Built of Living Stones 34: The Role of the Bishop

BLS cites canon law in describing briefly the “sanctifying function” of the bishop:

§ 34 § The bishop is the high priest, the principal dispenser of the mysteries of God, and the director, promoter, and guardian of the entire liturgical life of the particular Church.(canon law 835 § 1; 838 § 4) Therefore, every authentic celebration of the liturgy is directed by the bishop, either in person or through the priests who assist him.(Cf. GIRM 22; Lumen Gentium 26 and 28; SC 42) Within the process of building or renovating a church, the diocesan bishop has an irreplaceable role and final responsibility. The construction of a new church requires the permission of the bishop, who must consult and determine that the building will contribute to the spiritual welfare of the faithful, and that the parish has the necessary means to build and care for the church.(canon law 1215 §§ 1 and 2)

The requirement to consult is worded a bit less strongly in the actual canon 1215, but he is charged with receiving the input of the diocesan presbyteral council and the “rectors” of parishes adjacent to a new faith community.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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