The Bishops’ Conference of Germany
The German Bishops’ Conference is the body which brings together all the bishops from the 27 German dioceses with the aim of examining and promoting common pastoral tasks, fostering mutual advice, the co-ordination of church activity, the joint dissemination of decisions and the care of relationships with other Bishops’ Conferences. As well as the diocesan Bishops, the Bishops’ Conference includes the coadjutors, diocesan administrators, and auxiliary Bishops. The history of the German Bishops’ Conference dates back to 1848, the year when the German bishops met for the first time in Würzburg.
The highest body of the German Bishops’ Conference is the General Assembly, which each spring and autumn brings together all the bishops in Germany. While the autumn assembly always takes place in Fulda, the city housing the relics of Saint Boniface, the spring session takes place each year in a different location. During the General Assembly the bishops have four days of numerous meetings, co-ordinating activities and taking decisions for the Church in Germany.
The Secretariat is at the service of the German Bishops’ Conference and its President in the preparatory phase for the General Assembly and the meeting of the permanent Council, as well as in the implementation of the decisions taken by these bodies. The management is entrusted to the Secretary of the German Bishops’ Conference. Various ancillary offices then carry out special tasks on behalf of the German Bishops’ Conference.