9/26/2013 12:15:00 PM Who are vicar generals, parochial vicars?
Deacon Owen Cummings
Q —Will you explain the position of a Vicar General and also Parochial Vicar? A— In every diocese the diocesan bishop, according to the canonical tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, is to appoint a vicar general whose job it is to assist the bishop in the governance of the whole diocese. The expectation is that the vicar general should be a priest of not less than 30 years of age, who has a doctorate or licentiate in canon law or theology, or at least who is well-versed in these particular disciplines (Code of Canon Law, #478). A parish is a community of Christ’s faithful stably established within the diocese whose pastoral care, under the diocesan bishop, is entrusted to a parish priest as its proper pastor (Code of Canon Law, #515). Essentially, a parochial vicar is a priest who assists the pastor. Q — If the Lord says “Love One Another,” what does he exactly mean? Or is it meant to be ambiguous? A —Our blessed Lord says in the gospel of St. John 12:1: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” And even when the words are not identical, this meaning is found throughout the entirety of the New Testament — Christians are to love everyone. Needless to say, of course, this does not mean agreeing with everyone on whatever position they have, including about church matters and doctrine, but it does demand acknowledging everyone as deserving of one’s respect, courtesy and kindness.