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Catholic Dictionary




A legitimately deputized assistant to a bishop with ordinary jurisdiction over an entire diocese. His term of office expires with the death, resignation, or transfer of the bishop. Unless the size of a diocese or diversity of rites absolutely requires it, there may be only one vicar-general appointed. He should be an experienced priest of excellent moral character. The vicar-general may also be an auxiliary bishop. In view of its importance the office is regulated by definite legislation in the Church's canon law.