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The Office of the Vicar General[1]
A Comparative Study of the Eastern and the Latin Codes 

{Cf. Mathew John Puthenparambil, “The Office of the Vicar General: A Comparative Study of the Eastern and the Latin Codes, In Ephrem’s Theological Journal, Vol. 19 (March 2015), pp. 42-54}

Introduction
The office of the vicar general[2], one of the obligatory offices in the diocesan curia, is the most important office after the office of the diocesan bishop. He is the pre-eminent official of the diocesan curia[3]. In administrative matters of the diocese, he is the personal representative of the diocesan bishop. According to the regula iuris, one who acts through another is as if he did it himself (qui facit per alium est perinde, ac si faciat per se ipsum)[4].  He is closely associated with the diocesan bishop and assists him in the governance of the entire diocese. He is the closest collaborator of the diocesan bishop and his authority extends throughout the territory of the diocese[5].
Appointment of the Vicar General
The Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus dominus states that the bishop must appoint a vicar general, the pre-eminent official of the diocesan curia, who is to assist him in the governance of the diocese. We read in the document: “In the diocesan curia the office of vicar general is preeminent” (CD 27). The Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops Apostolorum successores speaks about the appointment of the vicar general in following words: “The Bishop must appoint a Vicar general, the pre-eminent official of the diocesan curia, who is to assist him in the governance of the diocese”[6] 
There was no obligation for the bishop to appoint a vicar general under the 1917 Code. It was made optional (cf. 1917 CIC c. 366). The Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati also recommended the appointment of a vicar general if the proper governance of the diocese required it. It states: “Whenever the proper government of the eparchy demands it, a syncellus is to be appointed by the bishop, to help him in the entire territory with ordinary jurisdiction” (CS c. 432 § 1). Therefore, it was not an obligatory office for the Eastern Churches under the  Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati. The Directory for the Bishops Ecclesiae imago takes it one step further and speaks of the possibility of appointing more than one vicar general for a diocese[7]. “The vicar general, whose office is the highest in the diocesan curia (CD 27), is appointed wherever, in the bishop’s judgment, the proper government of the diocese would require it, and indeed several vicars general may be appointed (ES 1, 14)”[8]. The Code Commission wanted to remove the option of appointing the vicar general and wanted to follow the spirit of the conciliar teaching[9].
The diocesan bishop must appoint a vicar general in his diocese to assist him. It is obligatory for him to appoint a vicar general even though the diocese/eparchy is very small[10]. “In each diocese the diocesan bishop is to appoint a vicar general to assist him in the governance of the whole diocese…” (CIC c. 475 § 1; cf. CCEO c. 245).  As a general rule only one vicar general is to be appointed in a diocese. More than one vicar general may be appointed in the Latin dioceses if the size of the diocese is very big, the number of the faithful or other the pastoral reasons suggests (cf. CIC c. 475 § 2)[11]. But there is no provision in the Eastern code to appoint more than one protosyncellus in an eparchy[12]. If pastoral circumstance permits, one or more syncellus[13] may be appointed (cf. CCEO c. 215 § 2) in eparchies.
The vicar general is freely appointed by the diocesan bishop. As the vicar general is very closely associated with the bishop it is necessary that the bishop must be very free to appoint or remove him from the office. Therefore, the bishop has full freedom to appoint any priest who has the required qualifications for the office of vicar general. He can be appointed for a determinate or indeterminate time[14]. The codes do not speak explicitly about the appointment of the vicar general ‘ad tempus’ but at the same time it does not prohibit either. Such an indication is a proof of its possibility[15]. A coadjutor or auxiliary bishop is appointed as vicar general for an indeterminate time (cf. CIC c. 406 § 1; CCEO c. 215 § 2)[16]. When there are two auxiliary bishops one may be appointed as the vicar general and the other one as episcopal vicar or both of them could be appointed as vicars general in the Latin dioceses. Since there cannot be two protosyncelli in an eparchy of the Eastern Churches, one is to be appointed as protosyncellus and the other as the syncellus (cf. CCEO c. 215 § 2). The vicar general must make a promise to carry out the office faithfully. He has also the obligation to observe secrecy as per the direction of the bishop (cf. CIC 471; CCEO 244 § 2)[17].   
