vicar capitular


  • Latin: capitularis, pertaining to chapter


A priest, or higher cleric, elected by the cathedral chapter to govern the diocese during the period of vacancy. In dioceses that have no cathedral chapter, the Board of Consultors elect an administrator. In the early centuries the presbytery governed the vacant diocese. From the 4th century on, metropolitans sent intercessors or visitators to govern vacant sees. Cathedral chapters began to administer dioceses during vacancy about the 8th century, which practice was generally legalized by the authentic collections of Decretals of the 13th century. Chapters exercised this power either in turn, or by delegated vicars. The Council of Trent modified previous legislation along the lines adopted by the present law.

MLA Citation

  • “vicar capitular”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 January 2020. Web. 16 May 2021. <>