Holy See Clarifies Rules on Retirement for Bishops, Cardinals

Confirms Pope Can Request Bishops to Resign

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

The Holy See today announced changes or confirmations of Church law governing the resignation of diocesan bishops: ordinaries, coadjutors, and auxiliaries.

Cardinals who head Roman curial dicasteries, and other curial department heads who are not cardinals, are also affected by the changes and confirmations.

The changes were made by papal rescript, and were announced by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Specifically, the seven-article rescript confirms the retirement age for ordinaries, coadjutors and auxiliaries at 75.

Article 3 of the rescript further states that any bishop whose resignation is accepted thereby ceases to hold any other office at the national level (e.g. in the bishops’ conference of his country), which he held in virtue of his pastoral charge.

Article 4 of the rescript confirms the right of a pastor to offer his resignation before the age of 75, for reason of illness or for other grave reason. Article 5 specifies that, in some circumstances, competent authority may ask a bishop to offer his resignation from pastoral office.

Article 6 of the rescript deals with cardinals who are Department Heads of the Roman Curia and the other cardinals who held office appointed by the Pope. These, too, are required to submit their resignations at the age of 75.

Article 7 deals with the heads of dicasteries who are not cardinals, with the secretaries and the bishops who hold other offices appointed by the Pope. These lose their office upon reaching 75 years of age. Those who serve as members of dicasteries cease in their membership thereof upon reaching the age of 80. Those, who are members of certain dicasteries in virtue of their being heads of another, cease in their membership of those other dicasteries when they cease in their leadership position.

Source: Vatican Radio

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation