|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » Particular Churches and the Authority Established in Them » Bishops » Bishops in general|
|Canon 375.||§1 By divine institution, Bishops succeed the Apostles through the Holy
Spirit who is given to them. They are constituted Pastors in the Church, to be the teachers of doctrine, the priests of sacred worship and the ministers of governance.
§2 By their episcopal consecration, Bishops receive, together with the office of sanctifying, the offices also of teaching and of ruling, which however, by their nature, can be exercised only in hierarchical communion with the head of the College and its members.
|Canon 376.||Bishops to whom the care of a given diocese is entrusted are called diocesan Bishops; the others are called titular Bishops.|
|Canon 377.||§1 The Supreme Pontiff freely appoints Bishops or confirms those lawfully elected.
§2 At least every three years, the Bishops of an ecclesiastical province or, if circumstances suggest it, of an Episcopal Conference, are to draw up, by common accord and in secret, a list of priests, even of members of institutes of consecrated life, who are suitable for the episcopate; they are to send this list to the Apostolic
See. This is without prejudice to the right of every Bishop individually to make known to the Apostolic See the names of priests whom he thinks are worthy and suitable for the episcopal office.
§3 Unless it has been lawfully prescribed otherwise, for the appointment of a diocesan Bishop or a coadjutor Bishop, a ternus, as it is called, is to be proposed to the Apostolic See. In the preparation of this list, it is the responsibility of the papal
Legate to seek individually the suggestions of the Metropolitan and of the Suffragans of the province to which the diocese in question belongs or with which it is joined in some grouping, as well as the suggestions of the president of the Episcopal
Conference. The papal Legate is, moreover, to hear the views of some members of the college of consultors and of the cathedral chapter. If he judges it expedient, he is also to seek individually, and in secret, the opinions of other clerics, both secular and religious, and of lay persons of outstanding wisdom. He is then to send these suggestions, together with his own opinion, to the Apostolic See.
§4 Unless it has been lawfully provided otherwise, the diocesan Bishop who judges that his diocese requires an auxiliary Bishop, is to propose to the Apostolic See a list of the names of at least three priests suitable for this office .
§5 For the future, no rights or privileges of election, appointment, presentation or designation of Bishops are conceded to civil authorities.
|Canon 378.||§1 To be a suitable candidate for the episcopate, a person must:
1° be outstanding in strong faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence and human virtues, and possess those other gifts which equip him to fulfil the office in question;
2° be held in good esteem;
3° be at least 35 years old;
4° be a priest ordained for at least five years;
5° hold a doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred Scripture, theology or canon law, from an institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least be well versed in these disciplines.
§2 The definitive judgement on the suitability of the person to be promoted rests with the Apostolic See.
|Canon 379.||Unless prevented by a lawful reason, one who is promoted to the episcopate must receive episcopal consecration within three months of receiving the apostolic letters, and in fact before he takes possession of his office.|
|Canon 380.||Before taking canonical possession of his office, he who has been promoted is to make the profession of faith and take the oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See, in accordance with the formula approved by the same Apostolic See.|
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » Particular Churches and the Authority Established in Them » Bishops » Diocesan bishops|
|Canon 381.||§1 In the diocese entrusted to his care, the diocesan Bishop has all the ordinary, proper and immediate power required for the exercise of his pastoral office, except in those matters which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme or to some other ecclesiastical authority.
§2 Those who are at the head of the other communities of the faithful mentioned in can. 368, are equivalent in law to the diocesan Bishop unless the contrary is clear from the nature of things or from a provision of the law.
|Canon 382.||§1 A person who is promoted to the episcopate cannot become involved in the exercise of the office entrusted to him before he has taken canonical possession of the diocese. However, he is able to exercise offices which he already held in the same diocese at the time of his promotion, without prejudice to can. 409 §2.
§2 Unless he is lawfully impeded, one who is not already consecrated a Bishop and is now promoted to the office of diocesan Bishop, must take canonical possession of his diocese within four months of receiving the apostolic letters. If he is already consecrated, he must take possession within two months of receiving the apostolic letters.
§3 A Bishop takes canonical possession of his diocese when, personally or by proxy, he shows the apostolic letters to the college of consultors, in the presence of the chancellor of the curia, who makes a record of the fact. This must take place within
the diocese. In dioceses which are newly established he takes possession when he communicates the same letters to the clergy and the people in the cathedral church, with the senior of the priests present making a record of the fact.
