Cardinal Wilfrid Napier with Pope Francis

The process of appointing a new Bishop and Archbishop

With Cardinal Napier’s successor likely to be stepping into his shoes in the first half of this year, you may wish to know how such a replacement is chosen.

The South African Nuncio will collect names put up by the outgoing Bishop or Archbishop himself, as well as from his brother Bishops, members of the clergy, and leaders in the laity.

Three nominations are required in each case, in order of preference by judgment of a candidate’s administrative, pastoral, and personal qualities.

The selected names are then put before the Congregation for the Evangelisation of People in Rome, where comparisons will be drawn.

The Congregation’s recommendations are then forwarded to His Holiness for the final decision.

A period of three months is given for the new Bishop to take office. This is straightforward if the successor is already a Bishop. But if the successful candidate is a priest, his ordination to the status of Bishop will first be required.

In line with tradition, the newly elected Archbishop of Durban will also be called to Rome during June to concelebrate the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, where he’ll be given his pallium* of office by the Pope.

If you have access to the internet, it’s possible to share in this event on YouTube.

As a member of our Archdiocese of Durban ‘family’ through your support of the Zulu Missions, please pray for a choice of successor to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and a smooth transition thereafter.

(*Pallium: The modern pallium is a circular band about two inches wide, worn about the neck, breast, and shoulders, and having two pendants, one hanging down in front and one behind. The pendants are about two inches wide and 12 inches long, and are weighted with small pieces of lead covered with black silk. The remainder of the pallium is made of white wool. The ornamentation of the pallium consists of six small black crosses — one each on the breast and back, one on each shoulder, and one on each pendant. The crosses on the breast, back, and left shoulder are provided with a loop for the reception of a gold pin set with a precious stone. The pallium is worn over the chasuble, and only used on certain occasions. (Wikipedia)

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