The ExecutiveCommittee of the Catholic Biblical Federation held its annual meeting onNovember 9-11, 2018 at the Generalate of the Society of St. Paul in Rome (Italy).
The meetingwas attended by 11 of the 14 members of the Executive Committee and theSecretary General of the Federation. The representative of the Holy See, aswell as the President of the Administrative Board, were unable to attend due toprior commitments, and sent their apologies. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle,President of the Federation, took part in Saturday afternoon session via videolink from Manila. The 2018 meeting of Executive Committee dealt with a numberof key administrative issues pertaining to finance, fundraising, and the proposed move of the Federation’s administrativeoffices from Sankt Ottilien (Germany). The Executive Committee also appointed anew regional coordinator for Central Europe, admitted 4 new associate members,explored some new initiatives, and reviewed the proposed celebration of theFederation’s 50th anniversary in 2019.
Afterreceiving and approving the of the Secretary General’s report, the ExecutiveCommittee discussed a number of issues raised by it; in particular, thechallenges occasioned by the structure, identity, and mission of theFederation, the extent to which its member institutions identify with theFederation, and the consequences of the changes in the Federation’s financialstructure. These issues will continue require reflection and debate across thedifferent levels of the Federation. The four new affiliations – the AngolanPauline Sisters, the Diocese of Sokodé (Togo), the ICLA (Philippines), and theCentro Bíblico Pastoral María de Magdala (Colombia) – bring the membership ofthe Federation to 349: 102 full members and 247 associate members.
The 50thanniversary of the Catholic Biblical Federation will be celebrated by aBiblical-Pastoral Congress to take place in Rome between April 23 and 26, 2019,the proclamation of the Year of the Word of God (# Bible2020) from the FirstSunday of Advent 2019 to the Feast of St. Jerome in 2020, and by theinauguration of the Pastoral Biblical Association “Verbum Domini”during the Rome Congress. The meeting concluded by exploring two newinitiatives: a proposal, from the Subregion of Southern and Western Europe, toorganize a meeting of European bishops engaged in the Biblical Apostolate, anda proposal from Secretary General to adopt and promote among the members of theFederation the invocation of “Mary, Mother of the Word”(#MotheroftheWord). The former, reflecting a similar initiative 25 years ago inFreising (Germany), was accepted and adopted; it was decided that the latterrequired further reflection and would have gradual implementation in theregions.
The ExecutiveCommittee in formally expressing its gratitude for the welcome and hospitalityof the Generalate of the Society of Saint Paul in hosting its 2018 meeting,notes the common mission in the word of both Federation and the Pauline family,and looks forward to shared projects in the service of the word in the years tocome.