Friday, January 07, 2005



The Episcopal Commission on Canon Law (ECCL) is a consultative body of CBCP exclusively composed of bishops. The main purpose of its existence is to assist the Episcopal Conference itself and the individual bishops in facilitating the availability of the Church legislation to be an “efficacious means in order that the Church may progress in conformity with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and may every day be ever more suited to carry out its office of salvation in this world (John Paul II, “Sacrae Disciplinae Leges,” Apostolic Constitution, 25 January 1983).

CBCP is essentially pastoral. It is especially task to promote the greater good offered by the Church to the people. But to do that effectively and efficiently, CBCP has to work in accordance with the norms of law (cf. Can. 447; Vat. II: CD 38, 1; M.P. Apostolos Suos, 14). It is for this reason that CBCP, to ensure ready guidance and assistance on legal matters, explicitly provides in its Statutes the creation and constitution of the Episcopal Commission on Canon Law (CBCP Statutes, Art. IV, section 3, a5).

The Commission has been task to perform the following functions: a) shall make the necessary studies and recommendations to the Conference concerning the implementation of the CBCP Complementary Norms on the Code of Canon Law; b) shall ask for the needed authorization and/or faculties from the Apostolic See in favor of the Conference as a whole or upon request from its members, for the more effective exercise of the Pastoral Office; c) shall organize and promote, maintain and facilitate, periodic updating seminars on Canon Law for Bishops and Priests, Religious and Lay People; d) shall assist the diocesan Bishops in the establishment of Matrimonial Tribunals and in the promotion of the technical preparation and updating of the personnel required for the continuous functioning of said Tribunals; e) shall promote the establishment of a Canon Law Society of the Philippines and encourage the holding of annual conventions of Canonists; f) shall give canonical opinion on legal matters in response to questions and/or for the resolution of issues, at its own initiative or at the request of the Conference” (CBCP By-Laws, art. 1, section 5).

The composition of ECCL is as follows:

Chairman: Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso
Vice-Chairman: Bp. Angel T. Hobayan
Members: Bp. Emilio Z. Marquez, Bp. Nereo P. Odchimar, Bp. Francisco C. San Diego

Executive Secretary: Msgr. Romulo Vergara

Office: Commission on Canon Law/Canon Law Society of the Philippines
4th floor, CBCP Building
470 Gen. Luna St.
Intramuros, 1002 Manila


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