I`ve been asked recently to provide some more information on the role of the diocesan administrator. So here goes
Canon 427 says that the DA is bound by the obligations and enjoys the power of a diocesan bishop, excluding those matters which are excepted by the nature of things or by the law itself.
Thus the DA, if he is not a bishop, cannot carry out pontifical ceremonies, he cannot grant incardination or excardination, unless the see has been vacant for a year and he has the consent of the college of consultors (c. 272) Likewise he cannot appoint pastors until the see has been vacant for a year (c. 525.2). (So no clergy moves for a year.)
Other things a DA cannot do are:
- to approve diocesan associations of the faithful (c. 321.1.3)
- to entrust a parish to a clerical religious insitiute or clerical society of apostolic life (c. 520.1)
- remove the judical vicar and adjutant judicial vicar (c.1420.5)
- confer a canonry (c.509.1)
Things a DA can do but only with the consent of the college of consultors
- to remove the chancellor and other notaries (c.485)
- to issue dimissorial letters for ordination but never to those who have been denied orders by
the diocesan bishop (c.1018)
C.428 says nothing new is to be done and the DA cannot do anything prejudicial to the diocese or episcopal rights. He is also specifically prohibited, whether personally or through another, from removing or destroying any documents of the diocesan curia or from changing anything in them.
C 429 says the DA is obliged to live in the diocese and to say a Mass for the people each week. Theses are also obligations of a diocesan bishop.
The DA can only be removed by the Holy See. He can resign and he presents the resignation to the college of consultors. If he is removed, resigns or dies then the college of consultors is to elect another. (c.430)
So that`s about it. The basic thing is that the DA is just watching the shop until the new bishop comes along.