Duties and rights
Canon law stipulates that there is always a leading person in a diocese . During the vacancy of the episcopal chair, the direction of the diocese is therefore first and immediately transferred to the senior auxiliary bishop , until the appointment of the diocesan administrator. If there is no auxiliary bishop in the diocese, power is temporarily transferred to the college of consultors . The diocesan administrator must be elected within eight days by the college of consultors, in Germany and Austria (with the exception of the dioceses Innsbruck and Feldkirch ) the cathedral chapter . According to canon law, only those who are priests who have reached the age of thirty-fifth and who have not already been elected, named or presented for this vacant episcopal chair can be validly appointed for the office of diocesan administrator .
The diocesan administrator gains authority by accepting his election. It doesn't have to be confirmed by anyone. However, the state governments of the German federal states in which the diocese is located must be informed of the election; at the same time, the diocesan administrator must inform the Vatican “as soon as possible” of his election. The elected person makes the creed in front of the cathedral chapter .
The powers of the diocesan administrator are the same as those of a diocesan bishop . According to the provisions of church law, however, he may not make any fundamental decisions that bind the future bishop or impair his episcopal rights. Therefore, nothing may be changed during the vacancy , according to canon law. The diocesan administrator can appoint a deputy in the area of administration to relieve him. The office of diocesan administrator ends when the new bishop takes possession of the diocese.
- Administrator in the website of the German Bishops' Conference
- Diocesan administrator in a copy of the church lexicon at www.enzyklo.de
- VACANCY OF THE EPISCOPAL SEA cann. 416-430 ( Codex Iuris Canonici )
- Information on the procedure for electing a bishop ( memento from June 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). Originally online at: www.erzbistum-koeln.de . Archdiocese of Cologne .