- Vicar capitular
A vicar capitular is a provisional
ordinaryof a Roman Catholic particular church. A vicar capitular is elected by the canons of the cathedralchapter when the episcopal seebecomes vacant, perhaps due to the death or resignation of the bishop. The chapter must choose either a bishop (most likely an auxiliary bishopof the diocese) or a priestwho is over 35 years of age. Some dioceses do not have a cathedral chapter and instead the senior diocesan priests called consultors, or the college of consultors, elect a diocesan administrator who has the same powers as a vicar capitular.
In a diocese with a
coadjutor bishop, the coadjutor succeeds immediately to the episcopal see upon the previous bishop's death or resignation, and an administrator is not elected. The duty falls to the metropolitan bishop(or the senior suffragan bishopof the province if the metropolitan see is vacant) to appoint a vicar capitular if the chapter or the consultors fail to elect an administrator within eight days. The popecan preempt their decision at any time, and his choice for provisional ordinary is known as an apostolic administrator.
Several of the powers and duties of a bishop are withheld from a vicar capitular, either completely or until the "sede vacante" period has existed for over a year. Once chosen, the chapter may not remove the vicar from office; he remains until a bishop takes possession of the diocese, he is removed by the
Holy See, he resigns from office, or his death.
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15401c.htm Article in Catholic Encyclopedia]
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