpersons of CCBI commissions was constituted. The Holy See approved its statues on 13 January 1994. At the lapse of five years in 1999 and in the light of the Apostolos Suos, the statutes were revised and the Holy See permanently approved them 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 of 1 May 1989.

Executive Committee[edit]

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.

Plenary Assembly[edit]

The Bishops of the Latin Catholic Church in India are the members of the Plenary Assembly of the Conference. The 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 needed and actions that may be envisaged.

The Reports of the twelve Commissions, Regional Bishops’ Councils are submitted every two years in the Plenary Assembly. While the Report of the Secretary General is published along with the Report of the Annual General Body Meeting of the CCBI, the Biennial Reports of the CCBI Commissions and Regional Bishops’ Councils are printed separately just before the meeting. Whereas the Reports of the various proceedings of the annual 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 Down the Years[edit]

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 Various topics

7th PA: 5–7 January 1995, Morning Star College, Barrackpore (Calcutta) Pro-Life

8th PA: 12 & 22 February 1996, St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary, Trivandrum, Various Topics

9th PA: 9–12 January 1997, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore on Inculturation

10th PA: 18–20 March 1998, Nav Sadhana, Varanasi on 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), Laity in a Participatory Church

14th PA: 26–28 February 2002, Trinity College, Jalandhar, CCBI at the Service of the Community

15th PA: 15–19 January 2003, St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli, Sharing the Good News

16th PA: 10 January 2004, Mary Matha Major Seminary, Trichur, 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, One day PA further reflection 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, Various topics

27th PA: 3-9 February 2015 St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, Liturgy and Life

28th PA: 6 March 2016 St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore on Various Topics

29th PA: 31 Jan - 8 Feb 2017, Pastoral Centre, Ashaniketan Campus, Bhopal, Promoting Love and Joy in Our Families

30th PA: 4 February, 2018 St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore on Various Topics

31st PA: 7 to 14 January, 2019 at Joe Animation Centre, Mahabalipuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu on "Joy of the Gospel

Headquarters: CCBI Centre[edit]

The CCBI Centre is the Secretariat of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India. The Secretariat coordinates the ministries of the 12 Commissions of the CCBI, of which six of the Commission Executive Secretaries reside at the Centre. The first Secretariat of the CCBI was in Goa and in 1998, it was shifted to Delhi and then to Bangalore in 2003 on a temporary basis. The CCBI has another Centre (Suvarta Kendra) in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh from where the CCBI Commission for Proclamation operates. The CCBI Centre is headed by the Deputy Secretary General who is also the Director of the CBCI Centre.

Office Bearers of the CCBI[edit]

  • President: Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa and Damam
  • Vice President: George Antonysamy, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore
  • Secretary General: Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, Archbishop of Delhi
  • Deputy Secretary General: Stephen Alathara, from Verapoly Archdiocese

Presidents of CCBI[edit]

  1. Archbishop Henry D’Souza: 1988-1990; 1991-1992
  2. Cardinal Simon Pimenta: 1993-1995; 1995-1997
  3. Archbishop Marianus Arokiasamy: 1997-1999
  4. Archbishop Henry D’Souza: 1999-2001
  5. Archbishop Telesphore Toppo: 2001-2004
  6. Cardinal Oswald Gracias: 2005-2010
  7. Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo: 2011-2013
  8. Cardinal Oswald Gracias: 2013 –2019

Vice-Presidents of CCBI[edit]

  1. Archbishop Leobard D’Souza : 1988
  2. Archbishop Marianus Arockiasamy: 1991
  3. Archbishop Casimir Gnanadickam: 1993
  4. Archbishop Marianus Arockiasamy: 1994
  5. Bishop Patrick D’Souza: 1996
  6. Archbishop Telesphore P. Toppo: 1998-2002
  7. Bishop Valerian D’souza: 2002-2007
  8. Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao: 2007-2011
  9. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão: 2011-2017
  10. Archbishop George Antonysamy: 2017 -

