World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Episcopal Conference


Episcopal Conference

In the Roman Catholic Church, an Episcopal Conference, Conference of Bishops, or National Conference of Bishops is an official assembly of all the bishops of a given territory. Episcopal conferences have long existed as informal entities, over forty existing before the Second Vatican Council.[1] They were first established as formal bodies by the Second Vatican Council (Christus Dominus, 38), and implemented by Pope Paul VI's 1966 motu proprio Ecclesiae sanctae.[2] The operation, authority, and responsibilities of episcopal conferences are currently governed by the 1983 Code of Canon Law (see especially canons 447-459).[3]

The nature of episcopal conferences, and their magisterial authority in particular, was subsequently clarified by Pope John Paul II's 1998 motu proprio, Apostolos suos which stated that the declarations of such conferences "constitute authentic magisterium" when approved unanimously by the conference; otherwise the conference must achieve a two-thirds majority and seek the recognitio, that is, recognition of approval, of the Holy See, which they will not receive if the majority "is not substantial".[4]

Episcopal conferences are generally defined by geographic borders, with all the bishops in a given country belonging to the same conference — which might also include neighboring countries. Certain tasks and authority are assigned to episcopal conferences, particularly with regard to setting the liturgical norms for the Mass. Episcopal conferences receive their authority under universal law or particular mandates. In certain circumstances, as defined by canon law, the decisions of an episcopal conference are subject to ratification from the Holy See. Individual bishops do not relinquish their authority to the conference, and remain responsible for the governance of their respective diocese.


  • Episcopal Conferences 1
    • Africa 1.1
    • Asia 1.2
    • Europe 1.3
    • Oceania 1.4
    • North America 1.5
    • South America 1.6
  • Similar bodies 2
  • See also 3
  • Footnotes 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Episcopal Conferences

This list is based on that found in the Annuario Pontifico per l'anno 2010 (Città di Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010).





North America

South America

Similar bodies

In addition to the episcopal conferences as defined by the Holy See, there are a number of other regional groupings of bishops:[12]

  • Synods of Bishops of the Patriarchal and Major Archiepiscopal Churches and Assemblies of Hierarchs of Churches Sui Iuris
    • Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church
    • Synod of the Chaldean Church
    • Synod of the Catholic Coptic Church
    • Synod of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church
    • Synod of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church
    • Synod of the Romanian Church
    • Synod of the Syrian Catholic Church
    • Synod of the Syro-Malabarese Church
    • Synod of the Syro-Malankarese Church
    • Council of the Ethiopian Church
    • Council of the Ruthenian Church, U.S.A.
    • Council of the Slovakian Church
    • Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Egypt
    • Assembly of the Catholic Bishops of Iraq
    • Assembly of the Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon
    • Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchs of Syria
    • Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land
    • Iranian Episcopal Conference

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ The Limits of the Papacy, p. 97, by Patrick Granfield, Crossroad, New York, 1987. ISBN 0-8245-0839-4
  3. ^ Pope John Paul II, Apostolos Suos, 5.
  4. ^  
  5. ^ The Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa includes the bishops of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia.
  6. ^ The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference includes the bishops of South Africa, Botswana, and Swaziland.
  7. ^ "UTEMELJENA BISKUPSKA KONFERENCIJA SR JUGOSLAVIJE" [Bishop's Conference of FR Yugoslavia Established]. Catholic Press Agency,  
  8. ^ "Priopćenje za javnost". International Bishops' Conference of Sts. Cyril and St. Methodius. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "XIII. plenarno zasjedanje BK Srbije i Crne Gore" [13th Plenary Meeting of the Bishops' Conference of Serbia and Montenegro]. Catholic Press Agency, Zagreb. 21 January 2005. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  10. ^ The Episcopal Conference of the Pacific is made up of the bishops of Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, and three U.S. dependencies (U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Territory of American Samoa, and U.S. Territory of Guam). Conferentia Episcopalis Pacifici (C.E. PAC.). GCatholic website. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  11. ^ The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops includes the bishop of the U.S. Territory of the Virgin Islands, but not the bishops of the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the three U.S. dependencies in the Pacific (U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Territory of American Samoa, and U.S. Territory of Guam).
  12. ^ Cf. Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 2010 pages 1101-06.

Further reading

  • Sullivan, Francis. "The Teaching Authority of Episcopal Conferences", Theological Studies, v. 63, 2002, pp. 472–493.

External links

  • List of all episcopal conferences by Giga-Catholic Information
  • The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church by David M. Cheney
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.