The position of vicar general is an appointed office in the administrative structure of the diocese which is established to assist the Bishop in the governance of the whole diocese. Every diocese is required to have at least one vicar general as prescribed in the Code of Canon Law, canon 475. The diocesan bishop freely appoints a priest to serve as vicar general and can freely remove him from office. By virtue of office, the vicar general has the executive power over the whole diocese which belongs to the diocesan bishop by law, namely, the power to place all administrative acts except those, however, which the bishop has reserved to himself or which require a special mandate of the bishop by law. The vicar general must report to the diocesan bishop concerning the more important affairs which are to be handled or have been handled, and he is never to act contrary to the intention and mind of the diocesan bishop.
What is the Diocesan Curia?
A diocese is entrusted to the diocesan bishop for his pastoral care (canon 369, 381). He is not alone, however, in fulfilling the responsibilities of teaching, sanctifying, and governing which are entrusted to him. The diocesan bishop collaborates with many priests and lay faithful in order to successfuly shepherd his diocese. One of the vehicles available to assist the diocesan bishop in his administration of the diocese is his curia. “Curia” has its root in the ancient Latin word for court or assembly.
The Diocesan Curia consists of those institutions and persons which assist the Bishop in the governance of the whole Diocese, especially in guiding pastoral action, in caring for the administration of the diocese, and in exercising judicial power as prescribed in canon 469 of the Code of Canon Law. The Curia offices are located, for the most part, in the Pastoral Center building at 1615 West Washington St., Springfield. They include offices of the Vicar General and Chancellor as well as other offices that manage administration, records and finances of the Diocese. It also includes the offices of Stewardship and Discipleship, Communications, Pastoral Planning, Development, Diocese Schools, Vocations Office, Diaconate Office and the Diocese Tribunal staff.
Who is the Moderator of the Curia?
Very Reverend David J. Hoefler, V.G., in addition to being the Vicar General for the Diocese, also serves as the Moderator of the Curia and, under the authority of the Bishop, oversees the curia offices and assists the Bishop in coordinating the activity of the members of the curia in accord with the prescripts of canon 473 §2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Moderator of the Curia is especially responsible for the pastoral programs of the Diocese and works closely with the Diocesan Chancellor to insure that the administrative functions of the local Church are carried out in accord with prescribed norms and in a manner consistent with the Church's mission and the Bishop's vision.