THE CONFERENCE OF THE SWISS BISHOPS
The Conference of the Swiss Bishops came about in 1863 and, on a world scale, was the first assembly of bishops to meet regularly, to have a juridical structure and assume a guidance role at ecclesial level.
The Conference meets four times a year in ordinary assembly; if necessary, extraordinary assemblies are also held, summoned when there urgent external or internal motives. Within the Conference, the Presidium, composed of the President, Vice-president and another member, prepares the Plenary meetings.
As well as the Conference of Bishops, there are two other assemblies of Ordinaries, that of the German Swiss Ordinaries (DOK) and that of the French Swiss Ordinaries (COR), who deal with issues concerning the two respective linguistic regions.
The Conference of the Swiss Bishops has established various groups of experts (commissions, working groups or commissions) which look after different areas: catechesis, ecumenism, theology, Islam, bioethics, media, etc., and which depend directly on the Conference of bishops. Such groups provide their results to the various commissions or directly to the Conference. Often, these working groups assume major significance in the dialogue and collaboration, too, with other denominations and religions.