Qualifications of the Vicar General 
Since the office of the vicar general is an ecclesiastical one and above all the most important office in the diocese, the bishop cannot appoint just any priest to this office. Certain qualifications prescribed by the code are to be considered while appointing someone to this highest office in the diocese. First of all to be promoted to an office, a person must be suitable, that is, possessed with those qualities required by law for that particular office (cf. CIC c. 149 § 1; CCEO c. 940).
For every ecclesiastical office, the person who holds the office need not be a priest. But in the case of the vicar general, both codes clearly state that he must be a priest (cf. CIC c. 478 § 1; CCEO c. 247 § 2)[18]. The requirement of priestly order is very essential for the vicar general because he exercises a potestas sacra et vera episcopalis since he is the alter ego[19] of the bishop in authority and responsibility[20]. CCEO specify that the protosyncellus must be a celibate priest[21]. Again the CCEO specifies that the protosyncellus must be a priest ascribed to the same eparchy if possible[22]. The CCEO states: “…if possible, they should be from the clerics ascribed to the eparchy;…” (CCEO c. 247 § 2). The prior prohibition of appointing a member of religious order or institute has not been repeated in CIC and CCEO[23]. Therefore, the vicar general could be a priest belonging to a religious order/institute, or incardinated to another diocese or even a priest belonging to another Church sui iuris (cf. CCEO c. 247 § 4).
The vicar general must be not less than thirty years of age at the time of his appointment. Canonists are divided on the opinion whether he must have completed the age of thirty or he must have begun his thirtieth year since the wording of the canon ‘annos nati non minus triginta’ is not very clear[24]. The reason for keeping this age is that one should reach the adequate human maturity before he assumes the office of vicar general which involves great responsibility[25]. Though the law prescribes that the vicar general should not be less than thirty years old, the Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops Apostolorum successores issued in 2004 states that when possible, it is preferable that the vicar general should be forty years old or more[26]. Another qualification recommended for the vicar general is that he holds a doctorate or licentiate or at least he must be an expert in some sacred sciences such as theology, canon law and so on. He must be known for his sound doctrine, integrity, prudence and practical experience[27]. It states:
The diocesan bishop should appoint a Vicar general or as episcopal Vicars priests who are doctrinally sound, trustworthy, esteemed by the presbytarate and in public opinion. They should be wise, honest and morally upright, with pastoral and administrative experience, capable of establishing a good human rapport with others and competent in dealing with diocesan affairs[28]
A person related by blood to the diocesan bishop up to the fourth degree cannot be appointed as vicar general (cf. CIC c. 478 § 2; CCEO c. 247 § 3). In CIC c. 478 § 2 it is not very clear whether the fourth degree is inclusive. Canonists are again divided on this matter whether the fourth degree is inclusive or not[29]. When we look into CCEO it is very clear that the fourth degree is inclusive (cf. CCEO c. 247 § 3). This is to safeguard bishop’s own freedom in taking decisions as well as to maintain objectivity and integrity in assessing and deciding on matters which concern the good of the diocese[30]. This also helps to prevent favouritism or nepotism in the diocese. As a general rule, the judicial vicar shall not be appointed as vicar general unless the diocese is very small or the diocese has very few marriage cases (cf. CIC c. 1420 § 1; CCEO c. 1086 § 1). The canon penitentiary also cannot be appointed as vicar general (cf. CIC c. 478 § 2)[31].
Place of the Vicar General among the Clergy 
While they are in office, priests who hold the office of the vicar general enjoy all the rights and privileges immediately subordinate to diocesan bishop. CCEO states: “The protosyncellus and the syncelli who are presbyters have the privileges and insignia of the dignity next to that of the bishop during their function (durante munere)” (CCEO c. 250)[32]. The precedence of the protosyncellus over all others, a provision given in the Moto proprio Cleri sanctitati, is removed in CCEO. There is no parallel canon in the Latin code, but it is natural that the vicar general would enjoy precedence immediately after the diocesan bishop in the Latin Church also.
The Powers of the Vicar General   
The power of the vicar general is understood as a faculty to perform an act. Power of governance (potestas regiminis) is the public power ordained towards the governance of others. The power of governance is distinguished as legislative, executive and judicial (cf. CIC c. 135 § 1; CCEO c. 985 § 1). The power of the vicar general is described in CIC c. 479 § 1 as follows:
In virtue of his office, the Vicar general has the same executive power throughout the whole diocese as that which belongs by law to the diocesan Bishop: that is, he can perform all administrative acts, with the exception however of those which the Bishop has reserved to himself, or which by law require a special mandate of the Bishop.
