Could a Priest turn down being appointed a Bishop?


#1

If he had good reason and cause could a Priest turn down being appointed a Bishop or a Bishop do the same when appointed to a higher office. Or out of Obedience should they just accept?


#2

I would think so, since no one can be ordained against his will. It would seem to me that it would apply to all levels of Holy Orders.


#3

Of course. There have been instances in history of Saints turning down the position (some all but kicking and screaming). Being a bishop is hard enough, why force someone and make it harder, and even make it such that they don’t receive the Sacrament?


#4

Technically, I think they can turn it down, but typically they accept out of obedience.


#5

Also, I don’t think it’s a surprise when someone is approached to be a bishop. Most have a history of being given roles of increasing responsibility before they are chosen as a bishop.


#6

I have heard tales of priests who have turned it down for reasons such as a parent being extremely ill and the priest needing to be close by them. I don’t imagine the Vatican puts out any statistics on how often this happens. :wink:


#7

Also, now, in my head, I’m imagining the appointment of a new Bishop in the same kind of setting as the Oscars…

“And the crosier goes to…”


#8

I heard of one who declined because he had a terminal disease. My understanding is that had he been in good health he would have accepted, but he knew that he only had a short time to live.


#9

It’s often a surprise. They’re often shocked.


#10

Absolutely. It happens.


#11

According to the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops, it is becoming more common not to accept the appointment to Bishop.


#12

Well, even after the Pope is selected the first question is if he accepts the job.


#13

It happens with a phone call from the Papal Nuncio in a couple cases that I know of.


#14

Saint Dominic did twice.


#15

Even though it isn’t required that a pope be a cardinal first, being in the conclave makes it a lot more likely a man will be elected pope. The elected individual can be asked right there before any public notice.


#16

A priest may and should decline an appointment if there is a justifiable reason. Any bishop would appreciate such honesty. But, not every reason is justifiable.


#17

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