|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » The diocesan synod|
|Canon 460.||The diocesan synod is an assembly of selected priests and other members of
Christ’s faithful of a particular Church which, for the good of the whole diocesan community, assists the diocesan Bishop, in accordance with the following canons.
|Canon 461.||§1 The diocesan synod is to be held in each particular Church when the diocesan Bishop, after consulting the council of priests, judges that the circumstances suggest it.
§2 If a Bishop is responsible for a number of dioceses, or has charge of one as his own and of another as Administrator, he may convene one diocesan synod for all the dioceses entrusted to him.
|Canon 462.||§1 Only the diocesan Bishop can convene a diocesan synod. A person who has interim charge of a diocese cannot do so.
§2 The diocesan Bishop presides over the diocesan synod. He may however, delegate a Vicar general or an episcopal Vicar to fulfil this office at individual sessions of the synod.
|Canon 463.||§1 The following are to be summoned to the diocesan synod as members and they are obliged to participate in it:
1° the coadjutor Bishop and the auxiliary Bishops;
2° the Vicars general and episcopal Vicars, and the judicial Vicar
3° the canons of the cathedral church;
4° the members of the council of priests;
5° lay members of Christ’s faithful, not excluding members of institutes of consecrated life, to be elected by the pastoral council in the manner and the number to be determined by the diocesan Bishop or, where this council does not exist, on a basis determined by the diocesan Bishop;
6° the rector of the major seminary of the diocese;
7° the vicars forane;
8° at least one priest from each vicariate forane to be elected by all those who have the care of souls there; another priest is also to be elected, to take the place of the first if he is prevented from attending;
9° some Superiors of religious institutes and of societies of apostolic life which have a house in the diocese: these are to be elected in the number and the manner determined by the diocesan Bishop.
§2 The diocesan Bishop may also invite others to be members of the diocesan synod, whether clerics or members of institutes of consecrated life or lay members of the faithful.
§3 If the diocesan Bishop considers it opportune, he may invite to the diocesan Synod as observers some ministers or members of Churches or ecclesial communities which are not in full communion with the catholic Church.
|Canon 464.||A member of the synod who is lawfully impeded from attending, cannot send a proxy to attend in his or her place, but is to notify the diocesan Bishop of the reason for not attending.|
|Canon 465.||All questions proposed are to be subject to the free discussion of the members in the sessions of the synod.|
|Canon 466.||The diocesan Bishop is the sole legislator in the diocesan synod. Other members of the synod have only a consultative vote. The diocesan Bishop alone signs the synodal declarations and decrees, and only by his authority may these be published.|
|Canon 467.||The diocesan Bishop is to communicate the text of the declarations and decrees of the synod to the Metropolitan and to the Episcopal Conference.|
|Canon 468.||§1 If he judges it prudent, the diocesan Bishop can suspend or dissolve the diocesan synod.
§2 Should the episcopal see become vacant or impeded, the diocesan synod is by virtue of the law itself suspended, until such time as the diocesan Bishop who succeeds to the see decrees that it be continued or declares it terminated.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » The diocesan curia|
|Canon 469.||The diocesan curia is composed of those institutes and persons who assist the Bishop in governing the entire diocese, especially in directing pastoral action, in providing for the administration of the diocese, and in exercising judicial power.|
|Canon 470.||The appointment of those who fulfil an office in the diocesan curia belongs to the diocesan Bishop.|
|Canon 471.||All who are admitted to an office in the curia must:
1° promise to fulfil their office faithfully, as determined by law or by the Bishop;
2° observe secrecy within the limits and according to the manner determined by law or by the Bishop.
|Canon 472.||The provisions of Book VII on ‘Processes’ are to be observed concerning cases and persons involved in the exercise of judicial power in the curia. The following canons are to be observed in what concerns the administration of the diocese.|
|Canon 473.||§1 The diocesan Bishop must ensure that everything concerning the administration of the whole diocese is properly coordinated and is directed in the way that will best achieve the good of that portion of the people of God entrusted to his care.
§2 The diocesan Bishop has the responsibility of coordinating the pastoral action of the Vicars general and episcopal Vicars. Where it is useful, he may appoint a
Moderator of the curia, who must be a priest Under the Bishop’s authority, the
Moderator is to coordinate activities concerning administrative matters and to ensure that the others who belong to the curia properly fulfil the offices entrusted to them.
§3 Unless in the Bishop’s judgement local conditions suggest otherwise, the Vicar general is to be appointed Moderator of the curia or, if there are several Vicars general, one of them.
§4 Where the Bishop judges it useful for the better promotion of pastoral action, he can establish an episcopal council, comprising the Vicars general and episcopal
|Canon 474.||Acts of the curia which of their nature are designed to have a juridical effect must, as a requirement for validity, be signed by the
Ordinary from whom they emanate. They must also be signed by the chancellor of the curia or a notary. The chancellor is bound to notify the Moderator of the curia about these acts.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » The diocesan curia » Vicars general and episcopal vicars|
|Canon 475.||§1 In each diocese the diocesan Bishop is to appoint a Vicar general to assist him in the governance of the whole diocese. The Vicar -general has ordinary power, in accordance with the following canons.
§2 As a general rule, one Vicar general is to be appointed, unless the size of the diocese, the number of inhabitants, or other pastoral reasons suggest otherwise.
|Canon 476.||As often as the good governance of the diocese requires it, the diocesan
Bishop can also appoint one or more episcopal Vicars. These have the same ordinary power as the universal law gives to a Vicar general, in accordance with the following canons. The competence of an episcopal Vicar, however, is limited to a determined part of the diocese, or to a specific type of activity, or to the faithful of a particular rite, or to certain groups of people.
|Canon 477.||§1 The Vicar general and the episcopal Vicar are freely appointed by the diocesan Bishop, and can be freely removed by him, without prejudice to can. 406.