We see a similar expression of CIC c. 479 § 1 in CCEO c. 248 § 1:
Unless it is expressly provided otherwise by common law, the protosyncellus throughout the whole eparchy and syncelli within the limits of the office conferred on them have the same executive power of governance as the eparchial bishop, excepting those things that the eparchial bishop has reserved to himself or to others or that by law require his own special mandate, so that if this mandate is not obtained, the act for which the mandate is required is null.
According to CIC c. 131 § 1 and CCEO c. 981 § 1, the ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain office by the law itself. Ordinary power is by law itself attached to an office. Therefore, a person cannot have ordinary power without an office. The power of the vicar general is ordinary, attached to the office[33]. The ordinary power of governance can be either proper or vicarious (cf. CIC c. 131 § 2; CCEO c. 981 § 2). Proper power is exercised in one’s own name (nomine proprio) while vicarious power is exercised in the name of another (nomine at vice alterius) as a substitute as collaborators[34]. The power of the vicar general is vicarious, exercised in the name of the diocesan bishop[35]
In virtue of his office the vicar general has the same executive power in the entire diocese as that which belongs to the diocesan bishop. According to CIC c. 136 and CCEO c. 986, the vicar general can exercise executive power over his subjects even when he is outside his diocese or when the faithful are away from the diocese. He can also exercise his power over travelers who are actually living in the diocese. The very purpose of the office of vicar general reveals that he has to assist diocesan bishop in the governance of the entire diocese (cf. CIC c. 475 § 1; CCEO c. 245). This confirms his executive power throughout the diocese over persons and things. It is the responsibility of the vicar general to extend his help to the diocesan bishop in governing the diocese[36].
The vicar general can exercise executive power and can also perform all administrative acts. He can issue general executory decrees, that is, decrees which define more precisely the manner of applying a law or which urge the observance of the law. Executive power of the vicar general is also performed by issuing administrative acts through which laws are applied to individual persons or group of persons. He can issue singular decrees and precepts and grant rescripts which contain privileges and dispensations. The diocesan bishop usually grants privileges, the vicar general shares with diocesan bishop the power to grant most of the dispensations especially with regard to the impediments of marriage[37]. The vicar general is a local ordinary in the diocese (cf. CIC c. 134 § 2; CCEO c. 984 § 2) and he is also an Ordinary in a diocese of the latin Church[38]
The diocesan bishop, if he wishes, can reserve certain powers to himself or to another priest other than the vicar general. In that case the vicar general has no power in dealing with those matters. But the authority of the vicar general should not be limited to such an extent that the office itself is modified. Reservation of powers shall be exceptional otherwise it shall be contrary to the law which defined the positions so that the vicar general could function as the alter ego of the diocesan bishop[39].
The vicar general should be convoked to the diocesan synod[40] and he has the obligation to attend the same (cf. CIC c. 463 § 1; CCEO c. 238 § 1) since his role in the diocese is very significant. The diocesan bishop is bound to visit his diocese in whole or in part each year so that at least every five years he will have visited the entire diocese. If the diocesan bishop is legitimately impeded, the vicar general may carry out the pastoral visit to parishes provided he receives the delegation from the bishop (cf. CIC c. 396 § 1; CCEO c. 205 § 1).
While granting or refusing of favour the vicar general has to keep in mind the principles of governance. “A favour refused by the diocesan bishop cannot, without the Bishop’s consent, validly be obtained from his vicar general or episcopal Vicar, even though mention is made of the refusal” (CIC c. 65 § 3; cf. CCEO c. 1530 § 1). Therefore, the vicar general cannot grant a favour which was denied by the diocesan bishop without obtaining the bishop’s consent first. This is to avoid contradictions and conflicts in the diocese. The vicar general cannot validly grant a favour which was denied by the episcopal vicar unless the denial is mentioned in the petition (cf. CIC c. 65 § 2; CCEO c. 1530 § 2)[41].
The office of the vicar general is neither another centre of authority nor a collegial body responsible for the governance of the diocese. Even though the diocesan bishop extends his authority by permitting another person to act in his own name, he remains ultimately the responsible person for all affairs of the diocese[42]. Therefore, the vicar general must report all important matters of the diocese to the diocesan bishop. The diocesan bishop must be informed of important acts and decisions that the vicar general has taken already and are under consideration. He should not act against the will and intention of the diocesan bishop as he is hierarchically subordinated to him. Canons of both codes state that he should not act against the will and mind of the diocesan bishop (cf. CIC c. 480, CCEO c. 249).
