A vicar general ( Latin vicarius generalis , vicarius "deputy") is the deputy of a resident bishop in the Roman Catholic Church and the Old Catholic Church and is responsible for the administration of the diocese . He heads the General Vicariate , the central administrative authority of the diocese.
As early as the Middle Ages , diocesan bishops appointed vicars general or episcopal vicars, called archdeacon or archdeacon at the time , who were entrusted with the administration of the corresponding episcopal area. They could also perform tasks of the bishop, such as holding liturgies (for example certain holy masses , devotions , pilgrimages ), consecrating churches or appointing pastors .
Roman Catholic Church
Task and power of attorney
The vicar general (vicarius generalis) "supports the diocesan bishop in the management of the entire diocese" (Can. 475.1 CIC) and is therefore in accordance with the applicable canon law with vicarious authority or authority ( potestas ordinaria vicaria , in the sense of Can. 131 , 2 CIC).
By virtue of his office, the vicar general has the executive power ( potestas executica ) throughout the diocese , which the diocesan bishop has by law in order to be able to issue all administrative acts , with the exception of those that the bishop has reserved for himself or those that are legally entitled to a special mandate of the bishop ( can. 479 §2 CIC ).
The vicar general is therefore charged with the execution of general administrative matters as well as the execution of the tasks that have been assigned to him by the bishop ( potestas executica a ordinario delegata , in the sense of can. 479 §1 CIC ). The tasks and official powers of the vicar general are therefore always dependent on the definition and delegation of the respective diocesan bishop.
The tasks and powers of a vicar general are partly expanded interpretatively, in that he is referred to as the “personal” deputy of the diocesan bishop or even as his alter ego . Both views, however, contradict the objective-functional task, from which no personal closeness can be derived. Nevertheless, a vicar general as deputy has the second highest office in a diocese after that of the diocesan bishop before the auxiliary bishops. However, he is always dependent on this and has to obey his orders and instructions.
The office of Episcopal Vicar ( vicarius episcopalis ) is administratively equated with the Vicar General, but has a juridical restriction on a certain segment within a diocese. The diocesan bishop can appoint one or more episcopal vicars who have the same ordinary power as the vicar general ( can. 476 CIC ) in a precisely defined area of the diocese, in a more precisely defined area of responsibility or for the faithful of a certain rite or group of people .
Requirements and Term of Office
A vicar general must be a priest , at least 30 years old and a doctor or licentiate (Lic. Theol.) In canon law or theology , or at least really experienced in these disciplines, "proven by orthodoxy, righteousness, prudence and practical administrative experience" ( can. 478 §1 CIC ) and blood related to the bishop at most in the fifth degree ( can. 478 §2 CIC ).
In each diocese the diocesan bishop appoints a vicar general who assists the bishop in the direction of the whole diocese ( can. 475 §1 CIC ). The vicar general is appointed according to can. 477 CIC freely appointed by the diocesan bishop and can be recalled by him. The power of the vicar general expires with the expiry of the commission , with resignation from office or with recall by the diocesan bishop. Since the vicar general is the deputy of the diocesan bishop, he also immediately loses his office in the event of the death, resignation, transfer, removal or suspension of the diocesan bishop ( can. 481 CIC ).
Vicars General in the German dioceses
Vicars General in the Austrian dioceses
|Diocese||Ecclesiastical province||Vicar General||since|
|Archdiocese of Salzburg||Salzburg||Roland Rasser|
|Feldkirch diocese||Salzburg||Hubert Lenz||1st September 2019|
|Diocese of Graz-Seckau||Salzburg||Erich Linhardt|
|Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt||Salzburg||Johann Sedlmaier||3rd February 2020|
|Diocese of Innsbruck||Salzburg||Florian Huber|
|Archdiocese of Vienna||Vienna||Nikolaus Krasa||2011|
|Eisenstadt diocese||Vienna||Martin Korpitsch|
|Diocese of Linz||Vienna||Severin Lederhilger||September 18, 2005|
|Diocese of St. Pölten||Vienna||Eduard Gruber||September 1, 2008|
Vicars General in the Swiss dioceses
|Diocese||Ecclesiastical province||Vicar General||since|
|Diocese of Basel||Exemption||Markus Thürig|
|Diocese of Chur||Exemption||Martin Grichting||December 8, 2009|
|Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Friborg||Exemption||Remy Berchier|
|Diocese of Lugano||Exemption||Ernesto Storelli|
|Diocese of Mores||Exemption||Richard Lehner|
|Diocese of St. Gallen||Exemption||Guido Scherrer|
|Einsiedeln Monastery||Exemption||Dean: Daniel Emmenegger||April 9, 2018|
|Saint-Maurice Abbey||Exemption||Roland Jaquenoud|
Vicars General in religious orders
Since the military chaplaincy is subordinate to a military bishop, he has a vicar general.
In the Anglican Church , the official title vicar general is also common. In contrast to the Roman Catholic Church, an Anglican Vicar General only acts when the bishop is prevented from doing so.
Old Catholic Church
Secular vicars general
Similar office titles
- Vicar / vicar I . In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE). Volume 35, de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-017781-1 , p. 85 f.
- Heinrich Molitor: The area of competence of the vicar general and official of the Archdiocese of Cologne during the 17th and 18th centuries . Cologne 1960.
- see also: List of Berlin Vicars General
- Archbishopric Berlin: Vicar General. Retrieved March 15, 2017 .
-  , accessed on February 15, 2016