An episcopal Vicar who is not an auxiliary Bishop, is to be appointed for a period of time, which is to be specified in the act of appointment.
§2 If the Vicar general is absent or lawfully impeded, the diocesan Bishop can appoint another to take his place. The same norm applies in the case of an episcopal
|Canon 478.||§1 The Vicar general and the episcopal Vicar are to be priests of not less than thirty years of age, with a doctorate or licentiate in canon law or theology, or at
least well versed in these disciplines. They are to be known for their sound doctrine, integrity, prudence and practical experience.
§2 The office of Vicar general or episcopal Vicar may not be united with the office of canon penitentiary, nor may the office be given to blood relations of the Bishop up to the fourth degree.
|Canon 479.||§1 In virtue of his office, the Vicar general has the same executive power throughout the whole diocese as that which belongs by law to the diocesan Bishop: that is, he can perform all administrative acts, with the exception however of those which the Bishop has reserved to himself, or which by law require a special mandate of the Bishop.
§2 By virtue of the law itself, the episcopal Vicar has the same power as that mentioned in §1, but only for the determined part of the territory or type of activity, or for the faithful of the determined rite or group, for which he was appointed; matters which the Bishop reserves to himself or to the Vicar general, or which by law require a special mandate of the Bishop, are excepted.
§3 Within the limits of their competence, the Vicar general and the episcopal Vicar have also those habitual faculties which the Apostolic See has granted to the Bishop.
They may also execute rescripts, unless it is expressly provided otherwise, or unless the execution was entrusted to the Bishop on a personal basis.
|Canon 480.||The Vicar general and episcopal Vicar must give a report to the diocesan
Bishop concerning more important matters, both those yet to be attended to and those already dealt with. They are never to act against the will and mind of the diocesan
|Canon 481.||§1 The power of the Vicar general or episcopal Vicar ceases when the period of their mandate expires, or by resignation. In addition, but without prejudice to cann. 406 and 409, it ceases when they are notified of their removal by the diocesan Bishop, or when the episcopal see falls vacant.
§2 When the office of the diocesan Bishop is suspended, the power of the Vicar general and of the episcopal Vicar is suspended, unless they are themselves Bishops.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » The diocesan curia » The chancellor, other notaries, and the archives|
|Canon 482.||§1 In each curia a chancellor is to be appointed, whose principal office, unless particular law states otherwise, is to ensure that the acts of the curia are drawn up and dispatched, and that they are kept safe in the archive of the curia.
§2 If it is considered necessary, the chancellor may be given an assistant, who is to be called the vice-chancellor.
§3 The chancellor and vice-chancellor are automatically notaries and secretaries of the curia.
|Canon 483.||§1 Besides the chancellor, other notaries may be appointed, whose writing or signature authenticates public documents. These notaries may be appointed for all acts, or for judicial acts alone, or only for acts concerning a particular issue or business.
§2 The chancellor and notaries must be of unblemished reputation and above suspicion. In cases which could involve the reputation of a priest, the notary must be a priest.
|Canon 484.||The office of notary involves:
1° writing acts and documents concerning decrees, arrangements, obligations, and other matters which require their intervention;
2° faithfully recording in writing what is done, and signing the document, with a note of the place, the day, the month and the year;
3° while observing all that must be observed, showing acts or documents from the archives to those who lawfully request them, and verifying that copies conform to the original.
|Canon 485.||The chancellor and the other notaries can be freely removed by the diocesan
Bishop. They can be removed by a diocesan Administrator only with the consent of the college of consultors.
|Canon 486.||§1 All documents concerning the diocese or parishes must be kept with the greatest of care.
§2 In each curia there is to be established in a safe place a diocesan archive where documents and writings concerning both the spiritual and the temporal affairs of the diocese are to be properly filed and carefully kept under lock and key.
§3 An inventory or catalogue is to be made of documents kept in the archive, with a short synopsis of each document.
|Canon 487.||§1 The archive must be locked, and only the Bishop and the chancellor are to have the key; no one may be allowed to enter unless with the permission of the
Bishop, or with the permission of both the Moderator of the curia and the chancellor.
§2 Persons concerned have the right to receive, personally or by proxy, an authentic written or photostat copy of documents which are of their nature public and which concern their own personal status.
|Canon 488.||It is not permitted to remove documents from the archive, except for a short time and with the permission of the Bishop or of both the Moderator of the curia and the chancellor.|
|Canon 489.||§1 In the diocesan curia there is also to be a secret archive, or at least in the ordinary archive there is to be a safe or cabinet, which is securely closed and bolted and which cannot be removed. In this archive documents which are to be kept under secrecy are to be most carefully guarded.
§2 Each year documents of criminal cases concerning moral matters are to be destroyed whenever the guilty parties have died, or ten years have elapsed since a condemnatory sentence concluded the affair. A short summary of the facts is to be kept, together with the text of the definitive judgement.
|Canon 490.||§1 Only the Bishop is to have the key of the secret archive.
§2 When the see is vacant, the secret archive or safe is not to be opened except in a case of real necessity, and then by the diocesan Administrator personally.
§3 Documents are not to be removed from the secret archive or safe.
|Canon 491.||§1 The diocesan Bishop is to ensure that the acts and documents of the archives of cathedral, collegiate, parochial and other churches in his territory are carefully kept and that two copies are made of inventories or catalogues. One of these copies is to remain in its own archive, the other is to be kept in the diocesan archive.
§2 The diocesan Bishop is to ensure that there is an historical archive in the diocese, and that documents which have an historical value are carefully kept in it and systematically filed.