Cessation of Office of the Vicar General
The office of the vicar general can be lost in various ways. It can be lost either by the expiry of the period of their mandate, by resignation from the office or by removal from the office (cf. CIC c. 481 § 1; CCEO c. 251 § 1). If the vicar general was appointed for a determined time, the office ceases upon expiry of the term. But the office does not cease automatically on the date at the end of the term[43]. Loss of an office by the lapse of a determined time or by the reaching the age determined by law takes effect only from the moment when the competent authority has intimated it in writing (cf. CIC c. 184; CCEO c. 965 § 3). Therefore, the diocesan bishop has to notify the vicar general in writing. If the diocesan bishop does not inform him in writing, the vicar general continues in office.
The vicar general can resign from the office for a just cause. Any person who is responsible for himself (sui compos) can resign freely from his office for a just cause (cf. CIC c. 187; CCEO c. 967)[44]. He has to submit his resignation to the diocesan bishop in writing or orally in the presence of two witnesses (cf. CIC c. 189 § 1; CCEO c. 969)[45]. CIC does not speak of the acceptance of the resignation made by vicar general (cf. CIC c. 481 § 1). Therefore, there are authors who say that it need not be accepted by the diocesan bishop; upon the communication the resignation takes effect[46]. But the parallel canon in CCEO states that the resignation of the protosyncellus needs to be accepted by the eparchial bishop, “renunciatione ab Episcopo Eparchiali acceptata” (CCEO c. 251 § 1). Since CCEO speaks of the acceptance by the eparchial bishop and since the office is the most important one in the diocese it is to be accepted by the diocesan bishop even in the Latin Church (cf. CIC c. 17). Unless and until it is accepted it has no effect. If the diocesan bishop does not accept the resignation of the vicar general within three months of submission it lacks all force (cf. CIC c. 189 § 3; CCEO c. 970 § 1). 
As the vicar general is freely appointed by the diocesan bishop, he can also be removed freely by the diocesan bishop unless he is a coadjutor or auxiliary bishop (cf. CIC c. 477 § 1; CCEO c. 247 § 1). He can be freely removed for a just cause and not necessarily for a grave reason. The diocesan bishop need not observe any procedure for the removal, but he should respect the natural equity and justice and also the right of a person to a good reputation[47]. In order to be effective the diocesan bishop should issue the decree of removal in writing to the vicar general[48]. There is no obligation for the diocesan bishop to follow a prescribed procedure[49]. If the vicar general is appointed for a determined period of time a grave cause is necessary to remove him from the office (cf. CIC c. 193; CCEO c. 975 § 1)[50] .
A) Loss of Office When Diocese is Vacant:
Loss of office of the vicar general of CIC is little different from protosyncellus of CCEO. Loss of office as per CIC is simple, compared to CCEO. When a diocese is vacant the vicar general loses his office (cf. CIC c. 481 § 1). CIC c. 417 states that the diocese becomes vacant by the death of the diocesan bishop, by his resignation accepted by the Apostolic See, by transfer to another See or by deprivation notified to the bishop. It is not at the moment when See becomes vacant he loses his office, but when he is notified of the vacancy of the See, he loses his office (cf. CIC c. 481 § 1; CCEO c. 224 § 1 and 2).  All the decisions taken by the vicar general prior to the notification he received of the vacancy of the diocese have effect even if those decisions were taken after the actual vacancy of the diocese (cf. CIC c. 417; CCEO c. 224 § 2).  If the vicar general is a coadjutor bishop, when diocese is vacant he immediately becomes the diocesan bishop if he has already taken possession of his office lawfully (cf. CIC c. 409 § 1)[51]. The Second Vatican Council wished that when the See is vacant the auxiliary bishop, if there is one, becomes the administrator of the diocese. The Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church states: “It is indeed desirable, unless there are grave reasons to the contrary, that the responsibility of governing the diocese during the vacancy of the See should be entrusted to the auxiliary bishop, or if there are several, to one of them” (CD 26)[52].  If the vicar general is an auxiliary bishop he retains the powers of the vicar general when the diocese was occupied. If he is not appointed or elected as the administrator, he can exercise the same powers under the authority of the administrator (cf. CIC c. 409 § 2). 
