The delegation to be received by Pope Francis is made up of the president and vice president of the Episcopal Conference, José Ornelas and Virgílio Antunes, respectively, and the secretary and spokesman, Father Manuel Barbosa.

On 9 December, at a press conference, Manuel Barbosa said that the audience will serve to present a greeting, but also to ask for “the blessing and guidance of the Pope” for the Catholic Church in the country, and the situation of the covid pandemic. -19 should also be mentioned. “It is obvious that it is so, it is evident”, added Manuel Barbosa, admitting that the realisation of the World Youth Day, in 2023 in Lisbon, may be another subject to be addressed.

The current presidency of CEP was elected on 16 June last for the 2020-2023 triennium, during the 198th Plenary Assembly of the Portuguese episcopate. José Ornelas was elected president of the Permanent Council of the CEP and as vice president the Portuguese bishops elected Virgílio Antunes, bishop of Coimbra. The vice-presidency of the CEP was occupied by Cardinal António Marto, bishop of Leiria-Fátima.

The prelates also elected as members of the Permanent Council for the 2020-2023 triennium Manuel Clemente (cardinal-patriarch of Lisbon), Manuel Linda (bishop of Porto), José Cordeiro (bishop of Bragança-Miranda), António Marto (bishop of Leiria- Fátima) and Francisco Senra Coelho (archbishop of Évora). Father Manuel Barbosa remains as secretary.