The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (C.B.C.I.) is the permanent association
of the Catholic Bishops of India. It was formally constituted in September 1944
at the Conference of Metropolitans held in Madras. Its objectives are to facilitate
coordinated study and discussion of questions affecting the Church, and adoption
of a common policy and effective action in all matters concerning the interests
of the Church in India.
His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios
Most Rev. George Njaralakatt
Most Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF INDIA (CBCI)
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the permanent association of the
Catholic Hierarchy of India was constituted at the Metropolitans’ Conference held
in Madras in September, 1944. Right from the establishment of the CBCI, the CBCI
Secretariat was functioning in Bangalore until 1962 when it was shifted to New Delhi.
Its purpose is to facilitate common action of the Hierarchy in matters that affect
or are liable to affect the common interests of the Catholic Church in India. Through
it the Bishops of India, conscious of their unity and solidarity in the episcopate,
“jointly exercise their pastoral office by way of promoting that greater good which
the Church offers to humankind, especially through forms and programmes of the apostolate
which are fittingly adapted to the circumstances of the age” (C.D., 38.1).
Ecclesiastical Organization :
The CBCI is at the service of 174 dioceses out of which 31 are Syro-Malabar, 11 are
Syro-Malankara and 132 are Latin dioceses.
The Catholic Church in India is divided into 30 Ecclesiastical Provinces headed
by their respective Metropolitans. Besides, it is divided into 14 Regions which
function through the Regional Bishops’ Councils, with a Bishop Chairman, Bishop
Secretary and a Priest Secretary. New Ecclesial Reality :
In the wake of the Letter of Pope John Paul II (1987) to all the Bishops of India,
we have the ecclesial reality of three Episcopal Bodies with their own rights and
ecclesiastical legislation. The three Individual sui juris (Ritual) Churches have
their respective Episcopal Bodies: Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI)
for the Latin Church, Syro-Malabar Bishops’ Synod (SMBS) for the Syro-Malabar Church
and Holy Episcopal Synod for the Syro-Malankara Church.
The CBCI is the face of the Catholic Church in India and should deal with ‘questions
of common concern and of national and supra-ritual character’ (Letter of Pope John
Paul II). The CBCI is at the service of the three ecclesial bodies and the 14 Regional
Councils of Bishops.
Besides other roles or functions, the CBCI Secretariat will:
- Strengthen and foster the relations among the three sui juris Churches as communion;
be a coordinating body for common programmes of inter-ritual and supra-ritual character
involving the three Episcopal Bodies at the National level;
- Promote advocacy on national issues; make representation to Government, liaising
with the Central Government and Ministries/Departments of the Centre; influence
government policies for nation building and development of peoples.
- Network with other Christian Churches (v.gr. NCCI), organizations (v.gr. NUCF),
associations of civil society and people of other religions and all people of good
will to work for peace and harmony, for probity in public life, for promotion of
human rights and Gospel values.
President, Vice-President-I, Vice-President-II and Secretary General.
The Deputy Secretary General, who is also the Director of the CBCI Centre, sees
to the day-to-day functioning of the CBCI Secretariat and CBCI Centre.
General Body :
General Body is composed of all diocesan eparchial Bishops in India and those considered
equal to them by law, as well as co-adjutor and auxiliary Bishops, and other titular
Bishops performing a special work in India entrusted to them by the Apostolic See
or by the Conference shall be Ordinary members of the Conference.
Retired Bishops and other titular Bishops, not ordinary members of the Conference,
and residing in India, shall be Honorary members of the Conference.
Ordinary General Body Meetings of the Conference are held every two years, while
Extraordinary General Body Meetings are held according to need. At the General Body
Meeting the Conference reviews the situation and assesses the progress of the Church
in India, and, in the light of its own purposes, decides on plans that may be necessary,
and action that may be called for.
At such Meetings the Reports of various Offices, National Centres and Regional Councils
are submitted. While the Report of the Secretary General is published along with
the Report of the General Body Meeting of the CBCI, the Biennial Reports of the
CBCI Offices, National Centres and Regional Bishops’ Councils are printed separately
just before the Meeting.
Standing Committee :
The Standing Committee acts as the administrative board and is composed of:
- The Office-Bearers of the Conference (President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary General);
- The Presidents of the three Ritual Episcopal Bodies;
- The Metropolitans (Archbishops of Agra, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bombay, Calcutta, Changanacherry,
Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, Delhi, Ernakulam-Angamaly, Gandhinagar, Goa and Daman, Guwahati,
Hyderabad, Imphal, Kottayam, Madras-Mylapore, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Pondicherry-Cuddalore,
Raipur, Ranchi, Shillong, Tellicherry, Tiruvalla, Trichur, Trivandrum [Syro-Malankara
Rite], Trivandrum [Latin Rite], Verapoly and Visakhapatnam);
- The Bishops-in-Charge of CBCI Offices, Councils and Chairmen of National Centres;
- Co-opted members by the President of the Conference up to a maximum of four so that
representation of the Orientals is about one fourth of the total membership of the
The Standing Committee meets at least twice a year, mainly to see that the decisions,
resolutions and recommendations of the Conference are duly implemented.