§4 It is strongly recommended that the taking of canonical possession be performed with a liturgical act in the cathedral church, in the presence of the clergy and the people.
|Canon 383.||§1 In exercising his pastoral office, the diocesan Bishop is to be solicitous for all Christ’s faithful entrusted to his care, whatever their age, condition or nationality, whether they live in the territory or are visiting there. He is to show an apostolic spirit also to those who, because of their condition of life, are not sufficiently able to benefit from ordinary pastoral care, and to those who have lapsed from religious practice.
§2 If he has faithful of a different rite in his diocese, he is to provide for their spiritual needs either by means of priests or parishes of the same rite, or by an episcopal Vicar.
§3 He is to act with humanity and charity to those who are not in full communion with the catholic Church- he should also foster ecumenism as it is understood by the
§4 He is to consider the non-baptised as commended to him in the Lord, so that the charity of Christ, of which the Bishop must be a witness to all, may shine also on them.
|Canon 384.||He is to have a special concern for the priests, to whom he is to listen as his helpers and counsellors. He is to defend their rights and ensure that they fulfil the obligations proper to their state. He is to see that they have the means and the institutions needed for the development of their spiritual and intellectual life. He is to ensure that they are provided with adequate means of livelihood and social welfare, in accordance with the law.|
|Canon 385.||He must in a very special way foster vocations to the various ministries and to consecrated life, having a special care for priestly and missionary vocations.|
|Canon 386.||§1 The diocesan Bishop is bound to teach and illustrate to the faithful the truths of faith which are to be believed and applied to behaviour. He is himself to preach frequently. He is also to ensure that the provisions of the canons on the ministry of the word, especially on the homily and catechetical instruction, are faithfully observed, so that the whole of christian teaching is transmitted to all.
§2 By whatever means seem most appropriate, he is firmly to defend the integrity and unity of the faith to be believed. However, he is to acknowledge a just freedom in the further investigation of truths.
|Canon 387.||Mindful that he is bound to give an example of holiness, charity, humility and simplicity of life, the diocesan Bishop is to seek in every way to promote the holiness of Christ’s faithful according to the special vocation of each. Since he is the principal dispenser of the mysteries of God, he is to strive constantly that Christ’s faithful entrusted to his care may grow in grace through the celebration of the sacraments, and may know and live the paschal mystery.|
|Canon 388.||§1 After he has taken possession of the diocese, the diocesan Bishop must apply the Mass for the people entrusted to him on each Sunday and on each holyday of obligation in his region.
§2 The Bishop must himself celebrate and apply the Mass for the people on the days mentioned in §1; if, however, he is lawfully impeded from so doing, he is to have someone else do so on those days, or do so himself on other days.
§3 A Bishop who, in addition to his own, is given another diocese, even as administrator, satisfies the obligation by applying one Mass for all the people entrusted to him.
§4 A Bishop who has not satisfied the obligation mentioned in §§1-3, is to apply as soon as possible as many Masses for the people as he has omitted.
|Canon 389.||He is frequently to preside at the Eucharistic celebration in the cathedral church or in some other church of his diocese, especially on holydays of obligation and on other solemnities.|
|Canon 390.||The diocesan Bishop may use pontificalia throughout his diocese. He may not do so outside his diocese without the consent of the local Ordinary, either expressly given or at least reasonably presumed.|
|Canon 391.||§1 The diocesan Bishop governs the particular Church entrusted to him with legislative, executive and judicial power, in accordance with the law.
§2 The Bishop exercises legislative power himself. He exercises executive power either personally or through Vicars general or episcopal Vicars, in accordance with the law. He exercises judicial power either personally or through a judicial Vicar and judges, in accordance with the law.
|Canon 392.||§1 Since the Bishop must defend the unity of the universal Church, he is bound to foster the discipline which is common to the whole Church, and so press for the observance of all ecclesiastical laws.
§2 He is to ensure that abuses do not creep into ecclesiastical discipline, especially concerning the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and the cult of the saints, and the administration of goods.
|Canon 393.||In all juridical transactions of the diocese, the diocesan Bishop acts in the person of the diocese.|
|Canon 394.||§1 The Bishop is to foster various forms of the apostolate in his diocese and is to ensure that throughout the entire diocese, or in its particular districts, all works of the apostolate are coordinated under his direction, with due regard for the character of each apostolate.
