From a reader:
Recently here in Minneapolis the 2 FSSP priests were assigned. One was assigned as ad nutum episcopi parochial vicar. What does this phrase mean and what does is say about his tenure? What we found on the web didn’t help in the least.
First, I am delighted that one of those nice churches in NE Minneapolis will be able to stay open on its own. In recent months parishes have been merged – for the usual reasons – and I am sure that has created some bumps and bruises here and there.
Second, I am delighted that the FSSP is able to offer service to my native place.
Third, ad nutum episcopi is a technical phrase that means literally “at the nod of the bishop”, or else in old ICELese “so long as it pleases the bishop that it be that way”. In effect, “at the bishop’s pleasure”.
This simply means that, just as the priest is assigned at the nod of the bishop’s head, he is also removed at the nod of the bishop’s head. In other words, there is no term of office, one way or another. The priest has no stability in that assignment.