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Code of Canon Law
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CHAPTER II. Bishops
Art. 1. Bishops In General
Can.375 §1. Bishops, who by divine institution succeed to the place of the Apostles through the Holy Spirit who has
been given to them, are constituted pastors in the Church, so that they are teachers of doctrine, priests of sacred
worship, and ministers of governance.
§2. Through episcopal consecration itself, bishops receive with the function of sanctifying also the functions
of teaching and governing; by their nature, however, these can only be exercised in hierarchical communion with
the head and members of the college.
Can.376 Bishops to whom the care of some diocese is entrusted are called diocesan; others are called titular.
Can.377 §1. The Supreme Pontiff freely appoints bishops or confirms those legitimately elected.
§2. At least every three years, bishops of an ecclesiastical province or, where circumstances suggest it, of a
conference of bishops, are in common counsel and in secret to compose a list of presbyters, even including members
of institutes of consecrated life, who are more suitable for the episcopate. They are to send it to the Apostolic See,
without prejudice to the right of each bishop individually to make known to the Apostolic See the names of
presbyters whom he considers worthy of and suited to the episcopal function.
§3. Unless it is legitimately established otherwise, whenever a diocesan or coadjutor bishop must be appointed,
as regards what is called the ternus to be proposed to the Apostolic See, the pontifical legate is to seek individually
and to communicate to the Apostolic See together with his own opinion the suggestions of the metropolitan and
suffragans of the province to which the diocese to be provided for belongs or with which it is joined in some
grouping, and the suggestions of the president of the conference of bishops. The pontifical legate, moreover, is to
hear some members of the college of consultors and cathedral chapter and, if he judges it expedient, is also to seek
individually and in secret the opinion of others from both the secular and non-secular clergy and from laity
outstanding in wisdom.
§4. Unless other provision has been legitimately made, a diocesan bishop who judges that an auxiliary should
be given to his diocese is to propose to the Apostolic See a list of at least three presbyters more suitable for this office.
§5. In the future, no rights and privileges of election, nomination, presentation, or designation of bishops are
granted to civil authorities.
Can.378 §1. In regard to the suitability of a candidate for the episcopacy, it is required that he is:
1/ outstanding in solid faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence, and human virtues, and
endowed with other qualities which make him suitable to fulfill the office in question;
2/ of good reputation;
3/ at least thirty-Five years old;
4/ ordained to the presbyterate for at least Five years;
5/ in possession of a doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred scripture, theology, or canon law from an
institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least truly expert in the same disciplines.
§2. The definitive judgment concerning the suitability of the one to be promoted pertains to the Apostolic See.
Can.379 Unless he is prevented by a legitimate impediment, whoever has been promoted to the episcopacy must
receive episcopal consecration within three months from the receipt of the apostolic letter and before he takes
possession of his office.
Can.380 Before he takes canonical possession of his office, the one promoted is to make the profession of faith and
take the oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See according to the formula approved by the Apostolic See.