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Monsignor Bircumshaw elected administrator of Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City

Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw has been elected administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw has been elected administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
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SALT LAKE CITY — Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw has been elected administrator of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

The diocese's college of consultors met Tuesday morning to select Monsignor Bircumshaw. He will lead the diocese until Pope Francis appoints a successor to Bishop John C. Wester, recently installed as archbishop of Santa Fe.

Seven consultors, with senior consultor Monsignor J. Terrence Fitzgerald serving as chairman, selected Bircumshaw, a vicar general of the Salt Lake diocese and chief administrative aide to Wester.

"As diocesan administrator, Monsignor Bircumshaw will continue to have the same authority as he had as vicar general, according to the norms set forth by canon law. He is to maintain stability within the life of the diocese. For acts of major importance, the diocesan administrator needs the consent of the college of consultors," a statement from the Diocese of Salt Lake City said.

According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops publication, each diocese has a priests council, which serves as a consultative body to the bishop. The college of consultors is selected among the priests council. When a bishop is transferred, retires or dies and a diocese that has no auxiliary bishop, the college of consultors is responsible for the governance of the diocese and elects an administrator from among the priests in the diocese.