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Philippine Bishops to Visit Pope

MANILA, Oct. 27, 2010- Filipino Catholic prelates will head off to Rome starting next month for their "ad limina visit"- during which they must account for themselves to Vatican departments and the Pope.

Msgr. Juanito Figura, Secretary General of Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said the visit is a chance for the prelates to report developments and concerns of their respective dioceses.

"It's called quinquennial visit ad limina apostolorum wherein the bishops will meet the pope and report on the state of their dioceses or prelatures," Figura said.

"Aside from that they are also encouraged to visit the various dicasteries or offices of the Roman Curia... the Sacred Congregations and the Pontifical Councils," he added.

Pope Benedict XVI is also expected to give his address to the visiting members of the Philippine bishops' collegial body.

According to Figura, those who would have the chance to visit the pontiff include all the 98 active CBCP members which were divided into three groups.

The first batch, composed of prelates coming from 30 ecclesiastical jurisdictions in Metro Manila, and Central and Northern Luzon, is scheduled on Nov. 25 to Dec.6, 2010.

It will be followed on Feb.7 to 19, 2011 by all bishops assigned in the Bicol region, Visayas and the Military Ordinariate.

The last batch to visit Rome are bishops from Mindanao including the Archbishop of Lipa on Feb. 21 to March 5, 2011. (CBCPNews)