§3 In order that the acts and documents mentioned in §§1 and 2 may be inspected or removed, the norms laid down by the diocesan Bishop are to be observed.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » The diocesan curia » The finance council and the finance officer|
|Canon 492.||§1 In each diocese a finance committee is to be established, presided over by the diocesan Bishop or his delegate. It is to be composed of at least three of the faithful, expert in financial affairs and civil law, of outstanding integrity, and appointed by the Bishop.
§2 The members of the finance committee are appointed for five years but when this period has expired they may be appointed for further terms of five years.
§3 Persons related to the Bishop up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity are excluded from the finance committee.
|Canon 493.||Besides the functions entrusted to it in Book V on ‘The Temporal Goods of the Church’, it is the responsibility of the finance committee to prepare each year a budget of income and expenditure over the coming year for the governance of the whole diocese, in accordance with the direction of the diocesan Bishop. It is also the responsibility of the committee to account at the end of the year for income and expenditure.|
|Canon 494.||§1 In each diocese a financial administrator is to be appointed by the
Bishop, after consulting the college of consultors and the finance committee. The financial administrator is to be expert in financial matters and of truly outstanding integrity.
§2 The financial administrator is to be appointed for five years, but when this period has expired, may be appointed for further terms of five years. While in office he or she is not to be removed except for a grave reason, to be estimated by the Bishop after consulting the college of consultors and the finance committee.
§3 It is the responsibility of the financial administrator, under the authority of the
Bishop, to administer the goods of the diocese in accordance with the plan of the finance committee, and to make those payments from diocesan funds which the
Bishop or his delegates have lawfully authorised.
§4 At the end of the year the financial administrator must give the finance committee an account of income and expenditure.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » The presbyteral council and the college of consultors|
|Canon 495.||§1 In each diocese there is to be established a council of priests, that is, a group of priests who represent the presbyterium and who are to be, as it were, the
Bishop’s senate. The council’s role is to assist the Bishop, in accordance with the law, in the governance of the diocese, so that the pastoral welfare of that portion of the people of God entrusted to the Bishop may be most effectively promoted.
§2 In vicariates and prefectures apostolic, the Vicar or Prefect is to appoint a council composed of at least three missionary priests, whose opinion, even by letter, he is to hear in the more serious affairs.
|Canon 496.||The council of priests is to have its own statutes. These are to be approved by the diocesan Bishop, having taken account of the norms laid down by the
|Canon 497.||As far as the designation of the members of the council of priests is concerned:
1° about half are to be freely elected by the priests themselves in accordance with the canons which follow and with the statutes;
2° some priests must, in accordance with the statutes, be members ex officio, that is belong to the council by reason of the office they hold;
3° the diocesan Bishop may freely appoint some others.
|Canon 498.||§1 The following have the right to both an active and a passive voice in an election to the council of priests:
1° all secular priests incardinated in the diocese;
2° priests who are living in the diocese and exercise some useful office there, whether they be secular priests not incardinated in the diocese, or priest members of religious institutes or of societies of apostolic life.
§2 Insofar as the statutes so provide, the same right of election may be given to other priests who have a domicile or quasi-domicile in the diocese.
|Canon 499.||The manner of electing the members of the council of priests is to be determined by the statutes, and in such a way that as far as possible the priests of the presbyterium are represented, with special regard to the diversity of ministries and to the various regions of the diocese.|
|Canon 500.||§1 It is the prerogative of the diocesan Bishop to convene the council of priests, to preside over it, and to determine the matters to be discussed in it or to accept items proposed by the members.
§2 The council of priests has only a consultative vote. The diocesan Bishop is to consult it in matters of more serious moment, but he requires its consent only in the cases expressly defined in the law.
§3 The council of priests can never act without the diocesan Bishop. He alone can make public those things which have been decided in accordance with §2.
|Canon 501.||§1 The members of the council of priests are to be designated for a period specified in the statutes, subject however to the condition that over a five year period the council is renewed in whole or in part.
§2 When the see is vacant, the council of priests lapses and its functions are fulfilled by the college of consultors. The Bishop must reconstitute the council of priests within a year of taking possession.
§3 If the council of priests does not fulfil the office entrusted to it for the welfare of the diocese, or if it gravely abuses that office, it can be dissolved by the diocesan
Bishop, after consultation with the Metropolitan, in the case of a metropolitan see, the Bishop must first consult with the suffragan Bishop who is senior by promotion.
Within a year, however, the diocesan Bishop must reconstitute the council.
|Canon 502.||§1 From among the members of the council of priests, the diocesan Bishop freely appoints not fewer than six and not more than twelve priests, who are for five years to constitute the college of consultors. To it belong the functions determined by law; on the expiry of the five year period, however, it continues to exercise its functions until the new college is constituted.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 502 §1, 11.VII.1984]
§2 The diocesan Bishop presides over the college of consultors. If, however, the see is impeded or vacant, that person presides who in the interim takes the Bishop’s place or, if he has not yet been appointed, then the priest in the college of consultors who is senior by ordination.
§3 The Episcopal Conference can determine that the functions of the college of consultors be entrusted to the cathedral chapter.
§4 Unless the law provides otherwise, in a vicariate or prefecture apostolic the functions of the college of consultors belong to the council of the mission mentioned in can. 495 §2.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » Chapters of canons|
|Canon 503.||A chapter of canons, whether cathedral or collegiate, is a college of priests, whose role is to celebrate the more solemn liturgical functions in a cathedral or a collegiate church. It is for the cathedral chapter, besides, to fulfil those roles entrusted to it by law or by the diocesan Bishop.|
|Canon 504.||The establishment, alteration or suppression of a cathedral chapter is reserved to the Apostolic See.|
|Canon 505.||Every chapter, whether cathedral or collegiate, is to have its own statutes, established by lawful capitular act and approved by the diocesan Bishop. These
statutes are not to be changed or abrogated except with the approval of the diocesan
|Canon 506.||§1 The statutes of a chapter, while preserving always the laws of the foundation, are to determine the nature of the chapter and the number of canons.
