The Catholic Biblical Federation is a union or an alliance of independent and autonomous organizations. In fact, the existence of some of these organizations pre-dates the creation of the Federation in 1969. Some of the founding members of the Federation, for instance the Catholic Biblical Associations of Germany (KBW - Katholisches Bibelwerk) and of Switzerland (SKB - Schweizer Katholisches Bibelwerk were founded already in the 1930s (1933 and 1935 respectively). The members of the Federation are of two kinds: a full member is an institution – one per Bishops’ Conference – entrusted by the Conference with the biblical-pastoral ministry in the area of the Conference; associate members are other institutions (like publishing houses, pastoral centers, individual dioceses or religious orders) having this kind of ministry as their priority.
Through its ca. 350 member organizations the Federation is present in some 130 countries. The world-wide character of the Federation can also be seen in the fact that it has held its Plenary Assemblies in all the continents: In Vienna, on Malta, in Bangalore (India), Bogota (Colombia), Hong Kong, Beirut (Lebanon), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) an Nemi (Italy). – The ecclesial character of the Federation has two dimensions: through the members it is primarily at the service of the local Churches, but at the same time though the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity it is in liaison with the Holy See.
The Catholic Biblical Federation is a network of international and local organizations which in one way or the other are at the service of biblical-pastoral endeavours. Therefore, affiliation to the Federation is a process of institutional order.
Individuals cannot become members of the Catholic Biblical Federation. For individual Bible scholars commited to biblical-pastoral ministry we've created an association of bible scholars, linked to the CBF and called Biblical-Patoral Association "Verbum Domini".
The leading persons of the international or local organization which in one way or the other is at the service of biblical-pastoral endeavours and wishing to affiliate to the Catholic Biblical federation are asked:
A CBF Full Member is the Catholic organization or office or department entrusted by a national or international Bishops’ Conference, a Federation of Bishops’ Conferences or an equivalent authority, with an official mandate for the biblical pastoral ministry and for the coordination of the biblical apostolate in a particular ecclesiastical territory. Each country may be represented by only one Full Member.
The request for membership is to be addressed to the Executive Committee by the competent national or international ecclesiastical authority.
An Associate Member is any other Catholic organization (like publishing houses, pastoral centers, individual dioceses or religious orders) engaged in biblical pastoral ministry admitted to membership by the Executive Committee.
The Catholic Biblical Federation does not allow affiliation of individuals.
Given the fact that there are many individual catholic Bible scholars engaged in biblical-pastoral ministry and interested in a closer link to the Catholic Biblical Federation, it is being created, under the auspices of the CBF and inspired by the "Verbum Domini" (VD 45; 47) of Pope Benedict XVI, the Biblical-Pastoral Association "Verbum Domini", which will be officially inaugurated during the Biblical Pastoral Congress organized in Rome on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the FEBIC Foundation in April 23-26, 2019.