BOOK VII : PROCESSES
Part V : THE MANNER OF PROCEDURE IN ADMINISTRATIVE RECOURSE AND IN THE REMOVAL OR TRANSFER OF PARISH PRIESTS
Section I : RECOURSE AGAINST ADMINISTRATIVE DECREES
Can. 1732 Whatever is laid down in the canons of this section concerning decrees, is
also to be applied to all singular administrative acts given in
the external forum outside a judicial trial, except for those
given by the Roman Pontiff himself or by an Ecumenical Council.
Can. 1733 §1 When a person believes that he or she has been injured by a decree, it
is greatly to be desired that contention between that person and
the author of the decree be avoided, and that care be taken to
reach an equitable solution by mutual consultation, possibly
using the assistance of serious-minded persons to mediate and
study the matter. In this way, the controversy may by some
suitable method be avoided or brought to an end.
§2 The Episcopal Conference can prescribe that in each diocese there be
established a permanent office or council which would have the
duty, in accordance with the norms laid down by the Conference,
of seeking and suggesting equitable solutions. Even if the
Conference has not demanded this, the Bishop may establish such
an office or council.
§3 The office or council mentioned in §2 is to be diligent in its work
principally when the revocation of a decree is sought in
accordance with Can. 1734 and the time limit for recourse has not
elapsed. If recourse is proposed against a decree, the Superior
who would have to decide the recourse is to encourage both the
person having recourse and the author of the decree to seek this
type of solution, whenever the prospect of a satisfactory outcome
Can. 1734 §1 Before having recourse, the person must seek in writing from its
author the revocation or amendment of the decree. Once this
petition has been lodged, it is by that very fact understood that
the suspension of the execution of the decree is also being
§2 The petition must be made within the peremptory time limit of ten canonical
days from the time the decree was lawfully notified.
§3 The norms in §§1 and 2 do not apply:
1° in having recourse to the Bishop against decrees given by authorities who
are subject to him;
2° in having recourse against the decree by which a hierarchical recourse is
decided, unless the decision was given by the Bishop himself ;
3° in having recourse in accordance with cann. 57 and 1735.
Can. 1735 If, within thirty days from the time the petition mentioned in Can.
1734 reaches the author of the decree, the latter communicates a
new decree by which either the earlier decree is amended or it is
determined that the petition is to be rejected, the period within
which to have recourse begins from the notification of the new
decree. If, however, the author of the decree makes no decision
within thirty days, the time-limit begins to run from the
Can. 1736 §1 In those matters in which hierarchical recourse suspends the
execution of a decree, even the petition mentioned in Can. 1734 has the same effect.
§2 In other cases, unless within ten days of receiving the petition mentioned
in Can. 1734 the author of the decree has decreed its suspension,
an interim suspension can be sought from the author's
hierarchical Superior. This Superior can decree the suspension
only for serious reasons and must always take care that the
salvation of souls suffers no harm.
§3 If the execution of the decree is suspended in accordance with §2 and
recourse is subsequently proposed, the person who must decide the
recourse is to determine, in accordance with Can. 1737 §3,
whether the suspension is to be confirmed or revoked.
§4 If no recourse is proposed against the decree within the time limit established,
an interim suspension of execution in accordance with §§1 and 2 automatically lapses.
Can. 1737 §1 A person who contends that he or she has been injured by a decree,
can for any just motive have recourse to the hierarchical
Superior of the one who issued the decree. The recourse can be
proposed before the author of the decree, who must immediately
forward it to the competent hierarchical Superior.
§2 The recourse is to be proposed within the peremptory time limit of fifteen
canonical days. In the cases mentioned in Can. 1734 §3, the
time limit begins to run from the day the decree was notified; in
other cases, it runs in accordance with Can. 1735.
§3 Even in those cases in which recourse does not by law suspend the execution of
the decree, or in which the suspension is decreed in accordance
with Can. 1736 §2, the Superior can for a serious reason order
that the execution be suspended, but is to take care that the
salvation of souls suffers no harm.
Can. 1738 The person having recourse always has the right to the services of an
advocate or procurator, but is to avoid futile delays. Indeed, an
advocate is to be appointed ex officio if the person does not
have one and the Superior considers it necessary. The Superior,
however, can always order that the one having recourse appear in
person to answer questions.
Can. 1739 In so far as the case demands, it is lawful for the Superior who must
decide the recourse, not only to confirm the decree or declare
that it is invalid, but also to rescind or revoke it or, if it
seems to the Superior to be more expedient, to amend it, to
substitute for it, or to obrogate it.