Secretary General of CCBI[edit]

  1. Archbishop Angelo Fernandes: 1989
  2. Bishop Joseph Rodericks: 1991
  3. Archbishop Ignatius Paul Pinto: 1994-1998
  4. Bishop Thomas Dabre: 1998-2005
  5. Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu: 2005-2011
  6. Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal: 2011 - 2017
  7. Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto: 2017 -

Deputy Secretary Generals of CCBI[edit]

  1. Rev. Dr. Mario Saturnino Dias: 1989-1991
  2. Rev. Dr. Arulsamy: 1991-2002
  3. Rev. Dr. Simon Sebastian: 2002-2006
  4. Rev. Dr. Udumala Bala: 2006-2013
  5. Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara: 2014-

CCBI Commissions and Chairmen[edit]

1. Commission for Boundary Chairman: Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrão, Archbishop of Goa and Daman Member: Most Rev. George Antonysamy, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore Member: Most Rev. Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, Archbishop of Delhi

2. Commission for Bible Chairman: Most Rev. Antonysamy Peter Abir, Bishop of Sultanpet Member: Most Rev. Joseph Raja Rao S.M.M., Bishop of Vijayawada Member: Most Rev. Simon Kaipuram, CM, Bishop of Balasore

3. Commission for Canon Law and Other Legislative Texts Chairman: Most Rev. Derek Fernandes, Bishop of Karwar Member: Most Rev. Cajetan Francis Osta, Bishop of Muzaffarpur Member: Most Rev. Sebastian Thekethecheril, Bishop of Vijayapuram

4. Commission for Catechetics Chairman: Most Rev. Thomas Ignatius Macwan, Archbishop of Gandhinagar Member: Most Rev. Jojo Anand, Bishop of Hazaribag Member: Most Rev. Antonisamy Francis, Bishop of Kumbakonam

5. Commission for Ecology Chairman: Most Rev. Allwyn D'Silva, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay Member: Most Rev. Ivan Pereira, Bishop of Jammu-Srinagar Member: Most Rev. Kishor Kumar Kujur, Bishop of Rourkela

6. Commission for Ecumenism Chairman: Most Rev. Francis Serrao, SJ, Bishop of Shimoga Member: Most Rev. Arulappan Amalraj, Bishop of Ootacamund Member: Most Rev. Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Poona

7. Commission for Family Chairman: Most Rev. Sebastian Kallupura, Co-adjutor Bishop of Patna Member: Most Rev. Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore Member: Most Rev. Thomas Aquinas, Bishop of Coimbatore

8. Commission for Laity Chairman: Most Rev. Eugene Joseph, Bishop of Varanasi Member: Most Rev. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore Member: Most Rev. Stephen Lepcha, Bishop of Darjeeling 9. Commission for Liturgy Chairman: Most Rev. Dominic Jala, SDB, Archbishop of Shillong Member: Most Rev. Paul Toppo, Bishop of Raigarh Member: Most Rev. Niranjan Sualsingh, Bishop of Sambalpur

10. Commission for Migrants Chairman: Most Rev. Victor Henry Thakur, Archbishop of Raipur Member: Most Rev. Elias Gonsalves, Bishop of Amravati Member: Most Rev. Soundararaju Periyanayagam, SDB, Bishop of Vellore

11. Commission for Proclamation Chairman: Most Rev. Raphy Manjaly, Bishop of Allahabad Member: Most Rev. George Palliparambil, SDB, Bishop of Miao Member: Most Rev. Sebastianappan Singaroyan, Bishop of Salem

12. Commission for Small Christian Communities Chairman: Most Rev. Ignatius Loyola Mascarenhas, Bishop of Simla Member: Most Rev. Selvister Ponnumuthan, Bishop of Punalur Member: Most Rev. Gerald John Mathias, Bishop of Lucknow

13. Commission for Theology and Doctrine Chairman: Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ, Archbishop of Ranchi Member: Most Rev. Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra Member: Most Rev. Lawrence Pius Dorairaj, Bishop of Dharmapuri

