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Code of Canon Law
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CHAPTER V. The Pastoral Council
Can.511 In every diocese and to the extent that pastoral circumstances suggest it, a pastoral council is to be
constituted which under the authority of the bishop investigates, considers, and proposes practical conclusions about
those things which pertain to pastoral works in the diocese.
Can.512 §1. A pastoral council consists of members of the Christian faithful who are in full communion with the
Catholic Church—clerics, members of institutes of consecrated life, and especially laity—who are designated in
a manner determined by the diocesan bishop.
§2. The Christian faithful who are designated to a pastoral council are to be selected in such a way that they
truly reflect the entire portion of the people of God which constitutes the diocese, with consideration given to the
different areas of the diocese, social conditions and professions, and the role which they have in the apostolate
whether individually or joined with others.
§3. No one except members of the Christian faithful outstanding in firm faith, good morals, and prudence is
to be designated to a pastoral council.
Can.513 §1. A pastoral council is constituted for a period of time according to the prescripts of the statutes which
are issued by the bishop.
§2. When the see is vacant, a pastoral council ceases.
Can.514 §1. A pastoral council possesses only a consultative vote. It belongs to the diocesan bishop alone to convoke
it according to the needs of the apostolate and to preside over it; it also belongs to him alone to make public what
has been done in the council.
§2. The pastoral council is to be convoked at least once a year.