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.
§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.
§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.
§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.
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.
All questions proposed are to be subject to the free discussion of the members in the sessions of the synod.
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.
The diocesan Bishop is to communicate the text of the declarations and decrees of the synod to the Metropolitan and to the Episcopal Conference.
§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.
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