They are to define what the chapter and the individual canons are to do in carrying out divine worship and their ministry. They are to decide the meetings at which law, they are to prescribe the conditions required for the validity and for the lawfulness of the proceedings.
§2 In the statutes the remuneration is also to be defined, both the fixed salary and the amounts to be paid on the occasion of discharging the office, so too, having taken account of the norms laid down by the Holy See, the insignia of the canons.
|Canon 507.||§1 Among the canons there is to be one who presides over the chapter. In accordance with the statutes other offices are also to be established, account having been taken of the practice prevailing in the region.
§2 Other offices may be allotted to clerics not belonging to the chapter, so that, in accordance with the statutes, they may provide assistance to the canons.
|Canon 508.||§1 The canon penitentiary both of a cathedral church and of a collegiate church has by law ordinary faculties, which he cannot however delegate to others, to absolve in the sacramental forum from latae sententiae censures which have not been declared and are not reserved to the Holy See. Within the diocese he can absolve not only diocesans but outsiders also, whereas he can absolve diocesans even outside the diocese.
§2 Where there is no chapter, the diocesan Bishop is to appoint a priest to fulfil this office.
|Canon 509.||§1 It belongs to the diocesan Bishop, after consultation with the chapter, but not to the diocesan Administrator, to bestow each and every canonry both in the cathedral church and in a collegiate church, any privilege to the contrary is revoked.
It is also for the diocesan Bishop to confirm the person elected by the chapter to preside over it.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 509 §1, 20.V.1989]
§2 The diocesan Bishop is to appoint to canonries only priests who are of sound doctrine and life and who have exercised a praiseworthy ministry.
|Canon 510.||§1 Parishes are no longer to be united with chapters of canons. Those which are united to a chapter are to be separated from it by the diocesan Bishop.
§2 In a church which is at the same time a parochial and a capitular church, a parish priest is to be appointed, whether chosen from the chapter or not. He is bound by all the obligations and he enjoys all the rights and faculties which by law belong to a parish priest.
§3 The diocesan Bishop is to establish certain norms whereby the pastoral duties of the parish priest and the roles proper to the chapter are duly harmonised, so that the parish priest is not a hindrance to capitular functions, nor the chapter to those of the parish. Any conflicts which may arise are to be settled by the diocesan Bishop, who is to ensure above all that the pastoral needs of the faithful are suitably provided for.
§4 Alms given to a church which is at the same time a parochial and a capitular church, are presumed to be given to the parish, unless it is otherwise established.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » The pastoral council|
|Canon 511.||In each diocese, in so far as pastoral circumstances suggest, a pastoral council is to be established. Its function, under the authority of the Bishop, is to study and weigh those matters which concern the pastoral works in the diocese, and to propose practical conclusions concerning them.|
|Canon 512.||§1 A pastoral council is composed of members of Christ’s faithful who are in full communion with the catholic Church: clerics, members of institutes of consecrated life, and especially lay people. They are designated in the manner determined by the diocesan Bishop.
§2 The members of Christ’s faithful assigned to the pastoral council are to be selected in such a way that the council truly reflects the entire portion of the people of God which constitutes the diocese, taking account of the different regions of the diocese, of social conditions and professions, and of the part played in the apostolate by the members, whether individually or in association with others.
§3 Only those members of Christ’s faithful who are outstanding in firm faith, high moral standards and prudence are to be assigned to the pastoral council.
|Canon 513.||§1 The pastoral council is appointed for a determinate period, in accordance with the provisions of the statutes drawn up by the Bishop.
§2 When the see is vacant, the pastoral council lapses.
|Canon 514.||§1 The pastoral council has only a consultative vote. It is for the diocesan
Bishop alone to convene it, according to the needs of the apostolate, and to preside over it. He alone has the right to make public the matters dealt with in the council.
§2 It is to be convened at least once a year.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » Parishes, pastors, and parochial vicars|
|Canon 515.||§1 A parish is a certain community of Christ’s faithful stably established within a particular Church, whose pastoral care, under the authority of the diocesan
Bishop, is entrusted to a parish priest as its proper pastor.
§2 The diocesan Bishop alone can establish, suppress or alter parishes. He is not to establish, suppress or notably alter them unless he has consulted the council of priests.
§3 A lawfully established parish has juridical personality by virtue of the law itself.
|Canon 516.||§1 Unless the law provides otherwise, a quasi-parish is equivalent to a parish. A quasi-parish is a certain community of Christ’s faithful within a particular
Church, entrusted to a priest as its proper pastor, but because of special circumstances not yet established as a parish.
§2 Where some communities cannot be established as parishes or quasi-parishes, the diocesan Bishop is to provide for their spiritual care in some other way.
|Canon 517.||§1 Where circumstances so require, the pastoral care of a parish, or of a number of parishes together, can be entrusted to several priests jointly, but with the stipulation that one of the priests is to be the moderator of the pastoral care to be exercised. This moderator is to direct the joint action and to be responsible for it to the Bishop.
