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The difference between a bishop and a bishop coadjutor

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  To: Louie Crew
  Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 9:28 AM

  Hi Louie,

  May I please use one of my stupid question bonuses now?

  What is a Coadjutor? What is the difference between a Bishop and a Bishop 

A bishop coadjutor is elected with the right to succeed the 
incumbent diocesan bishop.  She or he is a bishop in waiting, 
and rules require that the incumbent announce in advance of the 
election the specific duties the coadjutor will have before 
the current diocesan steps down.

A bishop suffragan has no right of succession and serves under any other 
bishops that may be elected during her or his time as active suffragan.  A 
suffragan may choose to run, but has no inside track any more than any
of the other nominees.

An assistant bishop serves only at the pleasure of the current 
diocesan bishop. Assistants have no guaranteed right to succession.  
We never elect assistants as assistants; they are appointed when they 
are already bishops having served elsewhere.  They usually resign or retire 
before being considered.

A new bishop may not like the suffragans inherited from the previous bishop, 
yet must keep them.  The new bishop has no obligation to assistant bishops.

The diocesan bishop is also known as "The Ordinary."  Only the diocesan 
bishop "exercises jurisdiction" -- i.e., has the ultimate responsibility for 
the diocese, and only the diocesan may vote in situations where a diocese 
may have only one vote (such as in consenting to the consecration of a new 

There is a joke that relates to the difference between a coadjutor and a 
suffragan:  when the suffragan greets the ordinary in the morning, the 
suffragan says, "Good morning."  When the coadjutor greets the ordinary in 
the morning, the coadjutor asks, "How are your feeling?"


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