B) Suspension of the Diocesan Bishop:
If the diocesan bishop is suspended from the office, the power of the vicar general is suspended. However a bishop who holds the office of the vicar general continues in office and exercises the power while the diocesan bishop is suspended (cf. CIC c. 481 § 2, CCEO c. 251 § 3)[53]. The reason behind this norm is the intrinsic relationship between the diocesan bishop and his vicar general. The power possessed by the vicar general is vicarious. Therefore, unless he has episcopal dignity, his power is suspended when the bishop is suspended from office. The office of the diocesan bishop can be suspended through canonical penalties[54].
According to CCEO the protosyncellus does not cease from his office always when the eparchy becomes vacant. Some exceptions are treated in CCEO c. 224 § 1. It states:
Upon the vacancy of the eparchial See, the protosyncellus and the syncelli immediately cease from office unless they are: 1° ordained bishops; 2° constituted in the eparchy of the patriarch; 3° constituted in an eparchy located within the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal Church, until the administrator of the eparchy takes canonical possession of his office. 
C) An Ordained Bishop Does Not Cease from the Office:
The recommendation of the Second Vatican Council is that when the diocese is vacant the auxiliary bishop, if there is one, becomes the administrator of the diocese. It was not incorporated in the legislation in CCEO and therefore, a priest could be appointed or elected as the eparchial administrator upon the vacancy of the eparchial See (cf. CCEO c. 225 § 1). Nevertheless, if the protosyncellus was an ordained bishop he does not cease from the office but retains ‘ex iure’ his office and enjoys the powers which he enjoyed earlier. He exercises his authority under the new eparchial administrator (cf. CCEO c. 224)[55].
D) Protosyncellus of the Eparchy of the Patriarch:
When the patriarchal See becomes vacant, the eparchy of the patriarch also becomes vacant. The senior bishop according to the episcopal ordination among the bishops of the patriarchal curia or, if there is nobody, the senior bishop of the permanent synod becomes the administrator of the patriarchal Church (cf. CCEO c. 127) and he automatically becomes the administrator of the eparchy of the patriarch. In this situation a priest who is the protosyncellus of the eparchy of patriarch does not lose his office[56].
E) Protosyncellus of an Eparchy inside the Proper Territory:
The priest who is a protosyncellus of an eparchy constituted inside the proper territory of the patriarch does not lose his office until the eparchial administrator is appointed by the patriarch within a month of useful time from the vacancy of the eparchy and takes canonical possession of his office (cf. c. 220 § 3°, 224).
F) Protosyncellus of an Eparchy outside the Proper Territory:
A priest who is appointed as the protosyncellus immediately ceases from the office upon the vacancy of the eparchy.  He loses his office not at the moment of vacancy of the eparchy, but at the moment he receives notification. He exercises his authority validly until he receives the notification of the vacancy of the eparchy[57]
Conclusion
The vicar general has ordinary vicarious power and he is also the local Ordinary in the diocese/eparchy (cf. CCEO c. 984 § 2; CIC c. 134 § 2). As the office of the vicar general is an important office in the diocese, both codes prescribe certain qualifications for those who hold the office. He has to co-operate with the bishop and work according to the mind and will of the bishop. The most important difference between CIC and CCEO is that there can be more than one vicar general in a Latin diocese, whereas only one protosyncellus in an eparchy.  
                                 
                                                                                                         Dr. Mathew John Puthenparambil






[1] Vicar general is identical with the protosyncellus of the Eastern code (CCEO). It was the custom in the east that bishops were appointed from among the monks and these bishops continued to maintain their monastic life by taking another monk as companion and secretary. This companion shared the same room or cell with the bishop. They had a close relationship with each other as they lived together in the same cell. He received the name of synkellos which means one who lives in the same cell.  Thus he became the first person in the eparchy after the bishop, cf. Victor J. Pospishil, Code of Oriental Canon Law: Law on Persons, p. 187; George Nedungatt, “Glossary of the Main Terms Used in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches”, in The Jurist 51 (1991), p. 457.
[2] The word vicar comes from the Latin ‘vicis’, hence vice means instead, deputy, the man who takes the place- vicem agree
[3]  Cf. Congregation for Bishops, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops Apostolorum successores (22 February 2004), no. 178, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 2004 (Hereafter it will be cited as Apostolorum successors).
