Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Many are frustrated that Rome hasn't removed Apuron for demonstrable gross mismanagement. The article copied below will explain why Rome has not only not removed Apuron but why it has also been mostly silent - not to mention why Apuron continues to dance around his office singing "no one can get me!" 

But it also explains why Apuron is so desperate to prove that he did not alienate the Yona property.

FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2011

Note on Bp. Makaya Loemba's loss of office

terse statement from the Holy See Press Office reporting the "removal"* from episcopal office of Jean-Claude Makaya Loemba (diocese of Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo) cites no canons by which the action was taken and offers no factual basis upon which to ground the pope's action, but Benedict's move is being characterized by some as a sort of papal removal for “mismanagement”. I’d be careful about putting things that way, for it feeds the impression wrongly held in various circles that bishops are just regional managers of world-wide Catholic activities, appointed and sackable by the pope as if they were employees of a major corporation. 

Canonically, what Bp. Makaya Loemba has undergone seems to be “privation” of office in accord with Canon 416. The canonical commentaries** I’ve looked at regard a bishop’s “privation” of office as being possible only in the face of guilt for ecclesiastical crimes (say, canonically illegal actions in regard to ecclesiastical property, contra cc. 1377 or 1389). 

But criminal conduct is not the same thing as “mismanagement”, and it is certainly not the same thing as “weak performance”, both of which conditions might well justify upper-level management in removing a lower level administrator from his post, but neither of which—for all sorts of ecclesiological and canonical reasons— constitutes grounds for privation of episcopal office in the Church. 

Only the pope hears criminal cases involving bishops (c. 1405 § 1) and penal cases are generally conducted confidentially (c. 1455 § 1), so unless either side decides to discuss the matter, the details are not likely to emerge (with good reliability, at least). In any event, characterizing Makaya Loemba’s removal from office as being based on mere “mismanagement” can leave folks with the wrong impression of the relationship between pope and bishops. 

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