14. Commission for Vocations, Seminaries, Clergy and Religious Chairman: Most Rev. Udumala Bala, Bishop of Warangal Member: Most Rev. Vincent Aind, Bishop of Bagdogra Member: Most Rev. Varghese Chakkalakal, Bishop of Calicut

15. Commission for Women Chairman: Most Rev. Francis Kalist, Bishop of Meerut Member: Most Rev. Binay Kandulna, Bishop of Khunti Member: Most Rev. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi

16. Commission for Youth Chairman: Most Rev. Nazarene Soosai, Bishop of Kottar Member: Most Rev. Ignatius D’Souza, Bishop of Bareilly Member: Most Rev. Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary

Regions under CCBI[edit]

1. The AGRA REGIONAL BISHOPS’ COUNCIL (ARBC) consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Agra.

(1) Agra Archdiocese, (2) Ajmer, (3) Allahabad, (4) Bareilly, (5) Jaipur, (6) Jhansi, (7) Lucknow, (8) Meerut, (9) Udaipur, (10) Varanasi.

Chairman: Most Rev. Albert D’Souza (Agra)

Secretary: Most Rev. Oswald Lewis (Jaipur)

2. The BENGAL REGIONAL BISHOPS’ COUNCIL (BRBC) consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Calcutta.

(1) Calcutta Archdiocese, (2) Asansol, (3) Bagdogra, (4) Baruipur, (5) Darjeeling, (6) Jalpaiguri, (7) Krishnagar, (8) Raiganj.

Chairman: Most Rev. Thomas D’Souza (Calcutta)

Secretary: Most Rev. Clement Tirkey (Jalpaiguri)

3. The JHARKHAND REGIONAL BISHOPS’ COUNCIL consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Ranchi.

(1) Ranchi Archdiocese, (2) Daltonganj, (3) Dumka, (4) Gumla, (5) Jamshedpur, (6) Khunti, (7) Port-Blair, (8) Simdega, (9) Hazaribag.

Chairman: Most Rev. Felix Toppo (Jamshedpur) Secretary: Most Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas (Aux. Ranchi)

4. The BIHAR REGIONAL BISHOPS’ COUNCIL consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Patna.

(1) Patna Archdiocese, (2) Bettiah, (3) Bhagalpur, (4) Buxar, (5) Muzaffarpur, (6) Purnea.

Chairman: Most Rev. William D’Souza (Patna)

Secretary: Most Rev. Sebastian Kallupura (Buxar)

5. The COUNCIL OF BISHOPS OF CHHATTISGARH (CBCG) consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Raipur.

(1) Raipur Archdiocese, (2) Ambikapur, (3) Jashpur, (4) Raigarh.

Chairman: Most Rev. Victor Henry Thakur (Raipur)

Secretary: Most Rev. Paul Toppo (Raigarh)

6. The KARNATAKA REGIONAL CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ COUNCIL (KRCBC) comprises all the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bangalore.

(1) Bangalore Archdiocese, (2) Bellary, (3) Belgaum, (4) Chikmagalur, (5) Gulbarga, (6) Karwar, (7) Mangalore, (8) Mysore, (9) Shimoga, (10) Udupi.

Chairman: Most Rev. Bernard Moras (Bangalore)

7. The KERALA REGIONAL LATIN CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ COUNCIL (KRLCBC) comprises all the Bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Verapoly and Trivandrum (Latin Rite).

(1) Verapoly Archdiocese, (2) Calicut, (3) Cochin, (4) Kannur, (5) Kottapuram, (6) Sultanpet, (7) Vijayapuram.

(1) Trivandrum Archdiocese, (2) Alleppey, (3) Neyyatinkara, (4) Punalur, (5) Quilon.