§2 He is to insist on the faithful’s obligation to exercise the apostolate according to the condition and talents of each. He is to urge them to take part in or assist various works of the apostolate, according to the needs of place and time.
|Canon 395.||§1 The diocesan Bishop is bound by the law of personal residence in his diocese, even if he has a coadjutor or auxiliary Bishop.
§2 Apart from the visit ‘ad limina’, attendance at councils or at the synod of Bishops or at the Episcopal Conference, at which he must be present, or by reason of another office lawfully entrusted to him, he may be absent from the diocese, for a just reason, for not longer than one month, continuously or otherwise, provided he ensures that the diocese is not harmed by this absence.
§3 He is not to be absent from his diocese on Christmas Day, during Holy Week, or on Easter Sunday, Pentecost and Corpus Christi, except for a grave and urgent reason.
§4 If the Bishop is unlawfully absent from the diocese for more than six months, the
Metropolitan is to notify the Holy See. If it is the Metropolitan who is absent, the senior suffragan is to do the same.
|Canon 396.||§1 The Bishop is bound to visit his diocese in whole or in part each year, so that at least every five years he will have visited the whole diocese, either personally or, if he is lawfully impeded, through the coadjutor or auxiliary Bishop, the Vicar general, an episcopal Vicar or some other priest.
§2 The Bishop has a right to select any clerics he wishes as his companions and helpers in a visitation, any contrary privilege or custom being reprobated.
|Canon 397.||§1 Persons, catholic institutes, pious objects and places within the boundaries of the diocese, are subject to ordinary episcopal visitation.
§2 The Bishop may visit the members of religious institutes of pontifical right and their houses only in the cases stated in the law.
|Canon 398.||The Bishop is to endeavour to make his pastoral visitation with due diligence. He is to ensure that he is not a burden to anyone on the ground of undue expense.|
|Canon 399.||§1 Every five years the diocesan Bishop is bound to submit to the Supreme
Pontiff a report on the state of the diocese entrusted to him, in the form and at the time determined by the Apostolic See.
§2 If the year assigned for submitting this report coincides in whole or in part with the first two years of his governance of the diocese, for that occasion the Bishop need not draw up and submit the report.
|Canon 400.||§1 Unless the Apostolic See has decided otherwise, in the year in which he is bound to submit the report to the Supreme Pontiff, the diocesan Bishop is to go to
Rome to venerate the tombs of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and to present himself to the Roman Pontiff.
§2 The Bishop is to satisfy this obligation personally, unless he is lawfully impeded; in which case he is to satisfy the obligation through the coadjutor, if he has one, or the auxiliary, or a suitable priest of his presbyterium who resides in his diocese.
§3 A Vicar apostolic can satisfy this obligation through a proxy, even through one residing in Rome. A Prefect apostolic is not bound by this obligation.
|Canon 401.||§1 A diocesan Bishop who has completed his seventy-fifth year of age is requested to offer his resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who, taking all the circumstances into account, will make provision accordingly.
§2 A diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfilment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office.
NB see m.p. Learn to take your leave, 12.II.2018:
Art. 1. Upon reaching 75 years of age, diocesan and eparchial Bishops, and those deemed equivalent to them according to canons 381 §2 cic and 313 cceo, as well as Coadjutor and Auxiliary Bishops or holders of special pastoral responsibilities, are invited to present to the Supreme Pontiff their resignation from pastoral office.
Art. 2. Upon reaching 75 years of age, non-Cardinal Dicastery Heads of the
Roman Curia, Superior Prelates of the Roman Curia and Bishops holding other
offices of the Holy See, do not ipso facto cede their office, but must present their resignation to the Supreme Pontiff.
Art. 3. Likewise, Pontifical Representatives do not ipso facto cede their office upon reaching seventy-five years of age, but in this circumstance must present their resignation to the Supreme Pontiff.
Art. 4. To be effective, resignation pursuant to articles 1-3 must be accepted by the Supreme Pontiff, who will decide by evaluating the concrete circumstances.
