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Code of Canon Law
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Bishop is completely prevented from exercising the pastoral office in the diocese by reason of imprisonment, banishment, exile or incapacity, so that he is unable to communicate, even by letter, with the people of his diocese.
Can. 413 §1 Unless the Holy See has provided otherwise, when a see is impeded, the governance of the diocese devolves on the coadjutor Bishop, if there is one. If there is no coadjutor, or if he is impeded, it devolves upon the auxiliary Bishop, or the Vicar general, or the episcopal Vicar, or another priest: the order of persons to be followed is to be that determined in the list which the diocesan Bishop is to draw up as soon as possible after taking possession of his diocese. This list, which is to be communicated to the Metropolitan, is to be revised at least every three years, and kept under secrecy by the chancellor.
§2 If there is no coadjutor Bishop or if he is impeded, and the list mentioned in §1 is not at hand, it is the responsibility of the college of consultors to elect a priest who will govern the diocese.
§3 The person who undertakes the governance of the diocese according to the norms of §§1 or 2, is to notify the Holy See as soon as possible that the see is impeded and that he has undertaken the office.
Can. 414 Whoever is called, in accordance with can. 413, to exercise the pastoral care of the diocese for the time being, that is, only for the period during which the see is impeded, is in his pastoral care of the diocese bound by the obligations, and has the power, which by law belong to the diocesan Administrator.
Can. 415 If the diocesan Bishop is prohibited from exercising his office by reason of an ecclesiastical penalty, the Metropolitan is to refer the matter at once to the Holy See, so that it may make provision; if there is no Metropolitan, or if he is the one affected by the penalty, it is the suffragan senior by promotion who is to refer the matter.
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