On April 6, 2018, with the appointment of Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, as Bishop of Hildesheim (Germany), the Congregation found itself in an exceptional situation, but not an entirely new one. Twice previously a sitting superior general has been appointed bishop.
In his brief study, Fr. Juan José Arnaiz Ecker, Deputy Director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani (Dehon Study Center), examines the situations of Frs. Philippe, de Palma and Wilmer. Referring to the universal and the proper law of the Dehonians, he explains the differences between the three cases and above all, the fact that the first two remained in office as superior general until their episcopal consecration, while Fr. Wilmer, starting from the date of appointment, no longer was at the helm of the Congregation. This article (Italian), which you can download below, clarifies many legal-institutional aspects in a moment that has raised quite a few questions.