Art. 5. Once the resignation is presented, the office relative to articles 1-3 will be extended until acceptance of the resignation is communicated to the interested party, for a fixed or unspecified time, contrary to the general terms established by canons 189 §3 cic and 970 §1 cceo.
|Canon 402.||§1 A Bishop whose resignation from office has been accepted, acquires the unless, because of special circumstances in certain cases, the Apostolic See provides otherwise.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 402 §1, 10.X.1991]
§2 The Episcopal Conference must ensure that suitable and worthy provision is made for the upkeep of a Bishop who has resigned, bearing in mind the primary obligation which falls on the diocese which he served.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » Particular Churches and the Authority Established in Them » Bishops » Coadjutor and auxiliary bishops|
|Canon 403.||§1 When the pastoral needs of the diocese require it, one or more auxiliary
Bishops are to be appointed at the request of the diocesan Bishop. An auxiliary
Bishop does not have the right of succession.
§2 In more serious circumstances, even of a personal nature, the diocesan Bishop may be given an auxiliary Bishop with special faculties.
§3 If the Holy See considers it more opportune, it can ex officio appoint a coadjutor
Bishop, who also has special faculties. A coadjutor Bishop has the right of succession.
|Canon 404.||§1 The coadjutor Bishop takes possession of his office when, either personally or by proxy, he shows the apostolic letters of appointment to the diocesan
Bishop and the college of consultors, in the presence of the chancellor of the curia, who makes a record of the fact.
§2 An auxiliary Bishop takes possession of his office when he shows his apostolic letters of appointment to the diocesan Bishop, in the presence of the chancellor of the curia, who makes a record of the fact.
§3 If the diocesan Bishop is wholly impeded, it is sufficient that either the coadjutor
Bishop or the auxiliary Bishop show their apostolic letters of appointment to the college of consultors, in the presence of the chancellor of the curia.
|Canon 405.||§1 The coadjutor Bishop and the auxiliary Bishop have the obligations and the rights which are determined by the provisions of the following canons and defined in their letters of appointment.
§2 The coadjutor Bishop, or the auxiliary Bishop mentioned in can. 403 §2, assists the diocesan Bishop in the entire governance of the diocese, and takes his place when he is absent or impeded.
|Canon 406.||§1 The coadjutor Bishop, and likewise the auxiliary Bishop mentioned in can. 403 §2, is to be appointed a Vicar general by the diocesan Bishop. The diocesan
Bishop is to entrust to him, in preference to others, those things which by law require a special mandate.
§2 Unless the apostolic letters provide otherwise, and without prejudice to the provision of §1, the diocesan Bishop is to appoint his auxiliary or auxiliaries as Vicar general or at least episcopal Vicar, in dependence solely on his authority, or on that of the coadjutor Bishop or of the auxiliary Bishop mentioned in can. 403 §2.
|Canon 407.||§1 For the greatest present and future good of the diocese, the diocesan
Bishop, the coadjutor and the auxiliary Bishop mentioned in can. 403 §2, are to consult with each other on matters of greater importance.
§2 In assessing matters of greater importance, particularly those of a pastoral nature, the diocesan Bishop is to consult the auxiliary Bishop before all others.
§3 The coadjutor Bishop and the auxiliary Bishop, since they are called to share in the cares of the diocesan Bishop, should so exercise their office that they act and think in accord with him.
|Canon 408.||§1 As often as they are requested to do so by the diocesan Bishop, a coadjutor Bishop and an auxiliary Bishop who are not lawfully impeded, are obliged to perform those pontifical and other functions to which the diocesan Bishop is bound.
§2 Those episcopal rights and functions which the coadjutor can exercise are not habitually to be entrusted to another by the diocesan Bishop.
|Canon 409.||§1 When the episcopal see falls vacant, the coadjutor immediately becomes the Bishop of the diocese for which he was appointed, provided he has lawfully taken possession.
§2 Unless the competent authority has provided otherwise, when the episcopal see is vacant and until the new Bishop takes possession of the see, the auxiliary Bishop retains all and only those powers and faculties which he had as Vicar general or as episcopal Vicar when the see was occupied. If he is not appointed to the office of diocesan Administrator, he is to exercise this same power of his, conferred by the law, under the authority of the diocesan Administrator, who governs the diocese.
|Canon 410.||The coadjutor Bishop and the auxiliary Bishop are bound, like the diocesan
Bishop, to reside in the diocese. Other than for the fulfilment of some duty outside the diocese, or for holidays, which are not to be longer than one month, they may not be away from the diocese except for a brief period.
|Canon 411.||The provisions of cann. 401 and 402 §2, concerning resignation from office, apply also to a coadjutor and an auxiliary Bishop.
[NB see m.p. Learn to take your leave, 12.II.2018, art. 5 (cf. can. 401)]
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