» The Method of Proceeding in Administrative Recourse and in the Removal or Transfer of Pastors
» The Procedure in the Removal or Transfer of Pastors
» The manner of proceeding in the removal of pastors
When the ministry of any parish priest has for some reason become harmful or at least ineffective, even though this occurs without any serious fault on his part, he can be removed from the parish by the diocesan Bishop.
The reasons for which a parish priest can lawfully be removed from his parish are principally:
1° a manner of acting which causes grave harm or disturbance to ecclesiastical communion;
2° ineptitude or permanent illness of mind or body, which makes the parish priest unequal to the task of fulfilling his duties satisfactorily;
3° the loss of the parish priest’s good name among upright and serious-minded parishioners, or aversion to him, when it can be foreseen that these factors will not quickly come to an end
4° grave neglect or violation of parochial duties, which persistsafter a warning;
5° bad administration of temporal goods with grave harm to the Church, when no other remedy can be found to eliminate this harm.
§1 If an investigation shows that there exists a reason mentioned in Can.
1740, the Bishop is to discuss the matter with two parish priests from a group stably chosen for this purpose by the council of priests, at the proposal of the Bishop. If he then believes that he should proceed with the removal, the Bishop must, for validity, indicate to the parish priest the reason and the arguments, and persuade him in a fatherly manner to resign his parish within fifteen days.
§2 For parish priests who are members of a religious institute or a society of apostolic life, the provision of can. 682
§2 is to be observed.
The resignation of the parish priest can be given not only purely and simply, but even upon a condition, provided the condition is one which the Bishop can lawfully accept and does in fact accept.
§1 If the parish priest has not replied within the days prescribed, the
Bishop is to renew his invitation and extend the canonical time within which a reply is to be made.
§2 If it is clear to the Bishop that the parish priest has received this second invitation but has not replied, even though not prevented from doing so by any impediment, or
if the parish priest refuses to resign and gives no reasons for this, the Bishop is to issue a decree of removal.
If, however, the parish priest opposes the case put forward and the reasons given in it, but advances arguments which seem to the Bishop to be insufficient, to act validly the Bishop must:
1° invite him to inspect the acts of the case and put together his objections in a written answer, indeed to produce contrary evidence if he has any;
2° after this, complete the instruction of the case, if this is necessary, and weigh the matter with the same parish priests mentioned in can. 1742
§1, unless, because of some impossibility on their part, others are to be designated;
3° finally, decide whether or not the parish priest is to be removed, and without delay issue the appropriate decree.
When the parish priest has been removed, the Bishop is to ensure that he is either assigned to another office, if he is suitable for one, or is given a pension in so far as the case requires this and the circumstances permit.
§1 A parish priest who has been removed must abstain from exercising the function of a parish priest, leave the parochial house free as soon as possible, and hand over everything pertaining to the parish to the person to whom the Bishop has entrusted it.
§2 If, however, it is a question of a sick man who cannot be transferred elsewhere from the parochial house without inconvenience, the Bishop is to leave to him the use, even the exclusive use, of the parochial house for as long as this necessity lasts.
§3 While recourse against a decree of removal is pending, the Bishop cannot appoint a new parish priest, but is to make provision in the meantime by way of a parochial administrator.
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