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Removing bishops

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | May 05, 2003

Good comments, Fr. Wilson and Cheshire, but I have a question. Can the Pope remove any bishop on any pretext if that bishop hasn't reached retirement age, isn't incapacitated, and hasn't violated canon law or Church doctrine? Can you recall any case in the modern era where that's happened?

In other words, is a bishop sovereign in his diocese or can the Pope remove him at will? And even if the Pope can, what means does he have to force out a recalcitrant bishop? It's not like we have the ecclesiastical equivalent of sheriff's deputies for the removal of non-paying tenants. Or do we?

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