§1 A plenary council for all the particular Churches of the same Episcopal
Conference is to be celebrated as often as the Episcopal Conference, with the approval of the Apostolic See, considers it necessary or advantageous.
§2 The norm laid down in §1 is valid also for a provincial council to be celebrated in an ecclesiastical province whose boundaries coincide with the boundaries of the country.
§1 A provincial council, for the various particular Churches of the same ecclesiastical province, is celebrated as often as, in the judgement of the majority of the diocesan Bishops of the province, it is considered opportune, without prejudice to can. 439
§2 A provincial council may not be called while the metropolitan see is vacant.
It is the responsibility of the Episcopal Conference:
1° to convene a plenary council;
2° to choose a place within the territory of the Episcopal Conference for the celebration of the council;
3° to elect from among the diocesan Bishops a president of the plenary council, who is to be approved by the Apostolic See;
4° to determine the order of business and the matters to be considered, to announce when the plenary council is to begin and how long it is to last, and to transfer, prorogue and dissolve it.
§1 It is the responsibility of the Metropolitan, with the consent of the majority of the suffragan Bishops:
1° to convene a provincial council
2° to choose a place within the territory of the province for the celebration of the provincial council;
3° to determine the order of business and the matters to be considered, to announce when the provincial council is to begin and how long it is to last, and to transfer, prorogue and dissolve it.
§2 It is the prerogative of the Metropolitan to preside over the provincial council. If he is lawfully impeded from doing so, it is the prerogative of a suffragan Bishop elected by the other suffragan Bishops.
§1 The following have the right to be summoned to particular councils and have the right to a deliberative vote:
1° diocesan Bishops;
2° coadjutor and auxiliary Bishops
3° other titular Bishops who have been given a special function in the territory, either by the Apostolic See or by the Episcopal Conference.
§2 Other titular Bishops who are living in the territory, even if they are retired, may be invited to particular councils; they have the right to a deliberative vote.
§3 The following are to be invited to particular councils, but with only a consultative vote:
1° Vicars general and episcopal Vicars of all the particular Churches in the territory;
2° the major Superiors of religious institutes and societies of apostolic life. Their number, for both men and women, is to be determined by the Episcopal Conference or the Bishops of the province, and they are to be elected respectively by all the major
Superiors of institutes and societies which have a centre in the territory;
3° the rectors of ecclesiastical and catholic universities which have a centre in the territory, together with the deans of their faculties of theology and canon law;
4° some rectors of major seminaries, their number being determined as in no. 2; they are to be elected by the rectors of seminaries situated in the territory.
§4 Priests and others of Christ’s faithful may also be invited to particular councils, but have only a consultative vote; their number is not to exceed half of those mentioned in 1-3.
§5 The cathedral chapter, the council of priests and the pastoral council of each particular Church are to be invited to provincial councils, but in such a way that each is to send two members, designated in a collegial manner. They have only a consultative vote.
§6 Others may be invited to particular councils as guests, if this is judged expedient by the Episcopal Conference for a plenary council, or by the Metropolitan with the suffragan Bishops for a provincial council.
§1 All who are summoned to particular councils must attend, unless they are prevented by a just impediment, of whose existence they are obliged to notify the president of the council.
§2 Those who are summoned to a particular council in which they have a deliberative vote, but who are prevented from attending because of a just impediment, can send a proxy. The proxy, however, has only a consultative vote.
A particular council is to ensure that the pastoral needs of the people of
God in its territory are provided for. While it must always respect the universal law of the Church, it has power of governance, especially legislative power. It can, therefore, determine whatever seems opportune for an increase of faith, for the ordering of common pastoral action, for the direction of morality and for the preservation, introduction and defence of a common ecclesiastical discipline.
When a particular council has concluded, the president is to ensure that all the acts of the council are sent to the Apostolic See. The decrees drawn up by the council are not to be promulgated until they have been reviewed by the Apostolic
See. The council has the responsibility of defining the manner in which the decrees will be promulgated and the time when the promulgated decrees will begin to oblige.
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