[4] Cf. Roland-Bernard Trauffer, “Diocesan Governance in European Dioceses Following the 1983 Code: An Initial Inquiry”, in James K. Mallett (ed.), The Ministry of Governance, Canon Law Society of America, Washington DC 1986, p. 193.
[5] Cf. Communicationes 5 (1973), pp. 226-227;  Pio Vio Pinto (a cura di), Commento al Codice di Diritto Canonico, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 2001, p. 279.
[6] Apostolorum successores 178.
[7] Cf. Sacred Congregation for Bishops, Directory on the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops Ecclesiae imago (22 February 1973), no. 201, Publications Service of the Canadian Catholic Conference, Ottawa 1974, p. 102 (Hereafter it will be cited as Ecclesiae imago).
[8] Ecclesiae imago 201.
[9] Cf. Communicationes 13 (1983), p. 118.
[10] Cf. Apostolorum successores 178; Velasius De Paolis, “De vicario episcopali secundum decratum Concan. Oecum. Vatican II ‘Christus Dominus’”, in Periodica 56 (1967), pp. 311-312.
[11] Cf. Apostolorum successores 178.
[12] Cf. Thomas J. Green, “Diocesan and Parish Structures: A Comparison of Selected Canons in the Codex Iuris Canonici and Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium”, in Studia canonica 33(1999), p. 378.
[13] Syncellus is the term used in CCEO for episcopal Vicar of the Latin Church. 
[14] Cf. Augustine Mendonça, “The Structural Components of the Diocesan Curia”, in Canonical Studies 16 (2002), p.  114.
[15] Cf. Roch Page, Les Églises particulières, vol. 1, Les Éditions Paulines, Montréal 1985, p. 95.   
[16] Cf. Ecclesiae sanctae 1, 13. 
[17] Cf. Gianluca Marchetti, La curia come organo di partecipazione alla cura pastorale del vescovo diocesano, in Periodica 89  ( 2000), pp. 381-382.
[18] Cf. Apostolorum successores 178.
[19] Cf. Communicationes 5 (1973), p. 226.
[20] Cf. William W. Bassett, “The Office of Episcopal Vicar”, in The Jurist 3 (1970), pp. 308-309.
[21] There are married priests in some of the Eastern Catholic churches (cf. CCEO cc. 373- 375).
[22] Cf. Thomas J. Green, “Diocesan and Parish Structures: A Comparison of Selected Canons in the Codex Iuris Canonici and Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium”, p. 379.
[23] According to c. 367 of 1917 Code, the vicar general must be a priest of the secular clergy unless the diocese has been committed to a religious institute. Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati also said the same thing in c. 433 § 1.
[24] Cf. Luigi Chiappetta, Il codice di diritto canonico, vol 1, Edizione Dehoniane Bolongna, Bologna, 2011, p. 583.   
[25] Cf. Arulselvam Rayappan, “The Office of Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar”, in Canonical Studies 16 (2002), p. 153.
[26] Cf. Apostolorum successores 178.
[27] Cf. Davide Mussone, L’ufficio del vicario generale  nel codice di diritto canonico del 1917 e del 1983, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 2000, p. 92. 
[28]  Apostolorum successores 178.
[29] Cf. Barbara Anne Cusack, “The Internal ordering of Particular Churches”, in John P. Beal - James A. Coriden - Thomas J. Green (eds), New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, Theological Publications in India, Bangalore 2007, p. 632; John A. Alesandro, “The Internal Ordering of the Particular Churches”, in James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green and Donald E. Heintschel (eds), The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, Theological Publications in India, Bangalore 1991, p. 389.
[30] Cf. Augustine Mendonça, “The Structural Components of the Diocesan Curia”, p. 123.
[31] There is no office of canon penitentiary in CCEO
[32] There is no parallel canon in CIC 1983.
[33] Cf. Julio García Martín, Le norme generali del Codex Iuris Canonici, Ediurcla, Roma 1999, p. 484.
[34] Cf. John M. Huels, The Pastoral Companion: A Canon Law Handbook for Catholic Ministry, Quincy, Franciscan Press, 1995, pp. 20-21; George Nedungatt, “Authority of Order and Power of Governance”, in Kanon 14 (1998), p. 77.   
