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The term coadjutor ( Latin for "assistance") is used in the following contexts:

  • Coadjutor as bishop of the Catholic Church , who is placed at the side of another bishop. In a comparable way, the supporting abbot - coadjutor of a ruling abbot.
  • Coadjutor as assistance in the context of a church benefit
  • Coadjutor as a term for a class of the Jesuits
  • Coadjutor as an official title for a parish assistant (lat. Vicarius adiutor ) who performs the duties of a pastor when he is prevented from doing so.

Coadjutor as bishop

Legal situation according to the CIC of 1917

According to the earlier legal situation according to Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC) , there were two types of coadjutor, the "coadjutor with succession right" ( coadiutor cum iure successionis ) , which still exists today and is simply referred to as coadjutor , and the rather rare coadiutor sedi datus , which is not the ordinary , but virtually the respective ( ore ) diocese has been added, no successor was right, but it also in the event of a change in the person of professor far heritage kept his office.

An example of this is u. a. the Patriarchal Diocese of Lisbon , whose Vicar General - after the former Archdiocese of Lisbon was absorbed into the patriarchate of the same name - always bore the title of titular archbishop , traditionally usually that of titular archbishop of Mitylene , which in itself contradicts the practice of the Holy See , and also one in the event of a change of bishop to assign a new titular bishopric. In addition, the Archdiocese of Vienna should also be mentioned, which had such a coadjutor sedi datus due to the special situation after the Second World War around Cardinal Theodor Innitzer in the person of Archbishop-Coadjutor Franz Jachym . Archbishop Coadjutor Franz Jachym remained in his special position until shortly before the new CIC came into force.

Examples of coadjutors with succession rights included a. 1554 Gotthard Kettler , who was initially only Commander of the Teutonic Order in Dünaburg , was also elected coadjutor of the Order Master Johann Wilhelm von Fürstenberg in 1558 . In the early modern period, the practice of arranging succession during the lifetime of a bishop through the election of a coadjutor with the right of succession ( ius / spes successionis ) was widespread. B. the Cologne Elector Archbishops from the House of Wittelsbach. On January 6, 1969, Joseph Höffner was appointed coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Cologne to support the almost blind Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Frings .

Legal situation according to the CIC of 1983

In the Latin Church the coadjutor is named after Codex Iuris Canonici can. 403 § 3 of Canon Law appointed by the Holy See; other churches provide other regulations (e.g. election by a diocesan synod). In contrast to the auxiliary bishop , the coadjutor has special powers and the right of succession.

In the Roman Church, the diocesan bishop has him acc. can. 406 § 1 to be appointed vicar general. Should there be a vacancy of the bishop's chair, according to can. 409 § 1 the coadjutor has episcopal power over the diocese for which he was appointed.

The last coadjutor in Germany so far was the future Archbishop of Hamburg , Ludwig Averkamp . In 1985 he - at that time auxiliary bishop in Münster - was called to Osnabrück to support Bishop Helmut Hermann Wittler . In 1987 he succeeded him as Bishop of Osnabrück.

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  1. See u. a. Eduard Hegel: The Archdiocese of Cologne between Baroque and Enlightenment. From the Palatinate War to the end of the French period 1688–1814. Cologne 1979 (History of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Vol. IV, ed. Wilhelm Janssen and others); and Hansgeorg Molior: The Archdiocese of Cologne in the Age of Faith Struggles 1515–1688. Cologne 2008 (History of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Vol. III, ed. Norbert Trippen and others)