§2 If, because of a shortage of priests, the diocesan Bishop has judged that a deacon, or some other person who is not a priest, or a community of persons, should be entrusted with a share in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish, he is to appoint some priest who, with the powers and faculties of a parish priest, will direct the pastoral care.
|Canon 518.||As a general rule, a parish is to be territorial, that is, it is to embrace all
Christ’s faithful of a given territory. Where it is useful however, personal parishes are to be established, determined by reason of the rite, language or nationality of the faithful of a certain territory, or on some other basis.
|Canon 519.||The parish priest is the proper pastor of the parish entrusted to him. He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling with the cooperation of other priests or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of
Christ’s faithful, in accordance with the law.
|Canon 520.||§1 A juridical person may not be a parish priest. However, the diocesan
Bishop, but not the diocesan Administrator, can, with the consent of the competent
Superior, entrust a parish to a clerical religious institute or to a clerical society of apostolic life, even by establishing it in the church of the institute or society, subject however to the rule that one priest be the parish priest or, if the pastoral care is entrusted to several priests jointly, that there be a moderator as mentioned in can. 517
§2 The entrustment of a parish, as in §1, may be either in perpetuity or for a specified time. In either case this is to be done by means of a written agreement made between the diocesan Bishop and the competent Superior of the institute or society. This agreement must expressly and accurately define, among other things, the work to be done, the persons to be assigned to it and the financial arrangements.
|Canon 521.||§1 To be validly appointed a parish priest, one must be in the sacred order of priesthood.
§2 He is also to be outstanding in sound doctrine and uprightness of character, endowed with zeal for souls and other virtues, and possessed of those qualities which by universal or particular law are required for the care of the parish in question.
§3 In order that one be appointed to the office of parish priest, his suitability must be clearly established, in a manner determined by the diocesan Bishop, even by examination.
|Canon 522.||It is necessary that a parish priest have the benefit of stability, and therefore he is to be appointed for an indeterminate period of time. The diocesan Bishop may appoint him for a specified period of time only if the Episcopal Conference has by decree allowed this.|
|Canon 523.||Without prejudice to can. 682, appointment to the office of parish priest belongs to the diocesan Bishop, who is free to confer it on whomsoever he wishes, unless someone else has a right of presentation or election.|
|Canon 524.||The diocesan Bishop is to confer a vacant parish on the one whom, after consideration of all the circumstances, he judges suitable for the parochial care of that parish, without any preference of persons. In order to assess suitability, he is to consult the vicar forane, conduct suitable enquiries and, if it is appropriate, seek the view of some priests and lay members of Christ’s faithful.|
|Canon 525.||When a see is vacant or impeded, it is for the diocesan Administrator or whoever governs the diocese in the interim:
1° to institute priests lawfully presented for a parish or to confirm those lawfully elected to one;
2° to appoint parish priests if the see has been vacant or impeded for a year.
|Canon 526.||§1 A parish priest is to have the parochial care of one parish only.
However, because of a shortage of priests or other circumstances, the care of a number of neighbouring parishes can be entrusted to the one parish priest.
§2 In any one parish there is to be only one parish priest, or one moderator in accordance with can. 517 §1; any contrary custom is reprobated and any contrary privilege revoked.
|Canon 527.||§1 One who is promoted to exercise the pastoral care of a parish obtains this care and is bound to exercise it from the moment he takes possession.
§2 The local Ordinary or a priest delegated by him puts the parish priest into possession, in accordance with the procedure approved by particular law or by lawful custom. For a just reason, however, the same Ordinary can dispense from this procedure, in which case the communication of the dispensation to the parish replaces the taking of possession.
§3 The local Ordinary is to determine the time within which the parish priest must take possession of the parish. If, in the absence of a lawful impediment, he has not taken possession within this time, the local Ordinary can declare the parish vacant.
|Canon 528.||§1 The parish priest has the obligation of ensuring that the word of God is proclaimed in its entirety to those living in the parish. He is therefore to see to it that the lay members of Christ’s faithful are instructed in the truths of faith, especially by means of the homily on Sundays and holydays of obligation and by catechetical formation. He is to foster works which promote the spirit of the Gospel, including its relevance to social justice. He is to have a special care for the catholic education of children and young people. With the collaboration of the faithful, he is to make every effort to bring the gospel message to those also who have given up religious practice or who do not profess the true faith.
§2 The parish priest is to take care that the blessed Eucharist is the centre of the parish assembly of the faithful. He is to strive to ensure that the faithful are nourished by the devout celebration of the sacraments, and in particular that they frequently approach the sacraments of the blessed Eucharist and penance. He is to strive to lead them to prayer, including prayer in their families, and to take a live and active part in the sacred liturgy. Under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, the parish priest must direct this liturgy in his own parish, and he is bound to be on guard against abuses.
|Canon 529.||§1 So that he may fulfil his office of pastor diligently, the parish priest is to strive to know the faithful entrusted to his care. He is therefore to visit their families, sharing in their cares and anxieties and, in a special way, their sorrows, comforting
them in the Lord. If in certain matters they are found wanting, he is prudently to correct them. He is to help the sick and especially the dying in great charity, solicitiously restoring them with the sacraments and commending their souls to God.
He is to be especially diligent in seeking out the poor, the suffering, the lonely, those who are exiled from their homeland, and those burdened with special difficulties. He is to strive also to ensure that spouses and parents are sustained in the fulfilment of their proper duties, and to foster the growth of christian life in the family.
