Section II. The Procedure in the Removal or Transfer of Pastors
Chapter I. The Manner of Proceeding in the Removal of Pastors
Can. 1740 When the ministry of any pastor becomes harmful or at least ineffective for any cause, even through no grave personal negligence, the diocesan bishop can remove him from the parish.
Can. 1741 The causes for which a pastor can be removed legitimately from his parish are especially the following:
1° a manner of acting which brings grave detriment or disturbance to ecclesiastical communion;
2° ineptitude or a permanent infirmity of mind or body which renders the pastor unable to fulfill his functions usefully;
3° loss of a good reputation among upright and responsible parishioners or an aversion to the pastor which it appears will not cease in a brief time;
4° grave neglect or violation of parochial duties which persists after a warning;
5° poor administration of temporal affairs with grave damage to the Church whenever another remedy to this harm cannot be found.
Can. 1742 §1. If the instruction which was carried out has established the existence of one of the causes mentioned in can. 1740, the bishop is to discuss the matter with two pastors selected from the group established for this purpose in a stable manner by the presbyteral council at the proposal of the bishop. If the bishop then judges that removal must take place, he paternally is to persuade the pastor to resign within fifteen days, after having explained, for validity, the cause and arguments for the removal.
§2. The prescript of can. 682, §2 is to be observed for pastors who are members of a religious institute or a society of apostolic life.
Can. 1743 A pastor can submit a resignation not only purely and simply but also conditionally, provided that the bishop can accept it legitimately and actually does accept it.
Can. 1744 §1. If the pastor has not responded within the prescribed days, the bishop is to repeat the invitation and extend the useful time to respond.
§2. If the bishop establishes that the pastor received the second invitation but did not respond even though not prevented by any impediment, or if the pastor refuses to resign without giving any reasons, the bishop is to issue a decree of removal.
Can. 1745 If the pastor opposes the cause given and its reasons and alleges reasons which seem insufficient to the bishop, the bishop, in order to act validly, is:
1° to invite the pastor to organize his objections in a written report after he has inspected the acts, and offer any proofs he has to the contrary;
2° when any necessary instruction is completed, to consider the matter together with the same pastors mentioned in can. 1742, §1, unless others must be designated because those pastors are unavailable;
3° finally, to establish whether the pastor must be removed or not and promptly to issue a decree on the matter.
Can. 1746 After the pastor has been removed, the bishop is to make provision either for an assignment to some other office, if he is suitable for this, or for a pension as the case warrants and circumstances permit.
Can. 1747 §1. The removed pastor must refrain from exercising the function of pastor, vacate the rectory as soon as possible, and hand over everything belonging to the parish to the person to whom the bishop has entrusted the parish.
§2. If, however, the man is sick and cannot be transferred elsewhere from the rectory without inconvenience, the bishop is to leave him the use, even exclusive use, of the rectory while this necessity lasts.
§3. While recourse against a decree of removal is pending, the bishop cannot appoint a new pastor, but is to provide a parochial administrator in the meantime.
Chapter II. The Manner of Proceeding in the Transfer of Pastors
Can. 1748 If the good of souls or the necessity or advantage of the Church demands that a pastor be transferred from a parish which he is governing usefully to another parish or another office, the bishop is to propose the transfer to him in writing and persuade him to consent to it out of love of God and souls.
Can. 1749 If the pastor does not intend to submit to the counsel and persuasions of the bishop, he is to explain the reasons in writing.
Can. 1750 Notwithstanding the reasons alleged, if the bishop decides not to withdraw from his proposal, he is to consider the reasons which favor or oppose the transfer with two pastors selected according to the norm of can. 1742, §1. If he then decides to implement the transfer, however, he is to repeat the paternal exhortations to the pastor.
Can. 1751 §1. When this has been done, if the pastor still refuses and the bishop thinks that the transfer must be made, he is to issue a decree of transfer, establishing that the parish will be vacant after the lapse of a set time.
§2. If this period of time has passed without action, he is to declare the parish vacant.
Can. 1752 In cases of transfer the prescripts of can. 1747 are to be applied, canonical equity is to be observed, and the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes.