With the passing of Bishop Barry the Diocese follows the procedure prescribed by the Church in this circumstance.
The College of Consultors is required to meet soon after a Bishop’s death and elect from their number, or from other priests in the diocese, an administrator to lead the diocese.
The College of Consultors met today (Sunday) and elected Father Rick Loughnan as the Administrator of the Diocese.
The administrator is not a bishop but is entrusted with the power to run the diocese until a new bishop is appointed.
At the same time the Apostolic Nuncio, who is the Pope’s direct representative in a country or area and is the Pope’s diplomat from the Vatican State, initiates a process within the Diocese of Christchurch and in the country, of consultation among bishops, some clergy and members of the Church about who might be suitable to be a bishop of that diocese.
The process when complete is forwarded to Rome where it goes to the Pope who appoints the new bishop of that diocese.