The following are some significant facts about the retired Bishops and Archbishops of the Philippines: One, that as of this writing there are no less than thirty-three of them who are in effect considered as resigned from their respective Episcopal Offices. Two, that there are many more who are retiring very soon such that their number will in effect even increase. Three, that together they constitute a moral force to reckon with as well as an ecclesial asset to consider.
Question: Why are the retired Bishops and Archbishops that many and still counting? Answer: First, there are more Dioceses and Archdioceses in the Country, hence there must also be more Bishops and Archbishops assigned to minister to the said many ecclesiastical jurisdictions. Second, there are also more Bishops and Archbishops who have become conscious of their wellness and health care, and wherefore stay longer within the fold of the church. Third, there are also more and more elderly in the country as a whole due to progressively acquired longevity, with the Bishops and Archbishops counted among them.
Question: Are the retired Bishops and Archbishops still good for something; are they still dependable about anything? Answer: On condition that they are still up and about, that still retain sound mind and will functions, and that they are still disposed to render some social and/or ecclesial service for the good of the people, then there is no reason why--as a group--their attributes and potentials would not be considered and solicited accordingly.
“CBCP EMERITUS”: In the first place, what is it and what is it for? Is such not contrary to Church doctrine and/or Canon Law? Is it a possibility with objective premise and practical worth?
Truth to say, a “CBCP Emeritus” is but a thought with potential, however, for consideration and actualization. It is definitely not a parallel of the actual and standing CBCP--much less it’s counter-part. More than anything else, it is envisioned to affirm and support CBCP pronouncements and statements. How, concretely? Ask the Bishops and Archbishops bearing the title of “Emeritus”. Together, they can draw their own Constitution and By-Laws.
24 NOVEMBER 2010