§2 The parish priest is to recognise and promote the specific role which the lay members of Christ’s faithful have in the mission of the Church, fostering their associations which have religious purposes. He is to cooperate with his proper
Bishop and with the presbyterium of the diocese. Moreover, he is to endeavour to ensure that the faithful are concerned for the community of the parish, that they feel themselves to be members both of the diocese and of the universal Church, and that they take part in and sustain works which promote this community.
|Canon 530.||The functions especially entrusted to the parish priest are as follows:
1° the administration of baptism;
2° the administration of the sacrament of confirmation to those in danger of death, in accordance with can. 883, n. 3;
3° the administration of Viaticum and of the anointing of the sick, without prejudice to cann. 1003 §§2 and 3, and the imparting of the apostolic blessing;
4° the assistance at marriages and the nuptial blessing;
5° the conducting of funerals;
6° the blessing of the baptismal font at paschal time, the conduct of processions outside the church, and the giving of solemn blessings outside the church;
7° the more solemn celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays and holydays of obligation.
|Canon 531.||Even though another person has performed some parochial function, he is to give the offering he receives from the faithful on that occasion to the parish fund unless, in respect of voluntary offerings, there is a clear contrary intention on the donor’s part; it is for the diocesan Bishop, after consulting the council of priests, to prescribe regulations concerning the destination of these offerings and to provide for the remuneration of clerics who fulfil such a parochial function.|
|Canon 532.||In all juridical matters, the parish priest acts in the person of the parish, in accordance with the law. He is to ensure that the parish goods are administered in accordance with can. 1281-1288.|
|Canon 533.||§1 The parish priest is obliged to reside in the parochial house, near the church. In particular cases, however, where there is a just reason, the local Ordinary may permit him to reside elsewhere, especially in a house common to several priests, provided the carrying out of the parochial duties is properly and suitably catered for.
§2 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, the parish priest may each year be absent on holiday from his parish for a period not exceeding one month, continuous or otherwise. The days which the parish priest spends on the annual spiritual retreat are not reckoned in this period of vacation. For an absence from the parish of more than a week, however, the parish priest is bound to advise the local Ordinary.
§3 It is for the diocesan Bishop to establish norms by which, during the parish priest’s absence, the care of the parish is provided for by a priest with the requisite faculties.
|Canon 534.||§1 When he has taken possession of his parish, the parish priest is bound on each Sunday and holyday of obligation in his diocese to apply the Mass for the people entrusted to him. If he is lawfully impeded from this celebration, he is to have someone else apply the Mass on these days or apply it himself on other days.
§2 A parish priest who has the care of several parishes is bound to apply only one
Mass on the days mentioned in §1, for all the people entrusted to him.
§3 A parish priest who has not discharged the obligations mentioned in §§1 and 2, is as soon as possible to apply for the people as many Masses as he has omitted.
|Canon 535.||§1 In each parish there are to be parochial registers, that is, of baptisms, of marriages and of deaths, and any other registers prescribed by the Episcopal
Conference or by the diocesan Bishop. The parish priest is to ensure that entries are accurately made and that the registers are carefully preserved.
§2. In the baptismal register, a note is also to be made of ascription to a Church ‘sui iuris’ or the transfer to another Church, as well as of confirmation and of all matters pertaining to the canonical status of the faithful by reason of marriage, without prejudice to the provision of can. 1133, adoption, the reception of sacred orders, the making of perpetual profession in a religious institute. These annotations are always to be stated on a Certificate of Baptism.
[revised wording according to m.p. De concordia inter Codices, 31.V.2016]
§3 Each parish is to have its own seal. Certificates concerning the canonical status of the faithful, and all acts which can have juridical significance, are to be signed by the parish priest or his delegate and secured with the parochial seal.
§4 In each parish there is to be an archive, in which the parochial books are to be kept, together with episcopal letters and other documents which it may be necessary or useful to preserve. On the occasion of visitation or at some other opportune time, the diocesan Bishop or his delegate is to inspect all of these matters. The parish priest is to take care that they do not fall into unauthorised hands.
§5 Older parochial registers are also to be carefully safeguarded, in accordance with the provisions of particular law.
|Canon 536.||§1 If, after consulting the council of priests, the diocesan Bishop considers it opportune, a pastoral council is to be established in each parish. In this council, which is presided over by the parish priest, Christ’s faithful, together with those who by virtue of their office are engaged in pastoral care in the parish, give their help in fostering pastoral action.
§2 The pastoral council has only a consultative vote, and it is regulated by the norms laid down by the diocesan Bishop.
|Canon 537.||In each parish there is to be a finance committee to help the parish priest in the administration of the goods of the parish, without prejudice to can. 532. It is ruled by the universal law and by the norms laid down by the diocesan Bishop, and it is comprised of members of the faithful selected according to these norms.|
|Canon 538.||§1 A parish priest ceases to hold office by removal or transfer effected by the diocesan Bishop in accordance with the law; by his personal resignation, for a just reason, which for validity requires that it be accepted by the diocesan Bishop; and by the lapse of time if, in accordance with the particular law mentioned in can.
522, he was appointed for a specified period of time.
§2 A parish priest who is a member of a religious institute or is incardinated in a society of apostolic life, is removed in accordance with can. 682 §2.
§3 A parish priest who has completed his seventy fifth year of age is requested to offer his resignation from office to the diocesan Bishop who, after considering all the circumstances of person and place, is to decide whether to accept or defer it. Having taken account of the norms laid down by the Episcopal Conference, the diocesan
Bishop must make provision for the appropriate maintenance and residence of the priest who has resigned.
|Canon 539.||When a parish is vacant, or when the parish priest is prevented from exercising his pastoral office in the parish by reason of imprisonment, exile or
banishment, or by reason of incapacity or ill health or some other cause, the diocesan
Bishop is as soon as possible to appoint a parochial administrator, that is, a priest who will take the place of the parish priest in accordance with can. 540.
|Canon 540.||§1 The parochial administrator is bound by the same obligations and has the same rights as a parish priest, unless the diocesan Bishop prescribes otherwise.
