The Bishops' Conference of Spain
The Church is at the service of Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life.
This is true, too, for the Spanish Bishops’ Conference (CEE). It is "a permanent institution comprising the Bishops of Spain, in communion with the Roman Pontiff, for the joint exercise of some of the pastoral roles of the Spanish Episcopate" (Statutes, Art. 1.1), but this does not mean that it amounts to a "large diocese" which embraces other dioceses; each has its own autonomy.
The Spanish Bishops’ Conference was estabished by a Brief from the Sacred Consistorial Congregation, protocol no. 1047/64 dated 3 October 1966. It has public ecclesiastical (Art. 1.3) and civil juridical status by virtue of the Agreement on Juridical Issues entered into between the Holy See and the Spanish State on 3 January 1979.
- Its first Statutes were approved by the Constituent Assembly in 1966 and ratified by Pope Paul VI that same year ad quinquenium.
- The Statutes received definitive recognition on 5 February 1977 by decree of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops. Subsequently, the 51st Plenary Assembly, on 23 November 1989, approved amendments to some articles, then confirmed by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated 5 February 1991.
- The last renewal was approved by the XCII Plenary Assembly of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference (24-28 November 2008) and confirmed by Decree of the Congregation for Bishops on 19 December 2008.
All the Spanish Bishops with pastoral roles have a right to speak and vote at the Plenary Assemblies; Emeritus Bishops (retired), without a pastoral role, only have a right to speak. Officers have a three-year mandate, and cannot be prolonged beyond three terms of office, apart from the General Secretary, who is elected for a five-year term of office.