[35] Cf. James A. Coriden, An Introduction to Canon Law, Revised edition, New York, Paulist 2004, p. 92;  Luigi Chiappetta, Il codice di diritto canonico, vol. 1, p. 585 ; L. Restrepo, “Vicarius”, in Periodica 74 (1985), pp. 273-300.
[36] Cf. Arulselvam Rayappan, “The Office of Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar”, in Canonical Studies, 16 (2002), p. 160.
[37] Cf. Arulselvam Rayappan, “The Office of Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar”, pp. 160-161.
[38] According to CCEO the protosyncellus is not a hierarch but only a local hierarch. CCEO c. 984 § 1 states: “Besides the Roman Pontiff, the following are hierarchs: first of all a patriarch, a major archbishop, a metropolitan who presides over a metropolitan Church sui iuris, and an eparchial bishop as well as those who succeed them in interim governance in accord with the norm of law”. Paragraph 3 of it further says, “Major superiors in institutes of consecrated life who have been endowed with ordinary power of governance are also hierarchs but not local hierarchs”. CIC c. 134 § 1 states: “ In law the term Ordinary means, apart from the Roman Pontiff, diocesan bishops and all who, even for a time only, are set over a particular Church or a community equivalent to it in accordance with Can. 368, and those who in these have general ordinary executive power, that is, Vicar general, and episcopal Vicars; likewise, for their own members, it means the major superiors of clerical religious institutes of pontifical right and clerical societies of apostolic life of pontifical right, who have at least ordinary executive power”.
[39] Cf. John D. Faris, Eastern Catholic Churches: Constitution and Governance, Saint Maron Publications, New York 1992, p. 521; Arulselvam Rayappan, “The Office of Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar”, p. 161.
[40] Eparchial assembly is the equivalent term used for diocesan synod in CCEO.  
[41] Cf. Ecclesiae sanctae 1, 14; Joseph P. Penna, “The Office of Episcopal Vicar”, in CLSA Proceedings 52 (1990), p. 116.
[42] Cf. Barbara Anne Cusack, “The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches”, p. 633.
[43] Cf. Victor George D’Souza, “Cessation of Office of a Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar: Toward Refinement of Canon 481 § 1”, in Studies in Church Law 2 (2006), p. 372.
[44] Cf. Davide Mussone, L’ufficio del vicario generale nel Codice di diritto canonico del 1917 e del 1983, Città del Vaticano, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000, p. 182.
[45] Cf. Paul L. Golden, “Retraction of Resignation from Office”, in Arthur J. Espelage (ed.), CLSA Advisory Opinion 2001-2005, Canon Law Society of America, Washington 2006, p. 73.
[46] Cf. Barbara Anne Cusack, “The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches”, p. 634. 
[47] Cf. Randolph R. Calvino and Nevin J. Klinger, Clergy Procedural Handbook, Canon Law Society of America, Washington 1992, p. 122; Luigi Chiappetta, Il codice di diritto canonico, vol. 1, p. 582.
[48] Cf. Victor George D’Souza, “Cessation of Office of a Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar: Toward Refinement of Canon 481 § 1”, p. 373.
[49] Cf. Arulselvam Rayappan, “The Office of Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar”, p. 168.  
[50] Cf. Antonio Viana, “The Diocesan Curia”, in Ángel Marzoa - Jorge Miras - Rafael Rodriguez-Ocaña (eds), Exegetical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, vol. 2, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago 2004, p. 1119.
[51] According to CCEO, upon the vacancy of the eparchial See, the coadjutor bishop becomes administrator by law itself until he takes possession of the eparchy by enthronement (cf. CCEO c. 222). 
[52] Cf.  Ecclesiae Sanctae I, 13.
[53] Cf. Davide Mussone, L’ufficio del vicario generale nel codice di diritto canonico del 1917 e del 1983, p. 207.
[54] Cf. Augustine Mendonça, “The Structural Components of the Diocesan Curia”, p. 140.
[55] Cf. Marco Brogi, “Eparchies and Bishops”, in George Nedungatt (ed.), A Guide to the Eastern Code: A Commentary on the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome 2002, p. 236.
[56] Cf. Victor J. Pospishil, Eastern Catholic Church Law, Saint Maron Publications, New York 1996, p. 228.
[57] Cf. John D. Faris, Eastern Catholic Churches: Constitution and Governance, pp. 490-491.

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