THE PROCEDURE IN THE REMOVAL OR TRANSFER OF PASTORS (Cann. 1740 – 1752)
THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE REMOVAL OF PASTORS
Can. 1740 When the ministry of any pastor becomes harmful or at least ineffective for any cause, even through no grave personal negligence, the diocesan bishop can remove him from the parish.
Can. 1741 The causes for which a pastor can be removed legitimately from his parish are especially the following:
1/ a manner of acting which brings grave detriment or disturbance to ecclesiastical communion;
2/ ineptitude or a permanent infirmity of mind or body which renders the pastor unable to fulfill his functions usefully;
3/ loss of a good reputation among upright and responsible parishioners or an aversion to the pastor which it appears will not cease in a brief time;
4/ grave neglect or violation of parochial duties which persists after a warning;
5/ poor administration of temporal affairs with grave damage to the Church whenever another remedy to this harm cannot be found.
Can. 1742 §1. If the instruction which was carried out has established the existence of one of the causes mentioned in ⇒ can. 1740, the bishop is to discuss the matter with two pastors selected from the group established for this purpose in a stable manner by the presbyteral council at the proposal of the bishop. If the bishop then judges that removal must take place, he paternally is to persuade the pastor to resign within fifteen days, after having explained, for validity, the cause and arguments for the removal.
- 2. The prescript of ⇒ can. 682, §2 is to be observed for pastors who are members of a religious institute or a society of apostolic life.
Can. 1743 A pastor can submit a resignation not only purely and simply but also conditionally, provided that the bishop can accept it legitimately and actually does accept it.
Can. 1744 §1. If the pastor has not responded within the prescribed days, the bishop is to repeat the invitation and extend the useful time to respond.
- 2. If the bishop establishes that the pastor received the second invitation but did not respond even though not prevented by any impediment, or if the pastor refuses to resign without giving any reasons, the bishop is to issue a decree of removal.
Can. 1745 If the pastor opposes the cause given and its reasons and alleges reasons which seem insufficient to the bishop, the bishop, in order to act validly, is:
1/ to invite the pastor to organize his objections in a written report after he has inspected the acts, and offer any proofs he has to the contrary;
2/ when any necessary instruction is completed, to consider the matter together with the same pastors mentioned in ⇒ can. 1742, §1, unless others must be designated because those pastors are unavailable;
3/ finally, to establish whether the pastor must be removed or not and promptly to issue a decree on the matter.
Can. 1746 After the pastor has been removed, the bishop is to make provision either for an assignment to some other office, if he is suitable for this, or for a pension as the case warrants and circumstances permit.
Can. 1747 §1. The removed pastor must refrain from exercising the function of pastor, vacate the rectory as soon as possible, and hand over everything belonging to the parish to the person to whom the bishop has entrusted the parish.
- 2. If, however, the man is sick and cannot be transferred elsewhere from the rectory without inconvenience, the bishop is to leave him the use, even exclusive use, of the rectory while this necessity lasts.
- 3. While recourse against a decree of removal is pending, the bishop cannot appoint a new pastor, but is to provide a parochial administrator in the meantime.
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