In accordance with the Code of Canon Law a presbyteral council is to be established in each diocese. The presbyteral council is a group of priests which, representing the presbyterium, is to be like a senate of the bishop and which assists the bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law to promote as much as possible the pastoral good of the portion of the people of God entrusted to him.
The presbyteral council is to have its own statutes approved by the diocesan bishop, attentive to the norms issued by the conference of bishops.
In what pertains to the designation of members of the presbyteral council:
1/ the priests themselves are freely to elect about half, according to the norm of the following canons and of the statutes;
2/ according to the norm of the statutes, some priests must be ex officio members, that is, members who are to belong to the council by reason of the office entrusted to them;
3/ the diocesan bishop is freely entitled to appoint others.
The manner of electing members of the presbyteral council must be determined in the statutes in such a way that, insofar as possible, the priests of the presbyterium are represented, taking into account especially the different ministries and various regions of the diocese.
It is for the diocesan bishop to convoke the presbyteral council, preside offer it, and determine the questions to be treated by it or receive proposals from the members.
Members of the presbyteral council are to be designated for a time determined in the statutes, in such a way, however, that the entire council or some part of it is renewed within five years. The present term of office in the Archdiocese of Armagh is three years.
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