Council of priests

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The council of priests ( Latin consilium presbyterale ) is an advisory body of the bishop in the Roman Catholic Church . According to canon law , he is “tamquam senatus”, “as it were the bishop's senate ”, who represents the priestly college of the diocese and advises and supports the bishop in the management of the diocese.

The basis for the body is the joint participation of the bishop and priest in the same priestly office. The Second Vatican Council had expressed this bond in its decree Presbyterorum ordinis on the service and life of priests : “All priests share with the bishops one and the same priesthood and office of Christ that this unity of consecration and mission becomes hierarchical Communion with the state of the bishops requires. "

A priestly council is prescribed for each diocese and, within the framework of any requirements of the regional bishops' conference, gives itself its own statutes, which must be approved by the diocesan bishop. About half of the members are elected by the priests , plus members who were born because of their function and some priests freely appointed by the diocesan bishop . The chairman of the priestly council is the bishop, the priestly council elects a speaker. The council of priests only has a consultative vote , but the bishop must hear it on all matters of major importance (CIC can. 500 § 2). The term of office is laid down in the statutes, but at least some of the members must change within five years. In the event of serious differences, the bishop has the right to dissolve the council of priests and to reform it within one year. If there is a vacancy , the council of priests ceases to exist (CIC can. 501).

The bishop appoints the six to twelve-member college of consultors from the members of the council of priests , unless the bishops' conference has delegated its tasks to the cathedral chapter . It has important tasks in the administration of the diocese and the appointment of a new bishop, especially in the event of a vacancy.


Individual evidence

  1. CIC can. 495 § 1 [1]
  2. Presbyterum ordinis No. 7 [2] .