Chairman: Most Rev. Maria Kalist Soosa Pakiam (Trivandrum)

Secretary: Most Rev. Varghese Chakkalakal (Calicut)

8. The COUNCIL OF BISHOPS OF MADHYA PRADESH (CBMP) consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bhopal.

(1) Bhopal Archdiocese, (2) Gwalior, (3) Indore, (4) Jabalpur, (5) Jhabua, (6) Khandwa

Chairman: Most Rev. Leo Cornelio (Bhopal)

Secretary: Most Rev. Chacko Thottumarickal (Indore)

9. The REGIONAL BISHOPS’ COUNCIL OF THE NORTH consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Delhi.

(1) Delhi Archdiocese, (2) Jammu-Srinagar, (3) Jalandhar, (4) Simla-Chandigarh.

Chairman: Most Rev. Anil Joseph Thomas Couto (Delhi)

Secretary: Most Rev. Franco Mulakkal (Jalandhar)

10. The NORTH EASTERN REGIONAL BISHOPS’ COUNCIL consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Shillong, Guwahati and Imphal.

(1) Shillong Archdiocese, (2) Agartala, (3) Aizawl, (4) Jowai, (5) Nongstoin, (6) Tura.

(1) Guwahati Archdiocese, (2) Bongaigaon, (3) Dibrugarh, (4) Diphu, (5) Itanagar, (6) Miao, (7) Tezpur.

(1) Imphal Archdiocese, (2) Kohima.

Chairman: Most Rev. Dominic Jala, SDB (Shillong)

Secretary: Most Rev. John Thomas Kattrukudiyil (Itanagar)

11. The ORISSA BISHOPS’ REGIONAL COUNCIL (OBRC) consists of the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar.

(1) Cuttack- Bhubaneswar Archdiocese, (2) Balasore, (3) Berhampur, (4) Rourkela, (5) Sambalpur.

Chairman: Most Rev. John Barwa, SVD (Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar)

Secretary: Most Rev. Simon Kaipuram, CM (Balasore)

12. The TAMILNADU BISHOPS’ COUNCIL (TNBC) comprises all the Bishops of ecclesiastical provinces of Madras-Mylapore, Madurai, Pondicherry-Cuddalore.

1) Madras-Mylapore Archdiocese, (2) Chingleput, (3) Coimbatore, (4) Ootacamund, (5) Vellore.

(1) Madurai Archdiocese, (2) Dindigul, (3) Kottar, (4) Kuzhithurai, (5) Palayamkottai, (6) Sivagangai, (7) Tiruchirappalli, (8) Tuticorin.

(1) Pondicherry-Cuddalore Archdiocese, (2) Dharmapuri, (3) Kumbakonam, (4) Salem, (5) Thanjavur.

Chairman: Most Rev. Peter Remigius (Kottar)

Secretary: Most Rev. J. Susaimanickam (Sivagangai)

13. The TELUGU CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ COUNCIL (TCBC) comprises all the Bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam

(1) Hyderabad Archdiocese, (2) Cuddapah, (3) Khammam, (4) Kurnool, (5) Nalgonda, (6) Warangal.

(1) Visakhapatnam Archdiocese, (2) Eluru, (3) Guntur, (4) Nellore, (5) Srikakulam, (6) Vijayawada.

Chairman: Most Rev. Thumma Bala (Hyderabad)

Secretary: Most Rev. Anthony Poola (Kurnool)

14. The WESTERN REGIONAL BISHOPS’ COUNCIL comprises all the Bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Bombay, Nagpur, Goa and Daman, Gandhinagar.

(1) Bombay Archdiocese, (2) Nashik, (3) Poona, (4) Vasai.

(1) Nagpur Archdiocese, (2) Amravati, (3) Aurangabad

(1) Goa and Daman Archdiocese, (2) Sindhudurg.

(1) Gandhinagar Archdiocese, (2) Ahmedabad, (3) Baroda

Chairman: Most Rev. Felix Anthony Machado (Vasai)

Secretary: Most Rev. Dominic Savio Fernandes (Bombay)


  1. ^ Statutes, art. 3:1

External links[edit]

Official website