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A further note on the removal of bishops

By Cheshire (articles ) | May 08, 2003

Canon 401.2 describes the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff by virtue of his universal and immediate jurisdiction, to remove a bishop for reason of illness or some other grave reason which makes him unsuitable for the fulfillment of his office. The Pope has full, ultimate and sovereign authority to make that estimation. Thus while the Pope is accountable to God, and to God alone, for his decision, the decision is totally his and requires no explanation other than that it is decision.

Moreover, as the Pope is the law of the Church, he can modify the canon as he wills, provided that the action does not contradict Scripture and Tradition with regard to essence, which is distinguished from discipline. Thus, for example, the Pope could appoint a bishop who is younger or older than canonical age, but he has no authority to appoint a woman to sacerdotal office (as he himself as declared).

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