§2 The parochial administrator may not do anything which could prejudice the rights of the parish priest or could do harm to parochial property.
§3 When he has discharged his office, the parochial administrator is to give an account to the parish priest.
|Canon 541.||§1 When a parish is vacant, or when the parish priest is impeded from exercising his pastoral office, pending the appointment of a parochial administrator the interim governance of the parish is to be undertaken by the assistant priest; if there are a number of assistants, by the senior by appointment; if there are none, by the parish priest determined by particular law.
§2 The one who has undertaken the governance of the parish in accordance with §1, is at once to inform the local Ordinary of the parish vacancy.
|Canon 542.||The priests to whom, in accordance with can. 516 §1,is jointly entrusted the pastoral care of a parish or of a number of parishes together:
1° must possess the qualities mentioned in can. 521;
2° are to be appointed in accordance with cann. 522 and 524;
3° obtain the pastoral care only from the moment of taking possession: their moderator is put into possession in accordance with can. 527 §2; for the other priests, the profession of faith lawfully made replaces the taking of possession.
|Canon 543.||§1 Each of the priests to whom the care of a parish or of a number of parishes together is jointly entrusted, is bound to fulfil the duties and functions of a parish priest mentioned in cann. 528, 529 and 530. They are to do this according to a plan determined among themselves. The faculty to assist at marriages, and all the faculties to dispense which are given to a parish priest by virtue of the law itself, belong to all, but are to be exercised under the direction of the moderator.
§2 All the priests who belong to the group:
1° are bound by the obligation of residence;
2° are by common counsel to establish an arrangement by which one of them celebrates the Mass for the people, in accordance with can. 534.
3° in juridical affairs, only the moderator acts in the person of the parish or parishes entrusted to the group.
|Canon 544.||When one of the priests, or the moderator, of the group mentioned in can.
517 §1 ceases to hold office, or when any member of it becomes incapable of exercising his pastoral office, the parish or parishes whose care is entrusted to the group do not become vacant. It is for the diocesan Bishop to appoint another moderator; until he is appointed by the Bishop, the priest of the group who is senior by appointment is to fulfil this office.
|Canon 545.||§1 Whenever it is necessary or opportune for the due pastoral care of the parish, one or more assistant priests can be joined with the parish priest. As cooperators with the parish priest and sharers in his concern, they are, by common counsel and effort with the parish priest and under his authority, to labour in the pastoral ministry.
§2 An assistant priest may be appointed either to help in exercising the entire pastoral ministry, whether in the whole parish or in a part of it or for a particular group of the faithful within it, or even to help in carrying out a specific ministry in a number of parishes at the same time.
|Canon 546.||To be validly appointed an assistant priest, one must be in the sacred order of priesthood.|
|Canon 547.||The diocesan Bishop freely appoints an assistant priest; if he has judged it opportune, he will have consulted the parish priest or parish priests of the parishes to which the assistant is appointed, and the Vicar forane, without prejudice to can. 682
|Canon 548.||§1 The obligations and rights of assistant priests are defined not only by the canons of this chapter, but also by the diocesan statutes, and by the letter of the diocesan Bishop ; they are more specifically determined by the directions of the parish priest.
§2 Unless it is otherwise expressly provided in the letter of the diocesan Bishop, the assistant priest is by virtue of his office bound to help the parish priest in the entire parochial ministry, with the exception of the application of the Mass for the people.
Likewise, if the matter should arise in accordance with the law, he is bound to take the place of the parish priest.
§3 The assistant priest is to report regularly to the parish priest on pastoral initiatives, both those planned and those already undertaken. In this way the parish priest and the assistant or assistants can by their joint efforts provide a pastoral care of the parish for which they are together answerable.
|Canon 549.||When the parish priest is absent, the norms of can. 541 §1 are to be observed, unless the diocesan Bishop has provided otherwise in accordance with can.
533 §3, or unless a parochial administrator has been appointed. If can. 541 §1 is applied, the assistant priest is bound by all the obligations of the parish priest, with the exception of the obligation to apply the Mass for the people.
|Canon 550.||§1 The assistant priest is bound to reside in the parish or, if he is appointed for a number of parishes at the same time, in one of them. For a just reason, however, the local Ordinary may permit him to reside elsewhere, especially in a house common to several priests, provided the carrying out of the pastoral duties does not in any way suffer thereby.
§2 The local Ordinary is to see to it that, where it is possible, some manner of common life in the parochial house be encouraged between the parish priest and the assistants.
§3 As far as holidays are concerned, the assistant priest has the same rights as the parish priest.
|Canon 551.||The provisions of can. 531 are to be observed in respect of offerings which
Christ’s faithful make to the assistant priest on the occasion of his exercise of the pastoral ministry.
|Canon 552.||Without prejudice to can. 682 §2, an assistant priest may for a just reason be removed by the diocesan Bishop or the diocesan Administrator.|
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » Vicars forane|
|Canon 553.||§1 The Vicar forane, known also as the dean or the archpriest or by some other title, is the priest who is placed in charge of a vicariate forane.
§2 Unless it is otherwise prescribed by particular law, the Vicar forane is appointed by the diocesan Bishop; if he has considered it prudent to do so, he will have consulted the priests who are exercising the ministry in the vicariate.
|Canon 554.||§1 For the office of Vicar forane, which is not tied to the office of parish priest of any given parish, the Bishop is to choose a priest whom, in view of the circumstances of place and time, he has judged to be suitable.
§2 The Vicar forane is to be appointed for a certain period of time, determined by particular law.
