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“Wow! Why so fast in electing the Diocesan Administrator for Kafanchan diocese? The bishop just died yesterday!”

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by March 2, 2018 Canonical Teaching

Question 5

Someone asked, “wow! Why so fast in electing the Diocesan Administrator for Kafanchan diocese? The bishop just died yesterday!”

Answer 5:

It is not “too soon” to elect a diocesan Administrator for Kafanchan diocese, if all the due processes stipulated in the Code of Canon Law have been observed. By this it means, if the college of consultors has informed the Apostolic See (through the Apostolic Nuncio) of the death of their diocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Joseph Bagobiri; and if there is no provision made by the Apostolic See of a person who temporarily will govern the diocesan.

According to Canon Law, within 8 days of the death of a bishop, the college of consultors must elect a diocesan administrator, who is to govern the diocese temporarily. When he has accepted the election, the diocesan administrator obtains power and no other confirmation is required. He is to make a Profession of Faith in the presence of the College of Consultors according to Can. 833 n.4. The diocesan administrator is bound by the obligations and possesses the power of a diocesan bishop, excluding those matters which are excepted by their nature or by the law itself. According to Can. 421§2: If a diocesan administrator has not been elected legitimately within the prescribed time for whatever cause, his designation devolves upon the metropolitan, and if the metropolitan church itself is vacant or both the metropolitan and the suffragan churches are vacant, it devolves upon the suffragan bishop senior in promotion. The Diocesan Administrator is to inform the Apostolic See concerning his own election.

Everything that a vicar general or episcopal vicar does has force until they have received certain notice of the death of the diocesan bishop and once they have received certain notice of the death of the diocesan bishop, their actions cease to have force.

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