"A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition"


Parish Locations
Returning Catholics
Religious Orders & Societies
Ministry to Veterans
Protecting the People of God
ECC Policies & Procedures
Church Calendar
ECC Photo Gallery
Request for Masses
Speakers Bureau
Church Archives
Bishop's Meeting
St. John Evangelist Seminary

 Canon Seventeen

Code of Canon Law
of the
Evangelical Catholic Church

Canon 17:  The Diocesan Bishop as Local Ordinary

17.1  Within the canonical boundaries of their diocese, the diocesan Bishop has all the ordinary power required for the exercise of their office, except in those matters reserved to some other ecclesiastical authority.

17.2  A person who has been appointed Bishop of a diocese cannot assume ordinary power until such time as they are canonically installed into that office.  Should one who has been appointed Bishop of a diocese already exercises an office within that diocese, they may continue exercising that office until their installation as Bishop.

17.3  Unless there is a canonical impediment, those who have been canonically appointed to the office of diocesan Bishop, must be installed into their office within four months of their appointment.  The installation of the diocesan Bishop must take place within an public liturgical act.

17.4  Within the exercise of their pastoral office, the diocesan Bishop must remain solicitous to the needs of all the faithful entrusted into their care.  The diocesan Bishop must demonstrate the apostolic spirit of this community of faith to all, especially to all those who are not sufficiently able to benefit of ordinary pastoral care and for those who have become pastorally orphaned.

    (1)  If there are faithful of a different rite residing within their diocese, the diocesan Bishop must provide for their spiritual needs by means of priests and parishes of that same rite.

17.5  The diocesan Bishop must exercise unconditional charity and humanity to those who are not in Communion with this Church and those who are not baptized and must always embrace and welcome all with the spirit of ecumenism of this Church.

17.6  The diocesan Bishop must always remember the needs of their clergy, of whom the diocesan Bishop must look upon as their counselors and helpers.  The diocesan Bishop must defend their rights at all times and must ensure that they fulfill all obligations of their offices.  The diocesan Bishop must also ensure that all clergy have the opportunity to develop their spiritual and intellectual life.

17.7  The diocesan Bishop must always foster vocations to the priesthood, deaconate and religious life.

17.8  The diocesan Bishop is bound to teach and witness to the faithful the truths of faith.  The diocesan Bishop must preach frequently and must ensure that the provisions of the Canons regarding her Liturgy, preaching of the Word and catechetical instructions are faithfully observed.

17.9  Remaining mindful that they are the bound to give examples of holiness, charity, humility and simplicity of life, the diocesan Bishop is to seek in every way all opportunities to promote the holiness of Christ's faithful. 

17.10  Upon their canonical installation, the diocesan Bishop must apply the Mass for those entrusted to their care each Sunday.

17.11  While the diocesan Bishop can function anywhere within their diocese, they may not do so publicly outside of their diocese without the consent of the local Ordinary, unless expressly given or reasonable presumed.

17.12  While the diocesan Bishop personally governs their diocese with legislative, judicial and executive power, they may appoint Vicar Generals or Episcopal Vicars to assist in the pastoral and sacramental care of all those entrusted to the care of the diocese.

17.13  The diocesan Bishop must promote and defend the unity of the Church and is bound to promote the discipline which is common for the welfare of the Church, and so press for the observance of all ecclesiastical laws and norms of the Church.

17.13   In all legal transactions, the diocesan Bishop acts in the person of the diocese.

17.14  The diocesan Bishop is to foster various forms of the apostolate within their diocese and to ensure that all works of the apostolate is under their direction.

17.16  The diocesan Bishop is obligated to visit all parishes, religious houses and sacred places within their diocese.

17.17  The diocesan Bishop is obligated to prepare a written report for presentation at the annual conference of the church.

17.18  The diocesan Bishop has the prerogative to create Monsignors or Canons within their diocese according to church law.

17.19  All diocesan Bishops are requested to offer their resignations upon their 70th birthday.

17.20  Any diocesan Bishop who has retired from their office, acquires the title of "Bishop-Emeritus."  Unless there is a grave reason contrary, a Bishop-Emeritus retains their faculties to celebrate the sacraments.  A Bishop-Emeritus may, unless there is a grave reason contrary, be called upon by their successor to assist as need demands.

Return to Canon Law Main Page


National Church Office
Post Office Box 178388  Chicago Illinois  60617-8388
(T)  773-721-5383   (F)  773-721-2581


Website designed by: Quest Network Services
(c) Copyright 2011