§3 For a just reason, the diocesan Bishop may in accordance with his prudent judgement freely remove the Vicar forane from office.
|Canon 555.||§1 Apart from the faculties lawfully given to him by particular law, the
Vicar forane has the duty and the right:
1° to promote and coordinate common pastoral action in the vicariate;
2° to see that the clerics of his district lead a life befitting their state, and discharge their obligations carefully
3° to ensure that religious functions are celebrated according to the provisions of the sacred liturgy; that the elegance and neatness of the churches and sacred furnishings are properly maintained, particularly in regard to the celebration of the Eucharist and the custody of the blessed Sacrament; that the parish registers are correctly entered and duly safeguarded; that ecclesiastical goods are carefully administered; finally, that the parochial house is looked after with care.
§2 In the vicariate entrusted to him, the Vicar forane:
1° is to encourage the clergy, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to attend at the prescribed time lectures and theological meetings or conferences, in accordance with can. 272 §2 .
2° is to see to it that spiritual assistance is available to the priests of his district, and he is to show a particular solicitude for those who are in difficult circumstances or are troubled by problems.
§3 When he has come to know that parish priests of his district are seriously ill, the
Vicar forane is to ensure that they do not lack spiritual and material help. When they die, he is to ensure that their funerals are worthily celebrated. Moreover, should any of them fall ill or die, he is to see to it that books, documents, sacred furnishings and other items belonging to the Church are not lost or removed.
§4 The Vicar forane is obliged to visit the parishes of his district in accordance with the arrangement made by the diocesan Bishop.
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » Rectors of churches and chaplains » Rectors of churches|
|Canon 556.||Rectors of churches are here understood to be priests to whom is entrusted the care of some church which is neither a parochial nor a capitular church, nor a church attached to the house of a religious community or a society of apostolic life which holds services in it.|
|Canon 557.||§1 The rector of a church is freely appointed by the diocesan Bishop, without prejudice to a right of election or presentation to which someone may lawfully have claim: in which case the diocesan Bishop has the right to confirm or to appoint the rector.
§2 Even if the church belongs to some clerical religious institute of pontifical right, it is for the diocesan Bishop to appoint the rector presented by the Superior.
§3 The rector of a church which is attached to a seminary or to a college governed by clerics, is the rector of the seminary or college, unless the diocesan Bishop has determined otherwise.
|Canon 558.||Without prejudice to can. 262, the rector of a church may not perform in his church the parochial functions mentioned in can. 530 nn. 1--6, without the consent or, where the matter requires it, the delegation of the parish priest.|
|Canon 559.||The rector can conduct liturgical celebrations, even solemn ones, in the church entrusted to him, without prejudice to the legitimate laws of a foundation, and on condition that in the judgement of the local Ordinary these celebrations do not in any way harm the parochial ministry.|
|Canon 560.||Where he considers it opportune, the local Ordinary may direct the rector to celebrate in his church certain functions for the people, even parochial functions, and also to open the church to certain groups of the faithful so that they may hold liturgical celebrations there.|
|Canon 561.||Without the permission of the rector or some other lawful superior, no one may celebrate the Eucharist, administer the sacraments, or perform other sacred functions in the church. This permission is to be given or refused in accordance with the law.|
|Canon 562.||Under the authority of the local Ordinary, having observed the lawful statutes and respected acquired rights, the rector of a church is obliged to see that sacred functions are worthily celebrated in the church, in accordance with liturgical and canon law, that obligations are faithfully fulfilled, that the property is carefully administered, and that the maintenance and adornment of the furnishings and buildings are assured.
He must also ensure that nothing is done which is in any way unbecoming to the holiness of the place and to the reverence due to the house of God.
|Canon 563.||For a just reason, the local Ordinary may in accordance with his prudent judgement remove the rector of a church from office, even if he had been elected or presented by others, but without prejudice to can. 682 §2.|
|The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches » Rectors of churches and chaplains » Chaplains|
|Canon 564.||A chaplain is a priest to whom is entrusted in a stable manner the pastoral care, at least in part, of some community or special group of Christ’s faithful, to be exercised in accordance with universal and particular law.|
|Canon 565.||Unless the law provides otherwise or unless special rights lawfully belong to someone, a chaplain is appointed by the local Ordinary, to whom also it belongs to appoint one who has been presented or to confirm one elected.|
|Canon 566.||§1 A chaplain must be given all the faculties which due pastoral care demands. Besides those which are given by particular law or by special delegation, a chaplain has by virtue of his office the faculty to hear the confessions of the faithful entrusted to his care, to preach to them the word of God, to administer Viaticum and the anointing of the sick, and to confer the sacrament of confirmation when they are in danger of death.
§2 In hospitals and prisons and on sea voyages, a chaplain has the further facility, to be exercised only in those places, to absolve from latae sententiae censures which are neither reserved nor declared, without prejudice to can. 976.
|Canon 567.||§1 The local Ordinary is not to proceed to the appointment of a chaplain to a house of a lay religious institute without consulting the Superior. The Superior has the right, after consulting the community, to propose a particular priest.
§2 It is the responsibility of the chaplain to celebrate or to direct liturgical functions; he may not, however, involve himself in the internal governance of the institute.
|Canon 568.||As far as possible, chaplains are to be appointed for those who, because of their condition of life, are not able to avail themselves of the ordinary care of parish priests, as for example, migrants, exiles, fugitives, nomads and sea-farers.|
|Canon 569.||Chaplains to the armed forces are governed by special laws.|
|Canon 570.||If a non-parochial church is attached to a centre of a community or group, the rector of the church is to be the chaplain, unless the care of the community or of the church requires otherwise.|
|Canon 571.||In the exercise of his pastoral office a chaplain is to maintain the due relationship with the parish priest.|
|Canon 572.||In regard to the removal of a chaplain, the provisions of can. 563 are to be observed.|
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