SECTION II: THE PROCEDURE FOR THE REMOVAL OR TRANSFER OF PARISH PRIESTS
CHAPTER I : THE PROCEDURE FOR THE REMOVAL OF PARISH PRIESTS
Can. 1740 When the ministry of any parish priest has for some reason become harmful
or at least ineffective, even though this occurs without any
serious fault on his part, he can be removed from the parish by the diocesan Bishop.
Can. 1741 The reasons for which a parish priest can lawfully be removed from
his parish are principally:
1° a manner of acting which causes grave harm or disturbance to ecclesiastical
2° ineptitude or permanent illness of mind or body, which makes the parish priest
unequal to the task of fulfilling his duties satisfactorily;
3° the loss of the parish priest's good name among upright and serious-minded
parishioners, or aversion to him, when it can be foreseen that
these factors will not quickly come to an end;
4° grave neglect or violation of parochial duties, which persists after a warning;
5° bad administration of temporal goods with grave harm to the Church,
when no other remedy can be found to eliminate this harm.
Can. 1742 §1 If an investigation shows that there exists a reason mentioned in
Can. 1740, the Bishop is to discuss the matter with two parish
priests from a group stably chosen for this purpose by the
council of priests, at the proposal of the Bishop. If he then
believes that he should proceed with the removal, the Bishop
must, for validity, indicate to the parish priest the reason and
the arguments, and persuade him in a fatherly manner to resign
his parish within fifteen days.
§2 For parish priests who are members of a religious institute or a society of
apostolic life, the provision of Can. 682 §2 is to be observed.
Can. 1743 The resignation of the parish priest can be given not only purely and
simply, but even upon a condition, provided the condition is one
which the Bishop can lawfully accept and does in fact accept.
Can. 1744 §1 If the parish priest has not replied within the days prescribed, the
Bishop is to renew his invitation and extend the canonical time
within which a reply is to be made.
§2 If it is clear to the Bishop that the parish priest has received this second
invitation but has not replied, even though not prevented from
doing so by any impediment, or if the parish priest refuses to
resign and gives no reasons for this, the Bishop is to issue a
decree of removal.
Can. 1745 If, however, the parish priest opposes the case put forward and the
reasons given in it, but advances arguments which seem to the
Bishop to be insufficient, to act validly the Bishop must:
1° invite him to inspect the acts of the case and put together his objections in a
written answer, indeed to produce contrary evidence if he has any;
2° after this, complete the instruction of the case, if this is necessary, and
weigh the matter with the same parish priests mentioned in Can.
1742 §1, unless, because of some impossibility on their part,
others are to be designated;
3° finally, decide whether or not the parish priest is to be removed, and
without delay issue the appropriate decree.
Can. 1746 When the parish priest has been removed, the Bishop is to ensure that he
is either assigned to another office, if he is suitable for one,
or is given a pension in so far as the case requires this and the
Can. 1747 §1 A parish priest who has been removed must abstain from exercising
the function of a parish priest, leave the parochial house free
as soon as possible, and hand over everything pertaining to the
parish to the person to whom the Bishop has entrusted it.
§2 If, however, it is a question of a sick man who cannot be transferred
elsewhere from the parochial house without inconvenience, the
Bishop is to leave to him the use, even the exclusive use, of the
parochial house for as long as this necessity lasts.
§3 While recourse against a decree of removal is pending, the Bishop cannot appoint
a new parish priest, but is to make provision in the meantime by
way of a parochial administrator.
CHAPTER II : THE PROCEDURE FOR THE TRANSFER OF PARISH PRIESTS
Can. 1748 The good of souls or the necessity or advantage of the Church may demand
that a parish priest be transferred from his own parish, which he
governs satisfactorily, to another parish or another office. In
these circumstances, the Bishop is to propose the transfer to him
in writing and persuade him to consent, for the love of God and
Can. 1749 If the parish priest proposes not to acquiesce in the Bishop's advice
and persuasion, he is to give his reasons in writing.
Can. 1750 Despite the reasons put forward, the Bishop may judge that he should not
withdraw from his proposal. In this case, together with two
parish priests chosen in accordance with Can. 1742 §1, he is to
weigh the reasons which favor and those which oppose the
transfer. If the Bishop still considers that the transfer should
proceed, he is again to renew his fatherly exhortation to the
Can. 1751 §1 If, when these things have been done, the parish priest still refuses
and the Bishop still believes that a transfer ought to take
place, the Bishop is to issue a decree of transfer stating that,
when a prescribed time has elapsed, the parish shall be vacant.
§2 When this time has elapsed without result, he is to declare the parish vacant.
Can. 1752 In cases of transfer, the provisions of Can. 1747 are to be applied,
always observing canonical equity and keeping in mind the
salvation of souls, which in the Church must always be the supreme law.
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