CBCI functions through various Offices and National Centres/Institutes. Each Office
has one Chairman and two Bishop Members with one Secretary. All National Centres/Institutes
have one Bishop Chairman and a Director/Executive Director. It is to be noted that
in view of the Reorganisation of CBCI which has been approved by the General Body
during its Plenary Assembly held at Guwahati in 2010, following new terminology
has been adopted: ‘Office’ instead of ‘Commission’ and ‘Secretary’ instead of ‘Executive
C.B.C.I Offices :
C.B.C.I Councils :
Office for Doctrine
Office for Clergy and Religious
Office for Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism
Office for Education and Culture
Office for Health Care
Office for Justice, Peace and Development and Desk for Prison Ministry India
Office for Labour
Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes
Office for Social Communications
Office for Tribal Affairs
National Centres/Institutes :
Council for Laity
Council for Women
Council for Youth
National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC)
National Vocation Service Centre (NVSC)
St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences
National Institute of Social Communications, Research and Training (NISCORT)
CBCI Society for Medical Education, North India.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF INDIA (CBCI)
AT A GLANCE :
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) is the one Conference for all the Bishops in India. It can be called a Federation of three Ritual Conferences of Sui Juris Churchs: Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara.
The Latin Church has: The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI)
The Syro-Malabar Church has: The Syro-Malabar Bishops’ Synod.
The Syro-Malankara Church has: The Holy Episcopal Synod.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, established in 1944, has its Headquarters in Delhi, known as the CBCI Centre.
President - His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias
(Vice President-I) - Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios
(Vice President-II) - Most Rev. George Njaralakatt
CBCI has a Secretary General: His Excellency Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas
CBCI has a Deputy Secretary General: Fr. Jervis D’souza .
Composition of CBCI
Details of Quartely Receipts of Foreign Contribution
- Total number of Dioceses: 174
Latin Dioceses: 132
Syro-Malabar Dioceses: 31
Syro-Malankara Dioceses: 11
- Number of Ecclesiastical Provinces: 30
- Number of Regional Bishops’ Councils: 14
Total number of Bishops: 241
Diocesan Bishops: 165
Diocesan Administrators: 2
Auxiliary Bishops: 13
CBCI Offices and Councils:
Offices: Doctrine, Clergy and Religious, Ecumenism & Dialogue, Justice, Peace
and Development, Education and Culture, Health Care, Scheduled Castes and Backward
Classes, Labour, Social Communications, Office for Tribal Affairs and Desk for Prison
Councils: Laity, Women, Youth
Each of these Offices and Councils has a Bishop Chairman and 2 Member Bishops.
CBCI Core Team:
At present 3 members are in the Team. Their role and function are basically one
of helping the CBCI Office-Bearers, the three Ritual Churches and the Regional Bishops’
Councils, coordinating and animating the works of different Offices of CBCI and
CARITAS India, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, National Biblical,
Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC), National Vocation Service Centre (NVSC),
National Institute of Social Communications, Research and Training (NISCORT), CBCI
Society for Medical Education for North India.
Each of these six National Centres has its own Governing Board and General Body.
The Governing Body consists of mainly the Bishops. These Centres are administered
by a Director, Assistant Directors, Administrators, etc. CARITAS India, the social
wing of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, has its Central Office in the
CBCI Centre, whereas the Central Offices of the other five are with the National
Centres in Bangalore, Pune, Ranchi and Ghaziabad (U.P.).
The Secretary General, assisted by the Deputy Secretary General, coordinates the
activities and functions of the various CBCI Offices, Councils and National Centres.
The Secretary General, assisted by the Deputy Secretary General, organizes the Standing
Committee Meetings and the General Body Meetings of the CBCI. The Standing Committee
holds its Meetings twice a year; one in April and the other in September. The Plenary
Assembly, called the General Body of the CBCI is convened once in two years.
Name of the Association: Catholic Bishops' Conference of India
FCRA Registration Number: 231650220
Address of the Association: 1, Ashok Place, Gole Dakhana, New Delhi, Delhi - 110001
Financial Year: 2015-2016 Quarter: Oct. 2015 - Dec. 2015