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The period during which an episcopal see or diocese is vacant, that is, without a bishop. Generally applied to the See of Rome. Procedures during this time follow the norms set down by Pope Paul VI in the apostolic constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo (1975), superseding the directives of Pope Pius XII (1945), and Pope John XXIII (1962).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.