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Code of Canon Law


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CHAPTER III.

THE PRESBYTERAL COUNCIL AND THE COLLEGE OF CONSULTORS

Can. 495 §1. In each diocese a presbyteral council is to be established, that is, a group of priests which, representing the presbyterium, is to be like a senate of the bishop and which assists the bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law to promote as much as possible the pastoral good of the portion of the people of God entrusted to him.

§2. In apostolic vicariates and prefectures, the vicar or prefect is to establish a council of at least three missionary presbyters whose opinion, even by letter, he is to hear in more serious matters.

Can. 496 The presbyteral council is to have its own statutes approved by the diocesan bishop, attentive to the norms issued by the conference of bishops.

Can. 497 In what pertains to the designation of members of the presbyteral council:

1/ the priests themselves are freely to elect about half, according to the norm of the following canons and of the statutes;

2/ according to the norm of the statutes, some priests must be ex officio members, that is, members who are to belong to the council by reason of the office entrusted to them;

3/ the diocesan bishop is freely entitled to appoint others.

Can. 498 §1. The following have the right of election, both active and passive, in constituting a presbyteral council:

1/ all secular priests incardinated in the diocese;

2/ secular priests not incardinated in the diocese and priests who are members of some religious institute or society of apostolic life, who reside in the diocese and exercise some office for the good of the diocese.

§2. To the extent that the statutes provide for it, the same right of election can be conferred on other priests who have a domicile or quasi-domicile in the diocese.

Can. 499 The manner of electing members of the presbyteral council must be determined in the statutes in such a way that, insofar as possible, the priests of the presbyterium are represented, taking into account especially the different ministries and various regions of the diocese.

Can. 500 §1. It is for the diocesan bishop to convoke the presbyteral council, preside offer it, and determine the questions to be treated by it or receive proposals from the members.

§2. The presbyteral council possesses only a consultative vote; the diocesan bishop is to hear it in affairs of greater importance but needs its consent only in cases expressly defined by law.

§3. The presbyteral council is not able to act without the diocesan bishop who alone has charge of making public those things which have been established according to the norm of §2.

Can. 501 §1. Members of the presbyteral council are to be designated for a time determined in the statutes, in such a way, however, that the entire council or some part of it is renewed within five years.

§2. When a see is vacant, the presbyteral council ceases and the college of consultors fulfills its functions.

Within a year of taking possession, a bishop must establish the presbyteral council anew.

§3. If the presbyteral council does not fulfill the function entrusted to it for the good of the diocese or gravely abuses it, the diocesan bishop, after having consulted with the metropolitan, or, if it concerns the metropolitan see itself, with the suffragan bishop senior in promotion, can dissolve it but must establish it anew within a year.

Can. 502 §1. From among the members of the presbyteral council and in a number not less than six nor more than twelve, the diocesan bishop freely appoints some priests who are to constitute for five years a college of consultors, to which belongs the functions determined by law. When the five years elapse, however, it continues to exercise its proper functions until a new college is established.

§2. The diocesan bishop presides offer the college of consultors. When a see is impeded or vacant, however, the one who temporarily takes the place of the bishop or, if he has not yet been appointed, the priest who is senior in ordination in the college of consultors presides.

§3. The conference of bishops can establish that the functions of the college of consultors are to be entrusted to the cathedral chapter.

§4. In an apostolic vicariate and prefecture, the council of the mission mentioned in can. 495, §2 has the functions of the college of consultors unless the law establishes otherwise.




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