Pope Francis has codified his ability to effectively fire Catholic bishops, saying that in some circumstances, he ‘can consider it necessary’ to ask them to resign their offices.
“The move, which the Vatican announced Wednesday (Nov. 5), seems to be an attempt by Francis to clear up any ambiguity about the pontiff’s power to replace prelates around the world. While Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, have effectively removed bishops in the past, their power to do so was not previously so explicit in the church’s laws.
“Wednesday’s change comes in a short edict approved Monday (Nov. 3) by Francis at the request of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state. Composed of seven short articles, the edict addresses the resignation of diocesan bishops and papal appointees.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.