Coadjutor in the churches of Rome and England, an assistant, appointed by competent authority, to any bishop, dignitary of a cathedral, or incumbent who is disabled by age or infirmity from the personal discharge of his duties. Such coadjutor may be either permanent or temporary, and in the former case may be appointed either with or without the right of succession. In the 3d century Bishop Narcissus, of Jerusalem, received as coadjutor Alexander of Cappadocia, and in the 4th century St. Augustine was appointed coadjutor of Valerius of Hippo. The first instance of the bishops of Rome having claimed any influence upon the appointment of coadjutors is found in a letter from Pope Zacharias to St. Boniface, in which permission is given to the latter to consecrate a coadjutor. The provincial councils, however, continued to claim this right, until in 1298 Boniface VIII reserved it as a causa major for the papal chair. The laws of the Church of Rome strictly forbade the appointment of coadjutors with the right of succession. The Council of Trent forbade it absolutely, with regard to lower benefices, but in the case of bishops and superiors of monasteries provided that, from important reasons, the popes might make an exception. The popes, however, disregarded this law, as well as so many others given by the councils, and appointed coadjutors for lower offices no less than for episcopal sees. See Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2, 646; Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 2, 739; Eden, Theol. Dict., s.v.

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